First Drive

First Drive: Range Rover Evoque

Range Rover Evoque D165 AWD Core
The story: The Range Rover Evoque is more efficient than ever, as well as more capable on and off road.
Category:Small SUV
Key rival:BMW X1 xDrive20d SE
On sale:Now

The Range Rover Evoque has always provided as much style as a yearly subscription to Vogue, and now the entry-level model has a bit more power with no drop-off in efficiency.

First Drive - June 2021 - Ranger Rover Evoque - Image 3Under the bonnet lies a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel, which has been boosted to either 165hp or 204hp and drives either the front wheels, or all four.

In the four-wheel-drive version tested here, power is transferred through an extremely smooth nine-speed automatic gearbox that does a good job of predicting which gear you might want at any moment.

That 2.0-litre diesel engine is smooth and surprisingly strong, and better still it does a great job of keeping its opinions to itself. It emits 168g/km of CO2 and manages an average economy figure of 44.1mpg, which isn’t bad. The CO2 figure does though put the Evoque in the maximum 37% band for company car taxation, so monthly bills will sting a bit.

First Drive - June 2021 - Ranger Rover Evoque - Image 6The rest of the driving experience is very good indeed. The Evoque steers very accurately, and the ride quality at speed is beyond reproach. The body control is superb, too. If there’s a downside, it’s that the ride in town can feel a tiny bit firm, but this is a price well worth paying for the security at speed.

As a place to sit, the interior of the Evoque is pretty agreeable. There’s plenty of space for the two front-seat occupants, and ahead of them the dashboard looks and feels nicely made. Everything is comparatively easy to find, and all the switches, dials and levers operate with a slick feel. The Pivi infotainment system is comprehensive, too, and features DAB radio as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, although it isn’t the most intuitive to use one the move.

There’s also space for a couple of six-footers behind (just), although three adults will need to be on familiar terms. Also, the rear door opening is rather small, and twisting your feet to get back out is an exercise in flexibility.

Boot space is fair, although rivals such as the BMW X1 offer more. Still, you’ll get a few carry-on cases in there, or a week’s shopping or set of clubs.

euan doig

Second-generation Range Rover Evoque revealed



The verdict

The 165hp Evoque is great to drive and to live with. It’s just a shame the BiK is a bit high.