As a car for us to assess, in some ways the Evoque calls to mind its Freelander stablemate. Not in the way it drives, looks or feels, but in the impression it leaves on you.

A few of our testers came away feeling merely satisfied with the small Range Rover – neither disappointed nor blown away.

Like the Freelander before it, we anticipate that the Evoque will have lasting appeal

Yet the same was true with the Freelander, and its true appeal and enduring qualities only really told later. It was a four-star car when we tested it, and its rating hasn’t diminished at all with time. Similar longevity will be the making of the Evoque.

Several of our testers fell for it completely; its showroom and visual appeal is second to none and its dynamics are able enough to make it the premium compact SUV of choice.

Rivals like the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Volkswagen Tiguan aren't as appealing, and lack the same sense of occasion that the Range Rover imparts.

But, especially at this price, the Evoque will have to prove it is more than a firework car (whiz, bang, fizzle) to become a stand-out choice its class for years.

Our bet is that it will.

Top 5 Sports SUVs

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    1
  • Alpina XD3 Biturbo
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    2
  • The Range Rover Evoque Si4 costs from £41,000

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

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

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