If you’re taller than 6ft 2in, you’ll be able to travel in the back seats comfortably enough. Slightly flat seat cushions and a highish cabin floor will leave your thighs dangling somewhat unsupported if you’re an adult in the back row, while the car’s body design makes visibility back there decidedly poorer than it is up front. But both leg room and head room will be passable for most passengers, and access is likewise easy if you’re securing child seats.
The Evoque’s driving position remains higher than that of your typical compact SUV, with more than a hint of the classic Range Rover ‘command’ vantage point about it; it’s also cleverly cocooning and sporty-feeling, though, thanks to your outstretched legs and the car’s high belt line. It feels special and distinguishing, just as it should in any Range Rover.
The cabin ambience is one of reductionist, high-tech luxury that makes the Evoque seem markedly more sophisticated than its predecessor, and allows the car to wear a £50,000 price tag surprisingly comfortably. Our HSE test car had leather panelling on its dashboard and doorcards that drew the eye very effectively, but substituted its standard-fit Windsor leather seats for those upholstered in Land Rover’s Kvadrat cloth. It is made partly from recycled wool and suedecloth, and is both tactile and appealing to look at.
Flick the car’s starter button and so many of its ‘hidden until lit’ controls – from the steering wheel spokes to the heater controls, and its double-decker touchscreen centre stack design and digital instrument pack – suddenly come to life. It speaks of a mastery of technology that Land Rover just didn’t possess a decade or so ago. Owners familiar with Gaydon’s track record with the reliability of ritzy features like these, and the robustness of the software controlling them, might question whether such electronic ambition is wise, of course. But high technology is just what the luxury buyer expects in 2021; the Evoque delivers plenty of it, with lots of style to boot.
Range Rover Evoque infotainment and sat-nav
The latest Evoques get the new Pivi infotainment set-up, introduced on the Defender, in place of the upper half of the pre-facelift car’s InControl Touch Duo system. Being an early-build demonstrator, our test car didn’t have it. Our only experience of the system so far has been with the Defender, where it seemed to show notable improvements for intuitive usability.