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- Surprisingly spacious interior
- Bold, brilliant exterior
- Punchy turbo engine
- Smooth 9-speed automatic
- Loads of all-weather capability
- Tough to classify—but some will love that
- Gravelly sounding engine
- Three-door back seats aren't easy to reach
The 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque cloaks its off-road chops in street-smart, urbane style.
The Range Rover Evoque was a black swan when it was new in the 2012 model year. Unexpected, angular, and tilted toward high fashion, it signaled that the Range Rover brand was moving in a different direction than the Land Rover nameplate.
Five years later, it's still one of the smartest moves Land Rover has made. The Evoque gives Range Rover a compact crossover SUV with a heavy dose of the off-road talent implied by its badges, and marries it with an urbane sense of style that appeals to a whole new audience—one that would hate to see its pretty sheet metal ruined by mud.
The Evoque comes in SE, SE Premium, SE Dynamic, HSE, and HSE Dynamic versions. Prices start at about $43,000, and soar beyond $63,000 when well-optioned.
We rate the Range Rover Evoque at 7.0 out of 10, with its best scores in features and styling. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Range Rover Evoque styling and performance
The Evoque might get lumped in with other trendy shapes like those worn by the Infiniti QX50 and BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC-Class, but it's outfitted for hard work, whether it's in the dirt or on the runway. As a three-door, a two-door convertible, and as a five-door, the Evoque wears smart origami influences and the wedgy proportions of a chopped-and-channeled hot rod. Last year, Land Rover gilded the lily with a new grille, a few new finishes and some new features, but the essence remains unchanged. Even as a convertible, the Evoque has a sensibility that sets its aside from its rivals.
All Evoques draw power from a coarse-sounding 240-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4. Power builds quickly from idle, and the Evoque feels punchy, whether it's passing at highway speeds or ranging on trails and backroads. Since the Evoque is relatively small and light, it even manages to come off as nimble, too. It's definitely a more car-like driving experience, and fuel economy of up to 24 mpg combined underscores that.
An Active Driveline system, with active differentials and torque vectoring, is standard equipment on all models. It's one of the keys to that impressive fuel economy, as it decouples the rear wheels above 22 mph, re-enabling it within 300 milliseconds whenever it's needed. All-Terrain Progress Control lets the vehicle crawl at a determined speed when negotiating tricky terrain, allowing the driver to focus on the steering.
Evoque comfort, safety, and features
Put bluntly, the Evoque doesn't skimp on what's inside. It's all richly detailed, just on a smaller scale. The front seats are spacious and comfortable, with a wide range of adjustment; the rear seats are a bit tighter, but still suitable for short trips. In three-door models, entry to the rear seats can be a bit difficult, but the five-door version remedies that completely. Cargo space is not excessive, but given the Evoque's exterior dimensions, it's reasonable at 24 cubic feet, and the space itself is wide and easy to access.
All Evoques come with a rich set of features. Top Evoque HSE models offer more than ever, with Oxford leather seats, a fixed panoramic glass sunroof, a universal garage-door opener, and blind-spot monitors. Land Rover's latest infotainment system is a massive upgrade from its prior setup, but it's not without some sluggish responses. The option we'd make sure was included? Surround-view cameras, as the Evoque's high rear end all but obliterates the view to the rear.