What is it?

A turbodiesel engine seems the obvious choice for any weighty SUV, with inherent economy and a strong, torquey delivery. But the Range Rover Evoque, the genre-busting 'statement car' with the wedgy waistline, compressed glasshouse and hefty wheelprint, plays by different rules.

Have we fallen for the hype? No, but we have now driven the Evoque with the 2.0-litre Ford Ecoboost turbo petrol engine with 237bhp and 251lb ft of torque on tap. This engine dramatically alters the Evoque's character, playing to the strengths of taut, agile handling overlaid on proper off-road ability.

What’s it like?

It takes just a few hundred yards to sense this fastest Evoque's eager pace and the crisp revvability of its engine. It's matched to a six-speed automatic gearbox which, set to S mode and manually triggered with paddle-shifters, complements the engine's efforts well. Upshifts are quick, firm but smooth, downshifts are also quick but suffer through a lack of proper revs-matching as the lower gear engages.

Our test Evoque here is running on 19in wheels and passive dampers, and with an engine lighter than the diesel it turns into corners and holds on tight in a way almost astounding for an SUV. The steering is always precise and confident – it's one of the better electric systems – and only occasionally do you sense the Evoque's height. It feels like a big hot hatchback with an especially good vantage point, and the damping is beautifully controlled at all speeds.

Should I buy one?

This is JLR dynamics guru Mike Cross's favourite Evoque version, even though it is also the thirstiest. All the stranger, then, that in the UK all petrol Evoques will come only in Dynamic trim with adaptive Magneride dampers and 20in wheels, and this optimum version is denied to us. Time for a marketing re-think, maybe?

John Simister

 

Range Rover Evoque Si4

Price: from £38,995; Top speed: 135mph; 0-62mph: 7.6sec; Economy: 32.5mpg; Co2: 199g/km; Kerbweight: 1640kg; Engine: type, cc: 4cyl 16V DI turbo, 1999cc; Power: 237bhp; Torque: 251lb ft; Gearbox: 6sp auto

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Comments
37

Re: Range Rover Evoque Si4

3 years 8 weeks ago

Definitely my pick of the range, but £39k?!?

Re: Range Rover Evoque Si4

3 years 8 weeks ago

Lets see if this Rover has a better reliability record than the rest of them, frankly I doubt it, it's full of "Old" technology and how many "premium cars" today only have 6 speed boxes....................... NONE. I would give it miss if you want to keep a good RV, these are renowned for loosing shed loads of money and are hard to move on in the UK, worthless in fact.

Re: Range Rover Evoque Si4

3 years 8 weeks ago

johnbmw6 wrote:
these are renowned for loosing shed loads of money and are hard to move on in the UK, worthless in fact.
Eh, that's a bit premature, isn't it?

Re: Range Rover Evoque Si4

3 years 8 weeks ago

Its been nagging on my mind a while now what the profile reminds me of but it just came to me - the clue is in the name - Rover!

Better not park too close behind one!

'hey look there goes Kev in his Rover that looks like a dog taking a crap'

Re: Range Rover Evoque Si4

3 years 8 weeks ago

The Apprentice wrote:

Its been nagging on my mind a while now what the profile reminds me of but it just came to me - the clue is in the name - Rover!

Better not park too close behind one!

'hey look there goes Kev in his Rover that looks like a dog taking a crap'

Should have gone to Specsavers...

Re: Range Rover Evoque Si4

3 years 8 weeks ago

Lesia44 wrote:
Should have gone to Specsavers...

No don't think so, its definitely haunched up at the back to keep its bum out the forthcoming doo-doo. But I am entitled to my opinion just as you fan-boys are welcome to yours of course ;)

Re: Range Rover Evoque Si4

3 years 8 weeks ago

The Apprentice wrote:

Lesia44 wrote:
Should have gone to Specsavers...

No don't think so, its definitely haunched up at the back to keep its bum out the forthcoming doo-doo. But I am entitled to my opinion just as you fan-boys are welcome to yours of course ;)

Fan-boy? Suggesting what, blind unthinking admiration? An opinion not as worthy as your shîtting dog comparison? None of this is up to your usual standard.

Re: Range Rover Evoque Si4

3 years 8 weeks ago

johnbmw6 wrote:
Lets see if this Rover has a better reliability record than the rest of them, frankly I doubt it, it's full of "Old" technology and how many "premium cars" today only have 6 speed boxes....................... NONE. I would give it miss if you want to keep a good RV, these are renowned for loosing shed loads of money and are hard to move on in the UK, worthless in fact.
Freelander II and Discovery are fairing much better in reliability stakes. Not sure what you mean by "Old technology"??? Most of Audi and BMW range have six speed boxes, if talking automatic so do Audi on some DSG equipped car's

The Evoque will hold it's value rather well no doubt the good reviews and high demand will see to that initially. You sound stuck in the 1990's when what you say is spot on. LR and RR since the last bad winter have seem a resurgence in terms of interest and residuals. I say all this having never owned or been interested in a LR or RR.

Re: Range Rover Evoque Si4

3 years 8 weeks ago

Lesia44 wrote:
The Apprentice wrote:

Lesia44 wrote:
Should have gone to Specsavers...

No don't think so, its definitely haunched up at the back to keep its bum out the forthcoming doo-doo. But I am entitled to my opinion just as you fan-boys are welcome to yours of course ;)

Fan-boy? Suggesting what, blind unthinking admiration? An opinion not as worthy as your shîtting dog comparison? None of this is up to your usual standard.

Steady there old boy... I was just teasing, you have been a very adamant defender of this car.

Re: Range Rover Evoque Si4

3 years 8 weeks ago

O.K. Crossed wires. Apologies. :-)

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Our Verdict

The Range Rover Evoque draws heavily on style as a selling point, but also possesses the substance to back it up

Driven this week