One benefit to a saturated SUV crossovers market is that the consumer can now shop for one that accurately meets their wants and needs. Of course, this is a “perfect world” scenario of optimal credit scores and non-price gouging dealerships. Nevertheless, anyone currently shopping for a subcompact or midsize SUV can face the same level of options as the bread aisle at the local supermarket. The Land Rover Evoque falls into this ever-increasing category. While it doesn’t stand out in any specific area, it offers a unique experience in how it presents itself and backs it up with a world-renowned reputation for luxury and off-road utility.
Recently, I had the chance to drive a Fuji White Land Rover Evoque R-Dynamic. The timing was on my side as the area I currently live in has undergone weeks of constant rainfall. As a result, the rural roads near my ranch are damp with water-soaked dirt, lush, overgrown greenery, and hordes of clearcoat staining bugs. An ideal environment to test an all-wheel drive five-passenger SUV built by a company synonymous with off-road adventures.
Premium Inside and Out
The Land Rover Evoque interior space is small but capable, like an engraved Derringer pistol or a bottle of five-hour energy. However, the piano black trim and touchscreen controls mean keeping a microfiber handy to wipe away prints and oil residue to preserve the mirror finish. Plus, the lack of analog controls results in a learning curve in becoming familiar with Land Rover’s center console. For example, it took me several minutes to find the defrost setting requiring me to cycle through screens. Not ideal for someone trying to navigate while driving.
The Pivi Pro infotainment system graphics on the screen look beautiful, but it can feel like trying to look at your phone with the brightness setting turned way down when the sun is out.
As previously mentioned, the Evoque classification is a five-passenger SUV hatchback. However, realistically, the Evoque is far more comfortable sitting for four passengers. In addition, cramped rear storage space does not cater to what marketers call an “active lifestyle.” The Land Rover Evoque may come equipped with multiple drive modes for varying terrains, but it looks and feels more comfortable as an urban city dweller.
Since its first production year in 2011, the Land Rover Evoque exterior design is an ongoing refinement. This current third generation debuted in 2020 as an all-new ground-up design. However, one needs to look closely at the details to appreciate the designer’s hard work in redesigning the Evoque.
Regardless of the SUV’s compact size and entry-level status in the lineup, it doesn’t prevent it from making an entrance at every parking lot it enters.
One of the more notable features is the gold-painted air intake fins on the front bumper. Regardless of the SUV’s compact size and entry-level status in the lineup, it doesn’t prevent it from making an entrance at every parking lot it enters. The Evoque’s sharp, clean design is a shining example of Land Rover’s reputation in America as a high-end, premium brand.
Land Rover Evoque Packs a Punch with a Four Banger
Land Rover offers two engine options for the Evoque lineup. The entry level power plant is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 246-hp dubbed the P250. The little four-banger uses a nine-speed transmission to send power to its standard all-wheel-drive system.
The second engine is limited to the top-tier Land Rover Evoque HST R-Dynamic. This engine is the same P250 2.0-liter turbocharged, but power output is increased to 296-hp with the aid of a 48-volt hybrid system and gains the name of P300. The difference in performance translates into zero to 60 times of 7.1 seconds for the P250 and 6.6 seconds for the P300.
Don’t expect the Evoque R-Dynamic to paint the asphalt with its Pirelli Scorpion Zero All Season tires when you put your foot down.
In a traditional hatchback sedan, these engine specs would certify it as a “hot hatch.” However, the Land Rover Evoque dances on the line between SUV and hatchback with a curb weight of around 4,000 pounds. So don’t expect the Evoque R-Dynamic to paint the asphalt with its Pirelli Scorpion Zero All Season tires when you put your foot down. But, once it passes 25 mph, the Evoque’s turbocharger and nine-speed transmission work together to propel the compact luxury CUV in a satisfying rush. A quiet interior cabin means you won’t hear much as you accelerate to highway speeds.
Keeping the Status Quo for 2023
For the 2023 model year, the Land Rover Evoque will remain pretty much the same. New key features include Amazon Alexa integration with voice assistant through the Evoque’s Pivi Pro infotainment system. Currently, the Land Rover Evoque starts at $46k and $48k for the R-Dynamic trim level. Those reaching for the top shelf can expect pricing to start at $57k for the Land Rover Evoque HST.
When surveying the landscape of crossover vehicle options, the Land Rover Evoque offers the luxury of want over need. Some buyers need a CUV to do certain things or carry specific options. The Land Rover Evoque is for the buyer who doesn’t plan on biting down on a Cliff Bar in the great outdoors but enjoys the luxury of having the option, thanks to ample ground clearance and all-terrain capability.