From £31,1307
Entry-level petrol power doesn’t show the otherwise excellent new Evoque in its best light

Our Verdict

Land Rover Range Rover Evique 2019 first drive review - hero front

Gaydon’s baby Range Rover has matured fast for its second model generation. Remarkably refined, genuinely luxurious – although mid-range petrol power might not suit it best

Land Rover Range Rover Evoque P200 2019 UK

What is it?

The second-generation Range Rover Evoque has quickly established itself as a class leader, recently toppling the previously unflappable Volvo XC40. That’s no mean feat given how far the XC40 raised the benchmark in what previously had been a fairly underwhelming sector dynamically.

The Evoque’s coronation was with diesel power; now we try the stylish compact SUV with a petrol engine for the first time on home soil. Specifically, an engine Land Rover badges P200.

All the petrol engines in the Evoque are same base 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit, from the firm’s Wolverhampton-produced Ingenium family. The P200 gets 197bhp, the P250 produces 246bhp and the P300 tops the range with 296bhp.

For now, all petrol Evoques are all-wheel drive with a nine-speed automatic gearbox and 48V mild-hybrid system. This stores what electrical energy can be harvested under braking using the engine’s belt-driven starter-generator motor, to be redeployed back into the crankshaft later under acceleration.

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What's it like?

This Evoque is the right car with the wrong engine. There’s so much to like about this excellent car: its comfortable dynamics, striking looks and tech-rich cabin just the tip of the iceberg. Yet the P200 engine propelling this particular version isn’t at the level of the rest of the Evoque’s package.

The P200 lacks any real performance punch, isn’t very economical and has a pretty poor range to boot. While it is impressively smooth, quiet and refined, it feels sapped of any kind of urgency or quick response in trying to propel what is a heavy car with a kerb weight of more than 200kg over an equivalent XC40 T4.

So this is a very much a car for taking it easy in. And it’s easy to do that, for the rest of the Evoque’s road manners are superb. It has a comfortable ride and nicely weighted steering, as well as confident, predictable handling and decent grip. But it’s also hard to relax when you look down at the trip computer and see the economy and fuel gauge.

The range is little over 300 miles with a brim of the tank from empty; most city cars will do more than that. And you’ll also find mpg struggling to get into the 30s in real-world driving conditions; it’s just not an economical car, with range anxiety of a different kind. And it’s not like there’s loads of accessible performance as a trade-off.

Yet it’s nothing new in the class, either. We could say exactly the same of the XC40. A long-term test car we ran in T4 spec, with a 188bhp 2.0-litre turbo four of its own, also struggled to get its mpg out of the 20s, and had a similar range, too.

There’s a fairly obvious way around this: buy a diesel version instead.

Should I buy one?

Petrol power had seemed on its way out of cars the size of the Evoque and larger, but the diesel backlash has seen that trend reverse. And when you drive one, it’s easy to see why the trend emerged in the first place. Diesel is just better suited to cars of this type.

So is true of the Evoque, too. The D180 diesel that scooped the class honours recently is such a brilliant all-rounder, opting for any other version in the range is willingly choosing something that is second best. The P200 is merely a good car instead of a great one. So buy that diesel: there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t.

Range Rover Evoque P200 SE specification

Where Norfolk, UK Price £42,600 On sale Now Engine 4 cyls in line, 1997cc, turbocharged, petrol Power 197bhp at 5500rpm Torque 236lb ft at 1300-4500rpm Gearbox 9-spd automatic Kerb weight 1845kg Top speed 134mph 0-62mph 8.5sec Fuel economy 28.6-30.7mpg CO2 WLTP figures tbc Rivals Volvo XC40 T4, Audi Q3 40 TFSI

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Comments
31

14 May 2019
It's a small family car. A city car. Well engineered petrol engines are ideal for well engineered small cars. Until electric cars are affordable, at least.

Diesel is only ideal in large heavy duty trucks, utes and off roaders, where the low end grunt is sufficiently useful that all the other compromises may be overlooked. Outside of commercial transport, diesel should be a niche fuel.

14 May 2019
jason_recliner wrote:

It's a small family car. A city car. Well engineered petrol engines are ideal for well engineered small cars. Until electric cars are affordable, at least. Diesel is only ideal in large heavy duty trucks, utes and off roaders, where the low end grunt is sufficiently useful that all the other compromises may be overlooked. Outside of commercial transport, diesel should be a niche fuel.

If you only need a small car and drive mostly in the city, then I agree.

If you drive a large car or on main roads, hills etc.,then a diesel is much better. You have low down torque, which makes driving effortless and also gives better fuel economy.

I rented a big SUV in the USA with a 3.5 litre V6 and the mid-range acceleration was pitiful. The fuel economy was too, compared with say a BMW X5.

Horses for courses!

A34

14 May 2019
jason_recliner wrote:

It's a small family car. A city car. ....

Neither small (>4.2m) nor city (4WD?). For City use get an i3, VW Up or Leaf. These are for the landed gentry. Or BMW 3 series company car drivers looking for a change of scene...

14 May 2019
A34 wrote:

jason_recliner wrote:

It's a small family car. A city car. ....

Neither small (>4.2m) nor city (4WD?). For City use get an i3, VW Up or Leaf. These are for the landed gentry. Or BMW 3 series company car drivers looking for a change of scene...

 

According to JLR, something like 75% of Evoque buyers are urban dwellers. But they insist on buying them.

 

14 May 2019

Oh, so diesels aren't such a bad idea after all then?

I wonder why JLR invested so heavily in them.

14 May 2019

In this second generation there is little attempt to disguise the height of the car. As a result the body looks too tall and the glasshouse too compressed. The black strip below the door bottom that breaks up the vertical stops at an awkward point (ie. nowhere in particular) as it turns the corner.

This is a lifestyle coupe-SUV that has lost its looks due to unresolved detailing. Both its profile and rear end look too tall. The Volvo XC40 is a much more convincing coherent design. 

14 May 2019

I have and it looks fabulous - far ahead of the previous generation and the XC40.

jer

14 May 2019

Matter for some sections the market. if you are rich enough and shuffle around town. Its quiet refined you probably have no idea what the range or economy is.

14 May 2019

Yet when Autocar ran an XC40, the driver ran a T4, D3 and had use of a T3. The smallest T3 engine - rubbished by road testers - was actually the preferred engine. 

Part of the problem with the economy is the insistence on making the engine available in 4x4 automatic format. No issue with the auto bit but why on earth fit a petrol car with compulsory 4x4?.

It's worth doing your sums if looking at these cars - make sure that you compare the PCP monthly with the monthly fuel bills. On an XC40 T4 FWD Automatic the petrol works out cheaper to run on a monthly cost than the equivalent D3. Something the reviewer didn't bother to check here....

14 May 2019
SamVimes1972 wrote:

... 

Part of the problem with the economy is the insistence on making the engine available in 4x4 automatic format. No issue with the auto bit but why on earth fit a petrol car with compulsory 4x4 ...

Article does say: "For now, all petrol Evoques are all-wheel drive with a nine-speed automatic gearbox and 48V mild-hybrid system. ".  I read that as more versions will be along later. The XC40 was limited  at iniital launch and the promised Hybrid version still hasn't arrived after nearly a year

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