The Car Connection Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Overview
The Land Rover Range Rover Evoque is a stylish compact crossover SUV. Despite its long name, the Evoque the smallest vehicle made by Land Rover. It's related to the Land Rover Discovery Sport, although the sleek Range Rover eschews some of the bigger capacity and rugged hardware found on the Disco Sport for a sleeker shape.
As part of the Range Rover sub-brand, the Evoque gets more luxurious trim and features than the more pedestrian Land Rover offerings. It's a rival for vehicles such as the Volvo XC60, Audi Q3 and Q5, and even the BMW X4.
MORE: Read our 2020 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque review
The Evoque makes all the right moves for those uninterested in the rugged-chic SUV aesthetic. It's also drawing in admirers who want the Land Rover cachet but don’t want a big vehicle or large fuel bills.
The roofline itself could be mistaken for that of a sports coupe, and its backward slope and blacked-out pillars make it especially distinctive from afar, but it’s the squat, muscular stance, really, that make the Evoque what it is. Not since the AMC Eagle has there been a vehicle that looks so carlike, yet so brawny.
In the new generation, a turbo-4 engine feeds either 246 or 296 horsepower to all four wheels through a 9-speed automatic. The output's similar to the previous generation; in that version the Evoque initially was powered by a 240-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbo-4, though a higher-power variant was added for 2015.
The transmission was initially a 6-speed automatic transmission that worked well enough, offering quick shifts when requested. It was replaced by a 9-speed auto that boosted fuel economy.
With a version of Land Rover’s Terrain Response all-wheel-drive system, as well as an excellent magnetically controlled suspension on many models, the Evoque feels as much in its element on potholed city streets and curvy mountain roads as it does on a forest trail. Acceleration to 60 mph happens in around seven seconds, with a top speed of 134 mph on the base model; the higher-output version hits 60 mph in 6.3 seconds and a top speed of 150 mph.
Interior appointments for the Evoque are on the mark in every respect—warm and inviting, with a soft padded dash, earthy (Prestige models) or colorful (Dynamic models) tones and contrasting trims, and in general it feels more luxury coupe than off-roader.
At just about 172 inches long, the Evoque is truly compact, which makes it a great partner in crowded cities. The packaging and electric power steering make parking and maneuvering in tight spots very easy. It still manages to be comfortable for four adults, although getting full-sized folks into the back seat of the two-door model is a little tough. The Evoque keeps everyone inside connected to the outside world, with a USB port, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, and a touchscreen as standard. Navigation is an option, as are high-powered sound systems.
For the 2020 model, cameras became an essential part of the driving experience. A rear camera mirror displays an uncluttered view to the rear or switches into a conventional mirror. A separate system knits together camera images from below the front end for a crystal-clear view of obstacles under the car, relayed through the infotainment screen.
Range Rover Evoque history
For 2013, a new Pure model ditched the panoramic glass roof and some of the interior leather (replaced by synthetic suede) to shave $2,000 off the entry price to the range. A new automated parking feature was also made available for 2013, and off-road navigation is now included in the standard navigation package.
For the 2014 model year, a new 9-speed automatic transmission was fitted to the Evoque, offering smoother shifts and closer ratios. The result is a slight, but noticeable improvement to gas mileage, from 2013's 20/28/23 mpg to 21/30/24 mpg.
Land Rover also updated the all-wheel-drive system for 2014. The new Active Driveline system is standard on all Evoque models and includes torque vectoring and active differentials. It also manages to reduce fuel use by decoupling the all-wheel-drive components when speeds rise above 22 mph, thus reducing drag on the driveline. If needed above that speed, the all-wheel drive can be called up within 300 milliseconds whenever necessary.
For the 2015 Range Rover Evoque, the Autobiography trim was applied to the standard-output model to join the Dynamic trim. Both feature enhanced body styling, 20-inch forged alloy wheels, and premium leather interior details. The Dynamic also benefits from a chassis that’s been optimized for sharper handling, as well as larger brakes and a more responsive transmission.
The Evoque came in for a mild visual refresh for the 2016 model year. A revised front fascia brought larger intakes at the corner, a cleaned-up grille, and full-LED headlights, which make the Evoque look a bit more like the handsome Range Rover Sport. The interior received some updates as well, and Land Rover added its new smartphone-enabled InControl system in the 2016 model year; it allows control of select smartphone apps (iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Glympse, others) through the vehicle's touchscreen and buttons. InControl works with Android and Apple phones once they're connected to a USB port in the Evoque.
Land Rover has since added the Evoque Convertible Concept it showed at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. This two-door, droptop crossover gives the Evoque a third body style and arrived in 2016 as a 2017 model. Other changes were minimal for the 2017 model year; Land Rover made All Terrain Progress Control and InControl Apps standard on all models.
For 2018, Land Rover added a new turbo-4 in two tunes to the Evoque. Some versions get a 2.0-liter turbo-4 that makes 237 horsepower, while HSE Dynamic and Autobiography variants can be equipped with 286-hp version of the same engine. For 2019, Land Rover added Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, in advance of the new Evoque that arrived in the 2020 model year.