The formula for the Range Rover Evoque seems so obvious now: make a car that has all the desirability of a Range Rover, with a beautiful interior and the styling turned up to 11, yet at a more affordable price.

It wasn’t so clear-cut at the start, given that the concept version that preceded the Evoque was called Land Rover LRX. But when it arrived it all made sense.

The Evoque – offered as a five-door or a striking three-door whose looks befit its coupé tag – is an SUV right at the premium end of the compact 4x4 market.

It is powered by turbocharged four-cylinder engines and, at the bottom of the range, runs with a price of just under £30k. The meat of the range is closer to £40k before you start adding options.

Front drive is available. So, too, are manual gearboxes, a petrol engine and a host of trim, styling and refinement features aching to take the price of a Range Rover Evoque towards £50k.

To find out if it is worth that – or any – kind of money is our purpose.

Top 5 Sports SUVs

  • Porsche Macan
    The new Porsche Macan is offered with a choice of three engines, including a 3.0-litre turbodiesel

    Porsche Macan

    1
  • Alpina XD3 Biturbo
    The XD3 is the first SUV to be developed by Alpina

    Alpina XD3 Biturbo

    2
  • The Range Rover Evoque Si4 costs from £41,000

    Range Rover Evoque SI4

    3
  • SQ5 is powered by the 309bhp, 479lb ft twin-turbo V6 diesel introduced in the A6

    Audi SQ5

    4
  • The G63 replaces the old supercharged G55 as the most powerful, quickest and most expensive version of the venerable G-class 4x4

    Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG

    5

First drives

Videos

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Land Rover range

Driven this week