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

  • Range Rover Sport SVR costs from £93,450

    Range Rover Sport SVR

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

    Porsche Macan

  • BMW X5 M costs from £90,180

    BMW X5 M

  • Alpina XD3 costs from £56,450

    Alpina XD3

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

    Audi SQ5


First drives


Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    13 October 2015
    Early first drive of Fiat's forthcoming Tipo reveals dynamics that fall short of the class best, although quality and comfort impress
  • First Drive
    13 October 2015
    Ferrari has produced another masterpiece with its new 488 Spider. We found out why on Italian roads
  • First Drive
    13 October 2015
    Distinctive DS hatchback gets revamped styling and new options, but the facelift fails to address the previous version's major issues
  • First Drive
    8 October 2015
    The greatest driver’s Boxster ever, and far enough removed from the GTS to be worth the compromises its complex hood demands
  • Car review
    7 October 2015
    Does the Zenos E10 have enough to oust Caterham and Lotus off their throne