• The Range Rover Evoque is available as a three-door, pictured here, or a five-door
  • Bonnet vent is reminiscent of the Jaguar XFR’s. Does it need it? No. Does it look good? You be the judge
  • All premium cars seem to need a signature light, for the Evoque it's a jewel-like 3D petal design
  • Engine bay vents on the Evoque's flanks cut into the doors
  • Headlamps are unusually narrow, but stretch way back
  • The steering wheel comes from Jaguar’s XJ and is ideal in size and shape
  • Perceived quality is high, although some found the seats to be too flat when pressing on
  • This is a proper Range Rover, with real off-road capabilities
  • The rear is adult-friendly but the rakish roof reduces headroom
  • The optional panoramic roof opens up the cabin beautifully
  • Despite the Evoque’s compact length, the boot is capable of holding 550 litres
  • Range Rover Evoque
    The Evoque is up to 100kg lighter than the Freelander and is based on similar architecture
  • Two diesels dominate sales, although a decent petrol is also available
  • Smooth progress is easy to make, with the ’box shifting mostly intelligently
  • Considering the vehicle's weight, 187bhp is on the modest side
  • Performance and ride quality are respectable by premium SUV standards
  • The steering is well weighted and responsive, save for a slight stickiness off straight-ahead
  • A fine Range Rover whose reality (almost) matches its hype

A car’s styling often merits no more than a few cursory mentions in our road test, but the Range Rover Evoque demands an exception.

Supercars aside, only Citroën’s DS3 and some retro hatches draw so heavily on their design as a selling point.

Matt Saunders

Deputy road test editor
There's no denying that the Evoque has attention-grabbing looks and some fine detailing

The Evoque was born out of a desire to make Land Rover appeal to a more youthful audience. After a number of design studies were created, they were finally honed into the LRX concept car, which saw daylight at the 2008 Detroit motor show.

Even then, its future was uncertain; part or all of it could have become a premium Land Rover, or it could have been left as a show car. In the end, the whole design was adopted and given the Range Rover moniker.

The Evoque is, as much as possible, the LRX in production form. Land Rover is coy about having the two cars – concept and reality – photographed together, lest the production version look limp by comparison.

Little chance of that, we’d have thought. To our eyes, the Evoque is a brilliantly successful interpretation of how relevant, approachable and striking a contemporary 4x4 can look.

Have you ever seen an SUV with slimmer side and rear windows and a wedgier waistline? Nor have we.

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