• 2014 Evoque boasts 9-speed automatic, 30 mpg
  • Now one of the most fuel-efficient compact luxury SUVs
  • Evoque also adds adaptive cruise control, parallel park assist

The Range Rover Evoque is gaining fuel efficiency for the 2014 model year. Thanks to a new transmission, the Evoque will now return 21 miles per gallon in the city and 30 mpg on the highway -- up from last year's 20 mpg city/28 mpg hwy.

The fuel economy news is important for the Evoque, as the SUV's gas mileage is now just ahead of several key rivals. It surpassed the BMW X3, rated at 21 mpg city/28 mpg hwy, and the Acura RDX, which returns 20 mpg city/28 mpg hwy. But the Evoque's new fuel economy numbers stop just short of beating out the diesel-powered Mercedes GLK250, which returns 24 mpg city/33 mpg hwy.

Still, the Evoque's gas mileage numbers are excellent -- especially considering its off-road capabilities. The increased fuel economy is made possible by a new 9-speed automatic transmission, which replaces last year's 6-speed. Land Rover says a new Active Driveline function also helps with gas mileage by disconnecting the Evoque's rear axle at speeds above 22 miles per hour.

Beyond those new features, the Evoque's powertrain is unchanged for the 2014 model year. The SUV still uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, which makes 240 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque. It also still includes standard 4-wheel drive, largely because of the off-road heritage of the Land Rover brand. Most compact luxury SUVs offer standard 2-wheel drive, leaving 4-wheel drive for the options list.

Other changes to the Evoque for 2014 include revised wheel designs, updated interior trims and two new pieces of technology. One is adaptive cruise control, which adjusts the Evoque's speed to maintain a set following distance. The other, dubbed Intelligent Parking Assist, can steer the SUV in and out of a parallel parking spot.

Scheduled to reach dealers shortly, the 2014 Range Rover Evoque starts at $41,995 with shipping for a base-level Pure 4-door model, or $45,050 with shipping for a base-level Pure Plus 2-door Evoque Coupe.

What it means to you: We never thought we'd say this, but if you want a luxury SUV with excellent fuel economy, consider taking a trip to your local Land Rover dealer.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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