Range Rover Evoque (2011 – 2019) Review

Range Rover Evoque (2011 – 2019) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
Combining irresistible design with gently resistible powertrains, the Range Rover Evoque was dismissed by some as not having the credentials to be a ‘true Range Rover’. But major sales success showed that any shortcomings were quickly forgotten by the lure of an ‘affordable’ Range Rover badge.

+Range Rover style, practicality, off-road ability and badging on a budget.

-Uncomfortable seats, woeful infotainment technology.

Insurance Groups are between 28–40
On average it achieves 73% of the official MPG figure

Given that the Range Rover Evoque started life as the next Land Rover Freelander, but suddenly found itself upgraded to Range Rover status en route to launch in order to justify its price, you’d be forgiven for approaching it with a degree of suspicion. But regardless of its backstory, it won over an army of buyers and is a worthy alternative to the Best Used SUVs around.

Lest we forget, the company first set about re-evaluating the brand with the irritatingly successful Range Rover Sport; a cocksure mongrel disguising Discovery underpinnings beneath slightly brash detailing and marketing-lie badging.

So, the Range Rover Evoque actually constitutes Round 2. Was this, then, a true Range Rover – a worthy rival to such upmarket down-sizer SUVs as the Audi Q3, the A-Class-based Mercedes GLA and the BMW X3, or merely the boastful bearer of what some might consider an increasingly devalued brand badge? 

That’s the question this Range Rover Evoque review will attempt to answer.

Much has been made of how closely the car resembles the stunning, 2008 LRX concept from which it was spawned. Land Rover furtively perpetuated this perception by refusing to allow concept and finished article to be photographed anywhere near each other.

430mm shorter than a proper Range Rover, with enormous door mirrors, the Evoque certainly is, viewed from any angle, a fabulous looking machine. Compared with unremittingly blobby rivals, it stands out exquisitely.

Happily, the ‘bling’ factor increasingly besetting Range Rovers of the era has been kept to a minimum here, and is largely restricted to the now familiar grille modelled on the blades of a chop-anything kitchen appliance, plus distinctive running lights.

Boasting a roofline 35mm lower than that of five-door versions, the three-door car is the most aesthetically pleasing model. With the classic, Range Rover floating roof sloping rearwards this acutely, you’d expect to find back seat accommodation somewhat compromised, and it’s something of a packaging miracle that this is, in fact, not the case.

The interior is tidy, nicely trimmed and a far more conservative effort that that hinted at by the Range Rover Evoque’s exterior couture.

The only jarring notes are provided by a multimedia touchscreen that falls short of Range Rover quality in terms of operational speed and tactility, and the little chips of clear plastic that numerate the driver’s instrument dials, allowing the back-lighting to turn a vulgar red when ‘sport’ mode is engaged. 

At launch, powerplant options were all welterweight four-cylinder affairs, restricted to a choice of 150PS and 190PS, 2.2-litre diesel units and a 240PS, 2.0-litre petrol engine.

The lesser diesel proves extremely lethargic, and, although the more powerful unit’s 8.5-second 0-62mph time suggests adequate enthusiasm, it’s mated to a sluggish gearbox.

All of which is a pity, because the Evoque rides and handles with considerable aplomb. The steering is light by Range Rover standards, but nicely accurate.

Thanks to trick, ‘MagnaRide’ adaptive suspension, body composure is little short of extraordinary for a car this tall, and the Evoque can be chucked about with surprising alacrity. Best of all, though, when cruising at motorway speeds, it does give you just enough of that majestic, Range Rover feeling of being insulated from mere mortals on the road.

With off-roading ability a given in any Land Rover, what really determined the badging of the Evoque as a Range Rover was the price. At launch this car could be yours for as little as £27,955.

But by the time you’d added enough toys to make it feel like a true Range Rover and armed it with a powerplant that stood even a fighting chance of pulling a Christmas cracker, there was no change from £40,000.

A 190PS 2.0 litre diesel and nine-speed transmission joined the fray in 2014, by which time Range Rover Evoque pricing was on something of a charge, and kitting out a car to more than £50,000 became commonplace.

With no V6 waiting in the wings, the question, then, was; would you fork out forty grand and more for a car with a four-cylinder engine?

Whatever your take on this, the Range Rover Evoque absolutely flew out of showrooms from the off. There was a deal of speculation when the nee-Land Rover first broke cover as to whether its concept car looks would stand the test of time. We should not have worried.

If you’re looking for a new version, check out our review of the latest Range Rover Evoque here.

Ask Honest John

My nearside wing mirror is broken - is this an MoT fail?

"My wife's 2012 RR Evoque is due an MoT and she has just clipped the passenger side (N/S) wing mirror which has cracked and broken the plastic outer bezel and cracked the mirror. The wing mirror is fully operational indicator and adjustment mirror etc. but the mirror is badly cracked while giving visibility Will this result in a MoT failure? I tried googling the issue and get conflicting answers."
The MoT inspection manual for exterior and interior mirrors states that an obligatory mirror being slightly damaged or loose is a minor fault, but that an obligatory mirror not providing an adequate view to the rear is a major fault, so it may be that it will depend on the judgement of the tester as to whether the view is satisfactory. It may be worth replacing the mirror glass in order to pass the test and repairing the rest of the mirror at a later date.
Answered by David Ross

Can I upgrade the headlamps in my Range Rover Evoque?

"I have a 2014 Range Rover Evoque Pure. The headlights are Halogen HB3 60w. Can you suggest or recommend a replacement bulb which should give me more light than my current candle. I tried 100w and they are worse than the 60w. Any advice you have will be gratefully accepted. PS. The current headlights are Projectors I have had Jags and Audi with Xenons - I have no idea why JLR fitted rubbish bulbs into my Evoque."
We'd recommend Osram Night Breakers or Phillips RacingVision bulb upgrades, both of which should be available for your Evoque. If you go for other brands it's vital to make sure they are made for road use and not 'off-road only' as some bulbs sold by well-known motor factors sometimes turn out to be unsuitable for road use.
Answered by David Ross

Refused bodywork warranty claim on Range Rover Evoque - what should I do?

"I have Range Rover Evoque which is 18 months old. A few months ago I noticed the front lower panel was peeling badly. I took it to my local dealer, where I purchased the car and was told it was wear and tear. I then sent pictures to Land Rover who said it was caused by stone chips! Is there anything that I can do? I am so disappointed with both Land Rover and the Evoque. I paid extra for the Black kit, which now looks awful."
If the peeling is caused by stone chip damage then you will not be able to claim against the warranty. However, if you feel the damage is related to a manufacturing fault, it might be worth getting a second opinion from an independent bodyshop specialist. They may be willing to give you a report that you can use to challenge the dealer's warranty rejection.
Answered by Dan Powell

Can I fit a full-sized spare wheel in the boot of my car if it didn't come with one standard?

"My wife's 2013 Range Rover Evoque does not have a spare wheel and I'm reluctant to trust the kit that came with the car. Can I put a full size wheel in the boot? What do I need to to do to make it fit?"
The Range Rover Evoque's boot cavity is not large enough to store a full size spare wheel. It will take a space saver, with a bit of work, but it simply isn't deep enough to hold a standard wheel.
Answered by Dan Powell
More Questions

What does a Range Rover Evoque (2011 – 2019) cost?