Range Rover Evoque 2014 Review

 

The Range Rover Evoque was the first model in the Range Rover family to “break the mould”, stylistically speaking. A bold, aggressive design, with a grinning front spoiler, a swept back roofline and a compact rear end differentiated it from its rather conventionally looking siblings in the marque’s offering.

Range Rover Evoque

It was this decision that made the Range Rover Evoque such a popular model, proving that not only large size SUVs can provide one with luxury and prestige. Competing with the representatives of the premium compact SUV class, the Evoque must face opponents such as the Porsche Macan, the BMW X1 and X3, the Audi Q3 or the Mercedes GLK.

Available in 2 body styles, with 2 and 4 door variants, the car now comes with a 9-speed automatic transmission, which replaces the 6-speed automatic available on the previous iteration of the model. For 2015, Range Rover plans the introduction of 2 new variations based on the 4 door configuration, called the Autobiography Prestige and the Autobiography Dynamic. The latter will be the most powerful Range Rover Evoque ever built, with a total power output of 281bhp. Enhancements such a revised grille, redesigned rims and special paint colour schemes, alongside mechanical and interior upgrades are set to raise the bar in terms of luxury and comfort in the compact premium SUV class.

On the outside, there are no noticeable changes, the car remaining more or less the same as its previous version. The Range Rover badges have been changed, while a new set of alloy wheels has been introduced. New options for decorating the interior are available, but the biggest change comes in the form of the newly introduced 9-speed automatic gearbox. Designed by German specialist ZF, it is supposed to improve fuel efficiency, provide a better ride experience and a smoother transition when shifting gears.

As with the 2013 model, there is still a noticeable amount of body roll, due to the car’s elevated position and the damper settings. Our advice would be not to push it too far, as this is ultimately an SUV, not a sports car. However, the electric power steering, coupled to the newly introduced Driveline – Range Rover’s improved four-wheel drive system – vastly improves torque delivery to the rear wheels while a Torque Vectoring system, with the purpose of reducing understeer, is also fitted. With these settings, the Range Rover Evoque is able to tackle not only long stretches of motorway, but will also be able to venture off-road – that is, to a certain extent.

 

 Range Rover Evoque 2014 – 5 Point Review

 

Styling

The Range Rover Evoque has been praised by numerous automotive journalists as having a “concept car look” and, when compared to rivals such as the Audi Q3 or the BMW X3, that statement is as true as it can possibly be. The aggressive front fascia, with its sleek grille, narrow headlights and large air intakes is unmatched by any of its competitors. Its slant roofline, flowing towards the rear, provides an extraordinary design statement, giving it a coupe appearance, either in a 2 or 4-door configuration. The sides have carefully sculpted wheel arches, flared in order to contrast with the affluence of straight lines that characterize the rest of the car. The compact rear end houses a small rear window, flanked by a spoiler. The backlights follow the same design as the front ones, being slim and beautifully proportioned.

In the interior, the large instrument cluster behind the wheel immediately attracts the eyes. The centre console is dominated by a large touch screen panel, while a variety of upholstery is available on demand. Select materials, such as wood and aluminium are bound to make the cabin a much more enjoyable and luxurious place is chosen.

Driving

With the 2014 model, the British manufacturer has introduced a new gearbox to the Range Rover Evoque range, a 9-speed automatic developed by the Germans from ZF. While not entirely quirk free – it tends to be quite sticky and sometimes undecided at times – the gearshifts can be better managed through the paddles behind the steering wheel. New magnetorheological dampers have reduced the body roll, although its presence is still felt at times. Other than that, the ride is smooth and the suspension takes care of any holes or bumps in the road. Being a Range Rover, it means that it still has the off-roading pedigree of its larger brothers in the range, but adventure seekers should only venture on mildly wild terrain, as this is a compact SUV, not a full-fledged off-roader.

Reliability

The smallest Range Rover has proven to be quite a dependable car. In spite of the fact that some owners have reported electrical failures, the softening of suspension and software error messages, the reviews seem to shed a generally favourable light on the model. Our advice would be to secure a maintenance plan prior to purchasing a new model or, if it’s used, be extra careful at the described issues and thoroughly check and test-drive the vehicle.

Running costs

The price for a new Range Rover Evoque ranges from just below £30.000 up to £49.805 for the Autobiography edition and can go even higher if any optional are added. The 2-door Coupe with a eD4 Diesel engine promises a combined mileage of 57.6 mpg, while the 4-Door SD4 Diesel clocks at 47.1 mpg. The least efficient choice is the 4-Door variant with a Si4 Petrol automatic, with a mixed mileage of 36.2 mpg. As a conclusion, a Diesel would be the most rational choice, based on the figures, as the running costs are quite high.

Various optionals are available, such as the panoramic glass sunroof (£800) – which opens the interior space even more, enabling vast quantities of light to enter the cabin, sat-nav (£1.500 for the basic model) or the 17 speaker, 3D Meridian audio system, for £995.

Practicality

Considering its compact size, in either 2 or 4-Door configurations, the Range Rover Evoque is able to sit comfortably its passengers. Range Rover itself lists the headroom at a decent 101 cm, from seat to ceiling, with the panoramic roof option. The rear seats have enough legroom for passengers, but the reduced width means that three may sit a bit cramped in the back. The boot space is decent, at 550 litres, and can be further expanded if the back seat is folded, which should take care of the needs of mostly everybody.

 

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