2014 Range Rover Evoque New Car Test Drive
Land Rover's Range Rover Evoque delivers luxury, utility and reasonable fuel economy in a stylish, compact package. Evoque brings Land Rover off-road capability to a subcompact SUV. Its wide cabin means plenty of space for those in front with space in the rear for two more. Its turbocharged engine delivers a good balance between responsiveness and fuel economy, enhanced by a new 9-speed automatic.
Evoque plays in the same league as the BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class and the impending Audi Q3. These subcompact sport-utility vehicles are smaller than compact SUVs such as the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class, Audi Q5, Infiniti EX35, Acura RDX, Volvo XC60 and Lexus NX.
Evoque is wider than most of the compact and subcompact SUVs, however, resulting in a broad cabin and appearance: Evoque's width and low roofline contributes to its athletic look and aggressive stance.
Though quite small, Evoque delivers cargo versatility with a hatchback design. Fold the rear seatbacks forward and cargo capacity expands to a useful 51 cubic feet, giving the Range Rover Evoque 6-percent more cargo room than a BMW X1. Their small size makes the subcompact SUVs easy to park.
Interior appointments in the little Range Rover are luxurious, comparable to those from Mercedes, Lexus, BMW, and Audi, though more stylish. Evoque's interior manages room for four passengers. All the compact and subcompact SUVs have seatbelts for five passengers, but none of them provide anything approaching comfort for a center rear seat occupant and the Evoque is no exception.
The Range Rover Evoque comes in two body styles, a five-door and a three-door coupe. The original show car was the coupe, a body style not offered by any competitor. The four-door is more practical and less expensive and for those reasons vastly more popular, though both are essentially the same size. The paint palette includes hues and two-tone schemes of sufficient variety to make Mini Cooper owners jealous.
Evoque employs a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine allied with a 9-speed automatic transmission. The engine is rated for 240 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. We found it works very well, with performance similar to a Range Rover V6. The 9-speed automatic, which includes paddle shifters for manual operation, kicks down quickly for passing, and it delivers respectable acceleration performance. Expect 0 to 60 mph in the low-7-second range.
Evoque's small size, low mass and small, sophisticated powerplant add up to a decent power-to-weight ratio and respectable EPA fuel-economy ratings: 21/30 mpg City/Highway, up slightly from last year.
Evoque stands out in its class for its off-road capability. With a sophisticated Terrain Response system, all-wheel drive, good ground clearance, and a short wheelbase, the Evoque can tackle tough off-road terrain. Most of the others in this class have no off-road pretensions whatsoever, though they can handle primitive roads. Evoque's off-road capability follows Land Rover's tradition of go-anywhere proficiency and broad capability, an area of performance its competitors lack.
Evoque was launched as a 2012 model. For 2013, a new base model called Pure was added. 2014 Range Rover Evoque models offer a new Park Exit feature to get you out of parallel parking spots, adaptive cruise control with forward warning and collision mitigation braking, a 9-speed automatic, and an active driveline that does not use all-wheel drive at speeds above 22 mph unless needed.
The 2014 Range Rover Evoque lineup offers a choice of trim levels. The Evoque five-door comes in Pure, Pure Plus, Pure Premium, Dynamic, and Prestige trim levels. The Evoque coupe is offered in Pure Plus, Pure Premium, and Dynamic trim.
The Evoque Pure five-door ($41,100) comes standard with leather and synthetic suede upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, power windows, power locks, power mirrors, remote keyless entry, rearview camera, configurable ambient lighting, Bluetooth cell phone link and streaming audio, 11-speaker Meridian AM/FM/CD audio system, two USB ports, and 19-inch alloy wheels.
The Evoque Pure Plus five-door ($44,100) and Pure Plus coupe ($45,100) upgrade to leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof, front LED fog lights, high-pressure headlight power washers, universal garage door opener, power adjustable lumbar support, memory for the driver's seat and exterior mirrors, and a rear center armrest with cupholders.
The Evoque Pure Premium five-door ($48,635) and Pure Premium coupe ($49,700) get adaptive xenon headlamps with LED signature lighting, automatic headlamp leveling and automatic high beam assist, Surround Camera System, 825-watt Meridian Surround Sound System with 17 speakers, navigation system with off-road maps, hard-drive audio file storage and playback, keyless access and starting, and cargo area luggage rails.
The Evoque Dynamic five-door ($56,300) and Dynamic coupe ($57,300) come with unique 19-inch alloy wheels, sport exhaust pipe, rear skid plate, pedal finisher kit, Ebony Oxford leather-wrapped steering wheel with perforated palm grips, leather seats with perforated leather inserts, contrasting twin needle stitching on seats and dash, and unique textured aluminum interior trim.
The Evoque Prestige five-door ($54,400) features 8-way power driver and 6-way power passenger seats, aluminum metal interior trim, premium carpet mats with leather binding, and Oxford leather with twin needle stitching on seats, fascia panel, door tops and center console lid. (All New Car Test Drive prices are Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices, which do not include destination charge and may change at any time without notice.)
Options include the Vision Assist Package ($2,100) with Blind Spot Monitoring, Surround Camera System, and adaptive xenon headlamps with LED signature lighting, automatic headlamp leveling and automatic high beam assist. A Climate Comfort Package ($1,300) adds heated windshield with heated windshield washer jets, heated steering wheel, and heated seats. Other options include satellite and HD radio ($750), rear DVD entertainment ($2,500), ebony headliner ($275), paint finishes, roof treatments and wheels.
Safety equipment standard on all Evoque models includes dual front airbags, front side airbags, curtain side airbags, tire-pressure monitor, anti-lock brakes, traction control, electronic stability control with Trailer Stability Assist and Roll Stability Control, Hill Start Assist, Hill Descent Control, Gradient Release Control, and front and rear park assist, and all-wheel drive.