What is it?
The Range Rover Evoque remains a glorious success for Land Rover, which has shifted almost 450,000 examples of its baby crossover since it was launched back in 2011. One in three Land Rovers sold in 2014 was an Evoque, in fact, and the UK remains the largest single market for the car.
Now it’s time for a facelift - although in truth, the policy with the Evoque appears to be a string of minor improvements instead of isolated giant leaps. We’ve already seen the nine-speed automatic gearbox, for example, and such is the strength of the Evoque’s image that, it will not surprise you to learn, the looks of the 2016 model year car have been tweaked, not overhauled. There’s a slightly more chunky front bumper, new LED headlights and a few fresh alloy wheel designs - and not much else.
Still, there are significant changes under the skin at this juncture, thanks to the replacement of the old 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine with Jaguar Land Rover’s all-aluminium 2.0-litre Ingenium unit - and the reworking of the front and rear suspension to adapt to the resulting improvement in weight distribution.
The engine itself comes in a couple of states of tune - with 148bhp and 178bhp - along with front or four-wheel drive, a six-speed manual and that nine-speed auto. Choose the cleanest of three Evoques to qualify for a blue name badge (the sign of efficiency, apparently) and you’ll get a manual two-wheel-drive 148bhp three-door that’ll emit just 109g/km of CO2.
The same spec with two extra doors (as driven here) emits 113g/km, while all of the four-wheel-drive editions, 148bhp or 177bhp, pump out 125g/km as a manual, regardless of body style, and either 129g/km (coupe) or 134g/km (five-door) as an automatic.
The Ford-derived 237bhp turbocharged petrol (badged Si4) will continue to be offered in selected markets, incidentally. But while it gets the same cosmetic changes, there’s little else to report under the bonnet. And with CO2 emissions of 181g/km, it’s going to look ever more of a niche choice.
The Evoque’s trim choices move into line with those of the other Range Rovers, so entry-level Pure is joined by SE, HSE, HSE Dynamic and full-house Autobiography. An extensive range of personalisation options is available - although you may have to look to the middle of the range before the full gamut of configurability is at your disposal.