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Range Rover Evoque 2.0TD4 4WD HSE Dynamic Lux Auto review
05 April 2017
Author: Debbie Wood
Cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers, eight-speaker sound system, lane departure warning, 18-inch alloy wheels, heated seats, leather steering wheel
Petrol: 240hp 2.0 Diesel: 150hp and 180hp 2.0
SE, SE Tech, HSE Dynamic, HSE Dynamic Lux and Autobiography
Six-speed manual, nine-speed automatic
When the covers came off the Evoque back in 2011 it became one of my favourite new cars of that year. And I wasn't the only one to be a fan - the smallest member of the Range Rover family quickly became the firm's fastest-selling model to date.
A huge hit with company car drivers and retail buyers alike, the Evoque provided a new entry point to the Range Rover brand and, for some, made the luxury firm accessible for the first time on choice lists.
Now available as a coupe and a convertible, it's the original five-door SUV that we concentrate our efforts on in this review, and following a mild update last year, I was keen to find out if the torch I originally held for the SUV still shines as bright.
Those trademark curves and distinctive features are a big draw for many customers, and a big reason why bosses left the car's design relatively untouched in these latest round of updates - why mess with something which has proved so popular with many?
But design isn't the only string to the Range Rover's bow.
Inside features a luxurious cabin of high quality, which is loaded with innovative features. This latest model gets the next-generation InControl Touch Pro infotainment system, which includes a 10.2-inch touchscreen that behaves like a tablet with swipe, pinch and zoom functions.
It's one of the best infotainment systems available in the premium sector and offers excellent resolution. Elsewhere, some of the interior switches and dials do feel a little dated, though, and lack the pizzazz found in German rivals.
Unsurprisingly, it's the 2.0-litre diesel that takes the bulk of sales in the UK. Available in two power outputs, 150hp and 180hp, it's the latter we're testing here, and it's an all-round, capable engine with plenty of performance - thanks to the 430Nm of pulling power, the 0-62mph sprint is achieved in nine seconds.
Mated to the engine is a smooth nine-speed automatic and the two work harmoniously together creating near-seamless gearchanges.
Although the engine can be a little noisy to accelerate at times, the 2.0-litre diesel is smooth and relatively silent when cruising, while the nicely weighted steering and ample grip enable the car to feel surefooted and confident in the corners.
The ride is a little on the firm side, largely because of our test car's 20-inch alloys. Downgrade to a smaller size and this should improve.
Fitted to our test car is the firm'sTerrain Response system, designed to cope with all types of tricky off-road conditions. We didn't get a chance to take the Evoque off-road on this occasion but have previously, and came away impressed by its capabilities.
Okay, so the Evoque is not the best when it comes to interior roominess. The five-door SUV is definitely the best family choice in the range, though, and although headroom is restricted in the rear, legroom shouldn't be as much of an issue, while the boot is large at 575 litres, bettering the majority of its premium competitors.
In standard spec there's plenty of kit to justify its premium cost. Choose this near top-of-the-range HSE Luxury Nav trim, though and you'll be spoilt for mod cons and luxurious items.
The highlights from the kit list include a panoramic sunroof, keyless entry, reversing camera, leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, 20-inch alloy wheels, gesture-controlled tailgate and blind-spot monitoring, all for a rather hefty £47,465 price tag.
The cost argument
The good news is that running costs are competitive with the equivalent BMW X1, Audi Q3 and Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, with CO2 emissions of 134g/km and a combined fuel economy of 55.3mpg - not the best but close enough to be considered.
Although the most expensive of its rivals, the Evoque has the best residual value figure alongside the BMW X1, at 45.3%, which helps keep whole-life costs in check at 86.7p per mile, again close enough to keep it justifiable when you're arguing with your fleet manager that it should be on choice lists.
And it's a battle many seem to be winning too - the Evoque is the sector's biggest seller and a large proportion of those sales are for business users.
It's very easy to look at the Range Rover Evoque with rose-tinted glasses. However, it's not a perfect car by any stretch. But those stylish looks, luxurious cabin and new multimedia system create enough of an argument for it to be a contender, and the fact that those whole-life figures keep the competition honest is the final cherry on the top.
P11D Price: £47,465
Residual value: 45.3%
Service, maintenance & repair: £2,693
Fuel consumption: 55.4mpg
CO2 (BIK Band): 134g/km (26%)
BIK 20/40% per month: £206/£411
Boot space: 575 litres
Engine size/power: 1,999cc/180hp
Good to drive
More expensive P11D and whole-life costs as rivals