• 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

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.

Jim Holder

Former editor
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.

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