It is best if you look away from mere statistics with the Range Rover Evoque. More than £30k – and, potentially, the best part of £40k even if you don’t get too busy with options – is a great deal of money to spend on a car that is no bigger and no more powerful than a Ford Focus.

And even when you cast statistics aside and get down to the objectivity of driving, the Evoque still seems like an expensive car. Yes, it is well finished; yes, it is very refined; yes, it comes amply equipped and, yes, it has a breadth of ability few other cars have.

The Evoque is well finished, refined and well equipped... but expensive

But you’re paying not just for the tangible things, but also for intangible things like how it will make you feel. That leaves the Evoque with few direct rivals.

Anyone with this sort of money to spend is as likely to have a BMW 5-series wagon or Audi A5 coupé as they are a BMW X3 or Audi Q3. From that standpoint alone, while the Evoque’s touring economy is poor for a 2.2-litre diesel, it is not bad by the standards of most £40,000 cars.

Of course, if economy is more of a concern, the 148bhp eD4 Evoque, with only two driven wheels, promises a more parsimonious experience.

The introduction of the nine-speed automatic transmission in place of the six-speed box for 2014 model year cars promises to bring fuel economy and CO2 enhancements across the range.

Another key addition to the MY2014 Evoque line-up is Active Driveline, a system that decouples four-wheel drive at steady driving speeds above 22mph and only sends drive to the rear axle when it is needed. This system, which saves fuel and reduces CO2, is initially only available as a option with the Si4 petrol engine. 

Three core trim levels are available: the standard Pure specification, followed by Prestige and Dynamic. Prestige is angled towards customers looking for even more luxurious finishes and those who want to add more personalisation to their vehicle. Dynamic is intended to provide a more sporting ambience and gets unique exterior styling to give it a more assertive stance.

The Evoque is predicted to hold its value well, but it’s hard to feel totally comfortable about the nagging suspicion that Range Rover is asking so much for the Evoque simply because people are prepared to pay it.

Top 5 Compact SUVs

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