Getting in and out is an easy affair, and access to the rear is easy but there are not any grab handles over the doors should you need them.
Ride and Handling
We took the Range Rover Evoque from Northumbria to Devon on a mixture of Motorway, ‘A’ roads and country ‘B’ roads.
Range Rover had thoughtfully equipped our test car with Adaptive Dynamics which includes MagneRide suspension, it is standard on Dynamic models, but on the Prestige model we were testing it is a £1,150 option. MagneRide works by monitoring the road surface ironing out imperfections before they enter the cabin; it also helps to reduce pitch and roll.
Is it worth it? Yes, in our opinion it makes the Evoque more rewarding to drive and improves comfort. And it makes all the difference on ‘B’ roads, if you enjoy, let’s say more enthusiastic driving but without it you cannot really complain.
Overall the Evoque with MagneRide leans more towards the hot hatch end of SUV’s and it is surprising how well it handles with well weighted steering, coping well with potholes.
Off Road Use
We were unable to test the Range Rover Evoque too far off road – we were limited to green lanes and several farm tracks – which to be honest in the dry most two wheel drive cars would cope with.
But with the Freelander’s under pinning’s the Evoque should cope very well and from other reviewers comments it does very well.
Like its bigger brother – all four-wheel-drive Evoque’s are fitted with Land Rover’s Terrain Response technology but unlike them the system is operated via two buttons rather than the rotary control, and they are a little difficult to find whilst on the move.
There are four modes, General Driving (on-road and easy off-road); Grass/Gravel/Snow (slippery conditions, on- and off-road); Mud and Ruts; and Sand; each designed to automatically take control of the operation of the four-wheel drive system via the throttle and gearbox settings. There is an additional Dynamic setting which is available for cars specified with Adaptive Dynamics (£1,150 option on our test car) – it stiffens up the suspension and even turns the instrument panel red.
Unlike its relatives the Evoque does not have a low ratio gearbox, locking differentials nor does it have air suspension, so it cannot increase the ride height to overcome obstacles.
The Evoque does come with Hill Descent Control (HDC) and Gradient Release Control (GRC). HDC automatically restricts speed downhill using the anti-lock brakes, and has been enhanced for improved performance, with a revised interface to help the driver adjust the target speed more easily. GRC is linked to HDC, and progressively releases the brakes on very steep or more gradual slopes, for maximum control.
Should you need it the wading depth is 500mm, off-road approach 25 degrees, exit 33 degrees and the standard ride height is 212mm.
Our off road summary would conclude that the Range Rover Evoque is capable but does not have the ability of its sibling’s the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport.
Ease of Use
We drove the five-door Evoque which is more suited to family life than the sleeker Coupe which only has three doors and is more difficult to look out of at the rear with its swooping rear roof line.
Getting in and out is an easy affair, and access to the rear is easy but there are not any grab handles over the doors should you need them. The driving position is excellent and the driver’s seat has a three memory position electric powered seat and we found the seats supportive over a 400 mile drive. All-round vision is good, although rear vision is a little hampered by the roof line and small window aperture, which is a lot worse on the 3-door coupe edition. Our test car had blind spot monitoring – which looks out for vehicles in your blind spot, alerting you with a lit icon on the corresponding mirror.
You benefit from auto on headlights and wipers – our test car was also fitted with Bi-Xenon Headlights a £305 option, we were surprised to see these were an option on a £40,000 car. You can switch on the lights from the remote key fob to see where you are going at night.
Our test car was fitted with the £4,425 Lux Pack which includes a powered tailgate and panoramic glass roof with power blinds, 825W Meridian surround sound audio system, 8-inch high-resolution dual-view touch-screen display, analogue/digital television, auto-dimming rear view mirror, surround camera system with tow assist, blind spot monitoring, keyless entry, park assist system, advanced climate control with air filtration, air quality sensor and automatic recirculation.
We liked the panoramic glass roof with power blinds – it makes a lot of difference to the ambience for rear seat passengers.
Our car was fitted with a powered tailgate, which was part of the LUX pack that was fitted to our car, which is great if you are on the short side or have your hands full. The pack also included park assist which will automatically hunt for parallel parking spaces when engaged – when it finds a suitable space it will automatically steer the Evoque into the space, leaving you to control the throttle and brakes.
The Range Rover Evoque has a foot print of 4355mm x 1965mm x 1635mm – which compares to the Freelander’s 4500mm x 2195mm x 1740mm - the wheelbase of both models is the same at 2660mm.
The luggage space will swallow up 575 litres of cargo with the 60/40 split seats in place and with them down it will accommodate 1445 litres which compares to the BMW X3’s 550/1600 litres. The coupe’s boot is a little smaller only accommodating 1350 litres with the seats down and 550 litres with the seats up.
It can tow braked trailers up to the weight of 1800 kg – the gross weight is 2350kg, kerb 1685kg.