The 2012 Range Rover Evoque draws on some of the genes of today's Land Rover LR2, which itself is kin to the Volvo XC60. But the Evoque's been lowered, shortened and widened into a distinct package that's consciously smaller outside and less spacious inside than its sibling--all in the name of fashion.
It sounds damning, but the Evoque's cabin doesn't suffer much for the downsizing. It's still quite comfortable for the front passengers, who ride on power-adjustable seats with coolly-styled, cut-down bolsters and on some versions, bold stitching. Head room isn't as lavish as you'll get in the usual Land Rover package, but even with the panoramic sunroof fitted--it's standard on many models--the Evoque still allows for a higher seating position and enough vertical space for six-foot occupants. Elbow room isn't an issue, since the Evoque is a few inches wider than the LR2.
It's a bit tighter in back in the five-door Evoque. The low ride height will cue tall passengers to duck on their way into the back seat, and once they're there, the well-shaped seats will provide enough support against their backs. The seat bottom is shorter, to carve out more leg room on the spec sheet, but in practical use, those mythical six-footers will be rubbing knees against the front seat backs and their heads against part of the glass roof's frame. It's less permissible for a traditional SUV to be short on interior space, but the whole idea of the Evoque is to sacrifice some space for style, and it does it in a fairly inoffensive way.
The three-door Evoque has the same wheelbase as the five-door, so it's less a shock that its seats are almost as comfortable as the ones on the five-door. It's the entry and exit that could tax an older passenger; kids will love clambering in past the front buckets into the back nacelle, but geezers will use those gymnastics as one more reason to condemn the Evoque. The three-door gives buyers the option of a three-seat bench or a pair of buckets; while you're going impractical, why not pick the pair?
Storage space is still quite good, and despite its cut and creased body, it has more cargo room than some taller luxury crossovers. The three-door Evoque sports 19.4 cubic feet of space behind the second-row seats, and 47.6 cubic feet when those seats are folded down. The five-door has marginally more space, at 20.3 cubic feet with the seats up, and 51.0 cubic feet with them down.
The cabin has a big center console bin with cupholders hidden under a tambor, and a fairly deep bin under the armrest. A nicely sized glovebox and decent door-panel pockets give drivers some places to stash stuff out of sight.