Land Rover Range Rover Evoque

The Essentials

  • Price from £28,695
  • What Car? says: 4 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 56.5mpg
  • What is it? Ultra-trendy compact SUV is guaranteed to you get noticed

Great

  • Fabulous image and a guaranteed head-turner
  • Strong residuals if you can bear to part with it
  • Fun to drive and packed with safety features

Gripes

  • Hats off please
  • Rivals are more tax efficient and economical
  • Land Rover's reliability record is a concern
  • Drive

    More like a car than a 4x4, as befits its likely habitat. We love the agile handling and comfy suspension and we're prepared to overlook the road noise

  • Inside

    Helpful raised driving position and luxurious interior decor. Rear views are restricted by the narrow windscreen

  • Safety

    Top marks on both counts. Masses of standard safety features and even more optional extras if you're taking no chances

  • Reliability

    Top quality Range Rover feel to most of the cabin but hold your thumbs that it's more reliable than other Land Rovers

  • Space

    Carrying passengers? Best get the five-door model. Don't forget to order it with a panoramic sunroof to brighten the darkness

  • Standard and extras

    All models have leather seats and a high-tech infotainment system; upgrade to Prestige for luxury touches or Dynamic for sporty additions

  • What's it like to drive?

    The Evoque doesn't quite give you the pillowy-soft ride that other Range Rovers do, but it's still a very comfortable car. The suspension is supple enough to soak up most bumps without much fuss, but it isn't so soft that the body lollops around all over the place in bends. This, plus the quick, accurate steering, also means the car handles pretty tidily.
    The entry-level 2.2 diesel is available with front- or four-wheel drive, but although the front-drivers give better fuel economy, they don't ride anywhere near as smoothly as the 4x4s. All 4x4 models also come fitted with Terrain Response, which makes them very handy in the mud. In any case, we prefer the extra strength you get from the more powerful version of the diesel engine There's a turbocharged petrol, too, but it'll cost a bomb to run.

  • What's it like inside?

    Plush. The surfaces you feel and see are tactile and beautifully finished, and the harder plastics are tucked away out of sight. Most of the dash controls are easy to see and use, but the touch-screen infotainment system has confusing menus.
    The seats are supportive, and the high driving position and big front windows provide a great view. It's more limited behind because the rear windscreen is tiny and the door sills are high, so younger children may not be able to see out at all.
    There's plenty of space in the front, but rear space is more limited, particularly on headroom. A pair of six footers should fit, but if you go for the three-door, getting in will take some dexterity.
    All models come with leather seats, and high-end models add all sorts of luxury gadgets. Our favourite option is the panoramic sunroof, which makes the interior much brighter.

  • How reliable is it?

    There's no evidence to say one way or another, because the Evoque is too new. Land Rover's reputation for reliability hasn't exactly been glittering in the past, but it has been improving.
    The car is packed with safety features, including clever technology to keep you under control and moving in the right direction, whether you're on a road or half way up a mountain. Six airbags are fitted all round to protect you in a crash, and Isofix child seat anchor points are standard. All this makes for a respectable NCAP crash rating, too: it was awarded five stars overall- 86% for adult's safety, though only 75% for children.

  • Should I buy one?

    The Evoque may be the cheapest Range Rover but it's also the smallest - and it's still not what we'd call cheap. If you love its striking design you'll probably be happy to pay for them, but bear in mind that the same sleek looks limit the view out for shorter rear passengers, particularly children, even when they're in child seats. None of the engines are particularly green, so whichever version you choose, you'll pay a fair amount to run it. Demand has been huge, though, so selling it on for a good price shouldn't pose a problem.