In 2011, when Range Rover launched the rather chic Evoque, purists thought it marked the end of the Land Rover philosophy. But, in reality, the wise men from Gaydon knew exactly what they were doing – they were actually diversifying their portfolio, rather than revamping their philosophy. The Evoque was targeted towards the younger generation, and it certainly made its mark.
Like it or not, the Evoque is dressed to impress and the contemporary design makes it stand out from the crowd. Not only is it pretty, but it looks quite tough at the same time. The latest redesign ensures that it continues to look fresh and turn heads on the road.
On the inside, the cabin is clean and contemporary. Quality levels are good, and it has soft touch materials everywhere and nice brushed aluminium inserts in places too – as one would expect from a Range Rover. The real problem with the Evoque, though, is the lack of rear seat space. Its coupe-like silhouette greatly sacrifices on rear headroom, and legroom isn’t great either.
What’s truly new in the 2017 Evoque is its 2-litre diesel engine, which is the all-aluminium Ingenium unit that also powers the Jaguar XF and F-Pace. This refined motor keeps the clatter level to a minimum. And, unlike the older 2.2-litre powerplant, this 1,999cc unit, which makes 177bhp and is mated to a 9-speed transmission, packs a reasonable punch at the lower end of the powerband. Now this makes the Evoque ideal to drive in the city, as it offers plenty of zeal, but it seems to fizzle out at the top end.
The real party trick of the Evoque, though, is its prowess off-road. Show it some dirt, and it proves to you very quickly indeed that it’s a Land Rover vehicle through-and-through. And that’s a good thing, because it demonstrates that no matter how stylish vehicles from Range Rover get, their DNA will always remain intact.