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 Family SUVs

  • The Land Rover Discovery Sport
    The new Land Rover Discovery Sport is the successor to the Freelander

    Land Rover Discovery Sport

    1
  • BMW X3
    A huge improvement over the old model and now among the class leaders

    BMW X3

    2
  • Volvo XC60
    The Swede's XC60 compact SUV is a rival for Range Rover's Evoque

    Volvo XC60

    3
  • Range Rover Evoque
    The Range Rover Evoque is available as a three-door, pictured here, or a five-door

    Range Rover Evoque

    4
  • Here is the 2.2-litre CRDi Kia Sorento KX-4
    Kia's seven-seat Sorento SUV is now in its third generation

    Kia Sorento

    5

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