What the papers say : Range Rover Evoque

Keith Adams

Range Rover Evoque has gone down a storm with the road testers
Range Rover Evoque has gone down a storm with the road testers

The Range Rover Evoque has gone down a storm if the first tranche of drives at the International launch are anything to go by. It’s a genre-busting car, which Land Rover is hoping, will encourage style conscious user-choosers out of their Audi TTs and into something a whole lot more practical. We’ve yet to drive the car, but if the tweets and reviews from the journos driving the car are anything to go by, Land Rover has a substantial hit on its hands.

Here’s the best of the reviews so far.

The Evoque feels not unlike Land Rover’s Freelander in a way. Not in the way it drives, looks or feels, you understand, but in the impression it leaves on you. A few of our testers came away feeling merely satisfied with the Evoque — neither disappointed nor blown away. Yet the same was true with the Freelander, and its true appeal and enduring qualities only really told later; it was a four-star car when we tested it, and its rating hasn’t diminished at all with time.

Similar longevity will be the making of the Evoque. Several of our testers fell for it completely; its showroom and visual appeal is second to none and its dynamics are able enough to make it the premium compact SUV of choice. But, especially at this price, the Evoque will have to prove it is more than a firework car (whiz, bang, fizzle) to become a stand-out car in its class for years. Our bet is that it will.

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I’m sold, and if the price is right, so is the car
And that’s where it comes a little unstuck. A bottom-rung front-wheel drive Evoque Pure will set you back £27,955 and comes with leather, but takes a slothful 11.2sec to reach 62mph. A more powerful four-wheel drive Dynamic or Prestige on the other hand, costs £40k. Add parking sensors, a decent hi-fi, the clever dampers and glass sunroof and you’re edging towards £45k – silly money for what is essentially a small diesel hatchback. Okay, so it doesn’t have the badge, but is a Scirocco R really worth £10k less?

The Evoque looks sensational and is genuinely good fun to drive. It’s too expensive, but we can’t imagine that getting in the way of sales success.

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Our 237bhp 2.0-litre turbo petrol model was fast as well, with strong in-gear punch and a 0-60mph time of just over seven seconds – enough pace to worry a Golf GTI. It proved quiet on the motorway, running at only 2,000rpm at 70mph. The six-speed auto box can hunt a little as it tries to select the right gear – the added torque of the 2.2-litre diesel should be better – but it’s smooth and you can always take over with the steering wheel-mounted paddles. Just don’t expect much more than 25mpg in regular driving – most buyers will be better off with a diesel. The entry-level front-driven 148bhp 2.2-litre oil-burner returns more than 50mpg and emits only 130g/km of CO2. If you want more power, there’s also a 187bhp version.

Niggles? Well, we don’t have many. But with prices kicking off at £27,995, it’s not cheap. Adding the Lux pack and other goodies to our flagship took its price to £45,000. We expect most buyers to spend at least £35,000 on their Evoque. However, this is the coolest, most desirable car of 2011. And every inch a proper Range Rover.

What Car?
Should I buy one? Yes. If you want the best-looking, trendiest Evoque, the three-door Coupe is definitely the one to go for. The 2.2-litre diesel engine is the optimum choice for most drivers and available in a wider variety of specs than the petrol. However, with practicality in mind, the five-door is likely to be a much better bet even if you use the rear seats only occasionally. You’ll also save some cash in the process. Either way, this version proves that it’s hard to go too wrong if you buy any Evoque.



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What Car?

Keith Adams


  1. Dunno. I kinda prefer the Pure Evoke. Cheaper and gives better DAB reception into the bargain.

  2. @ Sixtyten – July 26, 2011……very witty! I have a ONE classic myself – fantastic little thing. As for the car – I followed a 3-dr on the M6 the other day – looks really good – and surprisingly compact when compared with Ford ‘look my sperm works’ C-max/S-max boredom buses and the like.

  3. Wether you like this sort of car and the image that goes with it or not, you have to agree that it is the right car at the right time. JLR are already struggling to meet demand and thats before potential buyers have even had a chance to drive it! A seminal design. In 30 years time I reckon we will look back on the Evoque in the same way we look back on the original Range Rover, the Triumph Stag, the original XJ6 and the Mini.

  4. I saw one last year on Test on my way to Milton Keynes, with its funky wrap on, i think it looks good, has a good stance and should sell a bucket load i would not mind one AWD of course but a five door …. practicality ahead of design!

  5. Nice car, but the one worth having is nearly £40k! And for f**k sake, diesel isn’t be all and end all, some of us do like petrol still!!

  6. I am a huge fan of this vehicle even before I have seen it in the metal for myself and know it is going to sell and sell.

    The choice of engines is appealing although good manners prevents me from having to resort to using beastly language to give a thumbs up to the turbocharged petrol engine.

  7. I don’t like this car one jot but I hope it sells well.

    There would have been a team of people that dreamt up the price and genuinely believe that that it the price that it can demand. As you may guess, I’m not in marketing !!

  8. Yes Kev Davis, if the internet had existed in 1969 or 1970 when the XJ6 or Range Rover had been launched, I’m sure we wouldnt have been subjected to those sort completely unnecesary foul mouthed obscenities.

  9. Its a great looking car, but its interesting reading the note at the top comparing it with the freelander and “neither disappointed nor blown away”. I would have to say that the freelander doesnt blown one away, but it IS clearly a better place to be than many of the lower cost competition like RAV and the CRV. I dont know about the german competition though so cant compare, but the Evoque is clearly one of the better looking of the lot, and I think it will sell well, and if drives as good as the range rover sport then it will be a hit…..and lets hope like hell that its reliable as well 🙂 having noted the priceing on the evoque it also looks reasonably priced…in fact the whole LR range is reasonably priced compared the ot top of the line Jag 🙂 alex

  10. Hopefully, not being built at Solihull will mean the car is at least of a decent quality.

  11. Re. Kev Davis – blimey, it’s only a word. He’s not attacked his Granny or anything.

    Evoque – not really something I’d buy but it does look right. If the latest abominations to wear the MINI badge can sell at their crazy prices, then the Evoque should be commonplace very soon indeed.

  12. Apparently they opened an old rail tunnel under the Mersey and allowed LR to bring prospective buyers to drive Evoques along the rutted path, including flooded areas and a large earthmound at the end (originally used to block access).

  13. It will soon be all over the place. Might reduce sales of some of the BMW 4WDs. Continues Land Rover’s march up market. Very high price premium over the Freelander – surely it can’t cost that much more to build it?

  14. Have seen several out testing over the tank training area at Bovington over the past few months, and they do look the business. As for the prices, well, if they have a waiting list, obviously they’ve got it right, but needless to say, I won’t be one of those on the waiting list unless those 6 numbers come up. I do wish JLR every success with it though.

  15. The ability of this nation is to haul its sorry arse out of the recession will be partly thanks to products like this.

    I’m looking forward to seeing the Evoque become a very common sight on our roads.

  16. @Jonathan Carling -july 27 2011. What it costs to build is surely irrelevant, how much they can screw out of customers for UK PLC is very relevant. Every extra Pound profit for JLR is one less Euro for the Germans and pays for more employment, UK Tax and more new models. I like the Evoque, it is striking and JLR should be encouraged to push further on.

    No doubt someone will remind me that it’s an Indian company, that too is irrelevant. It is BRITISH built, BRITISH designed seen world-wide as BRITISH. TATA is GOOD for JLR and good for BRITAIN.

  17. The Evoque looks ultra modern and shows just how designs have changed since the Defender & original Range Rover launched. OK,I know how many decades have long passed since then. I wish it well and the signs are positive. Although I could afford one, it’s not the type of vehicle I need.

  18. Thats the closest car in years to actually look like a concept even after production. It looks cool, it looks fresh and it looks like a Land/Range Rover which has just about the strongest brand for it’s market than anything. Yes it’s expensive, but then so is a RR or Bentley, yes, it’s designed as much for the car park as the mud but then name me a car that isn’t trying to be more things to more people. What I love about Land/Range Rover, is that they are unashamedly their very own niche, their own brand, they pretty much created the whole off roader thing (yes Jeep, we know you snuck in there first, but the world prefers Land Rovers take at the end of the day!) and they are sticking with their trump card. The Evoque will take LR to whole new places in terms of sales whilst showcasing LR’s engineering prowess for an even wider market. Good on them I say.

  19. @jonathan carling nope probably doesn’t cost more to build, but then a BMW 5 series cost little more than a 3-series to build either, and much the same for a Mondeo over a KA, the basic additional cost is the Steel and associated stamping costs. It hasn’t stopped all these other manufacturers charging over the odds for years and its about time the Brits capitalised on that approach. If we’d have done it sooner we’d maybe have kept ownership of these great brands on these shores. Alas not, but the Evoque is one cool and surprisingly practical car

  20. The way to make a successful long term business, is to produce vehicles that are desirable and hence can be sold at a higher price, and can thus generate profit to reinvest in the business. If they can sell top Evoques at £40k, then that’s excellent news for long term success. I’d be far more worried if they were reduced to flogging them off for the same price as a Nissan Q’ashkai.

    Another example of this, is when Freelander 1 was launched, as it wasn’t given that it would be launched as a Land Rover, after all there’s plenty of car bits underneath, and it could (and should) have been built at Longbridge or Cowley. However, the Land Rover badge meant it could be sold at a higher price than the plain Rover or Austin alternatives because it’s a desirable ‘brand’, and the Range Rover ‘brand’ even more so!

  21. “Yes Kev Davis, if the internet had existed in 1969 or 1970 when the XJ6 or Range Rover had been launched, I’m sure we wouldnt have been subjected to those sort completely unnecesary foul mouthed obscenities.”

    I’ll say what I like, it’s a free forum.

    You may need a diesel, but I don’t and probably never will!

  22. Kev if this is as you say a free forum and we can say what we like you won’t mind if i call you a C**t will you?

  23. I would have considered an Evoque as my next company car. However I DO NOT want leather. Please JLR do non-leather options on your cars please. BMW and MB do across their ranges. Not everyone wants leather either for cost, ethical religious or comfort reasons.
    I have contacted JLR a number of times and they could not be less interested. To them RR = luxury and leather and LR = utilitarian and cloth or leather option.
    So JLR if are reading this please look into this.

  24. Merlin, i think at best you’re only going to get half leather. That helps with comfort and a little with cost but doesn’t really help with Ethical or Religious issues.
    Trouble is the majority of people relate leather seats with luxury. I’ve just had a look on MB’s website and for their 4×4’s and the S class there are choices of different Leathers but it’s all still Leather. With the Lower end cars Leather is optional depending on trim level, but if you choose a car with all the Toys Leather appears to come with them.

    Back to the Evoque in general though, i have to admit it looks a lot better in these photos, than the original pre-release shots. Personally i can’t see the point in soft-roaders in general, so i wouldn’t buy one. I would say it looks a lot better than the BMW Mini Countryman thing, but frankly what doesn’t?

  25. Dennis, BMW and MB can offer non-leather on laa their models even if it is not quoted in the brochure. Thsi is what they have told me over the telephone. They will have done their research and obviously feel that the Middle East and Indain markets are worthwhile as well as those who have ethgical and comfort issues.
    All JLR can offer is to have the dealer orgainse a third party to have the leather seats re-trimmed in cloth! Damage already done!!
    The real reason, I feel, is that JLR are a releativly small company and the seats are bought in and not manufactured by JLR and they have to make a cost decision. I just wish they would honest about the reasons.

  26. I think most manufacturers contract out the manufacture of components like Seats, although they often design them themselves.

    Of course any vehicle manufacturer can do bespoke builds to special order but they cost more. As the vehicle would have to be taken off the line and fitted out elsewhere. Trouble is unless a manufacturer has some kind of ‘special order’ process there is no way for the dealer to actually order a certain spec. I suspect the real reason is it would cost JLR more to do a special order and you’re unlikely to pay more or the same price for not having leather. What i mean is if you phoned them and said you wanted a Metallic Lime Green XF with Pink furry seats and you didn’t care how much you paid for it, then they would do it for you at a price. But if you asked for that but only wanted to pay the list price then the answer would be no.

  27. JLR no longer so special orders like they used to. I do not want a special order just more than one choice as a factory option.
    I do not want leather for ethical reasons.
    Having a non-leather is NOT the same as having pink furry seats.
    MB and BMW offer alternatives, Jaguar and Range Rover do not. Shame, sale lost.

  28. You can tell by the pricing policy that JLR is now being run as (whisper it softly….) a BUSINESS!!

    ie Designed To Make Money.

    Terribly unsporting but the Germans have been doing it for years. Try and buy a BMW at list price – it cannot be done. The profits get ploughed back into R&D to make the next generation even more appealing and a virtuous cycle is created.

    Good luck to them and someone please give Mr Tata an honorary knighthood.

  29. It’s gone a little quiet on the Evoque front – I wonder if it’s selling as well now as it did just after launch? Okay, I wouldn’t change the Freelander 2 for one, but I really hope they sell many hundreds of thousands of them over the coming few years!

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