While it lacks the interior space of some competing luxury SUVs, the 2015 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque offers strong off-road capability, sharp exterior styling and a high-quality interior.
The 2015 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque manages to squeeze most of the luxury of the iconic Range Rover into a more fuel and space conscious formula that still manages to be desirable. The Range Rover Evoque appeals to those looking for more prestige than the average compact luxury crossover offers, as well as better-than-average off-road ability. All for a price, of course.
After four years on the market, the Range Rover Evoque hasn’t seemed to age much. Depending on where you live, it’s not exactly an uncommon sight. But the Evoque’s Range Rover-like cues, mated to a smaller and more aggressive package, still turn heads.
What’s becoming more apparent as years go by, however, is how many rival crossovers are aping the Range Rover Evoque’s styling, which in turn is making the Evoque look more premium as time moves on. Perhaps Land Rover really did create a timeless design after all with the Evoque.
The Range Rover Evoque still has an interior that feels special. Controls fall readily to hand, and the physical buttons at least are easy to use. The materials are plush, with stitching all over the dash and high-quality leather, especially on the top Prestige trim. Some lower plastics, however, are decidedly cheap.
Front-seat passengers may be well-cared for, but the rear seat is tight for adults’ legs and the cargo area is stingy as far as even compact crossovers go. These are all concessions to the Evoque’s styling, as is the seriously compromised rear visibility. At least large side mirrors help you see out.
In 2014, the Evoque was given a nine-speed automatic and an engine stop-start system to go with its 240-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Fuel economy is a respectable 21/30 mpg city/highway, given that the Evoque has standard four-wheel drive. Power delivery is somewhat uneven around town, a combination of the transmission trying to figure out what gear to be in and occasional turbo lag.
Out on the open road, however, the Evoque has generous passing power and a surprisingly planted feel for an SUV – even without the Dynamic model’s 20-inch wheels.
It feels far more like a hot hatch to drive than a compact crossover. There’s little body roll and the car is very well-controlled on twisty roads. Yet even when the road disappears, the Terrain Response system does a pretty good job of keeping the road-oriented Evoque going.
Even in top Prestige trim, adaptive cruise control and forward collision alert is an option. But blind spot monitoring with rear cross-path detection and a power tailgate are standard on this top trim, as is a relatively slick park assist feature for both parallel and perpendicular parking situations. An impressive 17-speaker Meridian audio system with both Dolby Pro Logic and DTS surround sound is also here.
Jaguar Land Rover has consistently been behind the game on their infotainment systems, something that should be rectified with a new infotainment system coming for 2016.
What that system needs to fix is the slow load time for some functions, such as navigation. And it’s unlikely to remedy the fact that the 8-inch touch screen washes out in sunlight pretty badly, even with the shade drawn on the enormous glass roof. At least the voice recognition functions don’t provoke you into a shouting match.
Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have tested the 2015 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque.
The Range Rover Evoque comes standard with seven air bags including one for the driver’s knee, as well as a rearview camera and rear parking sensors. The Prestige trim gets blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic detection and automatic high beams. Adaptive cruise control and a forward collision warning system are optional.
Here’s where the Evoque falls down. Base models start off at more than $41,000. But add that lovely glass roof, navigation, heated and cooled front seats and satellite radio, and you’re at $50,000.
A $58,000 Prestige model has pretty much every important extra, but even the Scotia Gray paint on this test car is $950 extra. Fully optioned models push past $60,000. That’s a lot of money for a vehicle that’s short on utility. In fact, the far more spacious 2015 Audi Q5 and BMW X3 are several thousands of dollars less when similarly equipped.
But the Evoque hangs onto resale value well, thanks in part to consistently high demand and the cachet of the Range Rover badge.
The 2015 Range Rover Evoque does ‘Sport’ well, it’s the ‘Utility’ that’s a problem. There are more well-rounded choices among luxury crossovers, ones that do a better job of balancing good looks and a quality interior with passenger and cargo room.
You buy a Range Rover Evoque to stand out and feel special, and that it does very well. If Land Rover’s goal was to condense the Range Rover’s class and prestige into more maneuverable and rather fun-to-drive package, then it continues to succeed with the Evoque.