New Car Review
2014 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque: New Car Review
The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque breaks with traditional Land Rover styling, shunning the big, boxy look of its siblings in favor of a sleek, raked back appearance. Despite its stylish exterior, the Evoque is every bit a Land Rover, with standard all-wheel drive and a rugged LR2-based chassis and suspension to take it far off-road.
The Evoque has several characteristics setting it apart from the competition. Perhaps the most notable is its interior, which features excellent build quality, fine materials and pleasing aesthetics. Even in the base model, the Evoque's interior is stunning, with soft-touch materials, brushed aluminum trim and an automatic gear selector that rises out of the center console.
Available as a 3-door "coupe" or 5-door SUV, the Range Rover Evoque is intended to lure in younger buyers whose budgets can't quite accommodate a price Range Rover Sport or LR4. And with a starting price just over $42,000, it may very well be the best-looking bargain in the Land Rover fleet.
What's New for 2014?
Major changes for the 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque include a new, 9-speed automatic transmission, an improved all-wheel-drive system with active differentials (the system slips into 2-wheel drive mode to help save fuel and returns to 4-wheel drive when needed) and the addition of Park Exit, which automatically exits parallel parking spots.
What We Like
Distinctive styling; responsive handling; powerful; fuel efficient
What We Don't
Significant road noise; small interior space; high base price compared to Audi or BMW models
Range Rovers of the past have all been V8-powered, so the Evoque marks a new direction for the brand. Under the hood of the Evoque is a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine borrowed from Ford. The peppy 2.0-liter produces 240 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque, and is mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission. The Evoque will make a 0-to-60-mph run in an impressive 7.1 seconds. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates its fuel economy at 21 miles per gallon city/30 mpg hwy.
Standard Features & Options
The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque comes in two body styles and five trims. The 5-door is offered in Pure, Pure Plus, Pure Premium, Prestige and Dynamic, while the coupe is offered only in Pure Plus, Pure Premium and Dynamic.
The Evoque Pure ($41,995) features a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, Terrain Response driver selectable all-wheel drive, rain-sensing wipers, power folding side mirrors, 19-inch wheels, suede and leather seating, automatic climate control, a power rear lift gate, front and rear parking sensors, rear backup camera, 380-watt sound system with 8-in touchscreen audio, Bluetooth and USB/iPod interface.
The Evoque Pure Plus ($44,995, 5-door; $45,040, coupe) adds a full-length glass panel roof, power driver's and passenger seats, full leather seating, front fog lights and headlamp power washers.
The Evoque Pure Premium ($49,959, 5-door; $50,595, coupe) adds HDD navigation with off-road mapping, passive keyless entry with push-button start, a surround camera system, roof rails, 825-watt audio upgrade with subwoofer and 16 speakers, automatic HID headlights and automatic high beams.
The Evoque Prestige ($56,295) brings unique exterior trim and wheels and a full Oxford leather interior including leather dash cap.
The Evoque Dynamic ($57,195, 5-door; $58,195, coupe) offers the same features as the Prestige but with more exterior and interior trim and color choices and 20-in wheels.
Option packages for the Range Rover Evoque include the Climate Comfort Package (heated windshield, heated front seats and steering wheel and heated windshield washer jets) and the Vision Assist Package. Other available features include Park Assist and Exit, Adaptive Cruise Control and Closing Vehicle Sensing (bringing the car to a complete stop in a collision), rear-seat entertainment package and Adaptive Dynamic suspension.
The Evoque is loaded with many advanced safety technologies, including ABS, traction control, electronic brake force distribution, emergency brake lights and emergency brake assist, corner brake control, dynamic-stability control, roll-stability control, trailer-stability assist, hill-start assist, hill-descent control, gradient-release control and engine-drag torque control.
Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash-tested the 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque.
Behind the Wheel
Drivers familiar with the driving characteristics of other Land Rovers will find the Evoque atypical. It's noticeably stiffer over bumps and through the corners than one might expect. But the suspension and chassis aren't overly rigid, just taut enough to allow the Evoque to handle with firm precision.
The power produced by the turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is impressive. Even with light application of the accelerator pedal, the Evoque eagerly rockets forward in a relentless show of horsepower and torque. Typically, we love peppy, energetic vehicles, but in the Evoque it almost feels like overkill. It's not the performance that bothers us but that whenever the turbocharger kicks in we know fuel economy suffers. Very tender throttle input is needed to keep the Evoque from coming up short of its EPA fuel economy ratings.
The interior of the 2014 Range Rover Evoque is a visual masterpiece and extremely comfortable. Surprisingly, though, the cabin suffers from more road noise than we'd expect in a luxury-oriented vehicle, especially on the highway. In most small SUVs, this may be acceptable. But at the $42,000 mark, we would hope for more sound insulation. Additionally, at idle, the 4-cylinder makes a slight vibration that finds its way into the cabin through the seats. The vibration makes it feel like the Evoque is fitted with a less refined diesel instead of a modern gasoline engine.
Other Cars to Consider
Volvo XC60 -- Starting at $35,000, the XC60 has the same 3.2-liter inline 6-cylinder that Land Rover used in the Evoque's cousin, the LR2. With striking body lines, the same horsepower rating and a 6-speed automatic gearbox, the XC60 is a strong competitor for the Evoque.
BMW X5 -- The X5 is fitted with a 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine and an 8-speed automatic transmission. The interior of the X5 might not be as stunning as the Evoque's, but it is slightly larger and more livable.
Audi Q5 -- The base Q5's turbocharged 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder engine makes only 211 hp. An available supercharged V6 packs 272 hp, but fuel economy suffers. Like the X5, the Q5 has a standard 8-speed automatic transmission. Audi's world-renowned Quattro all-wheel-drive system is also standard.
While we like the low price, the Evoque Pure lacks a couple of features that luxury buyers want: navigation and a panoramic sunroof. We recommend stepping up to the Evoque Pure Premium. This model still feels sumptuous and includes the latest technology, but it is priced several thousand dollars less than its upper-trim counterparts. We prefer the practicality of the 5-door, but if the sleeker Coupe fits your lifestyle, its Pure Premium version is available.