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Land Rover Range Rover Evoque 5dr 2.2 SD4 190 4WD auto road test report

5dr 2.2 SD4 190 4WD auto

The Range Rover Evoque 5dr is the more practical alternative from Land Rover’s brand new sporting compact SUV range. It adds extra doors, more rear headroom and a slight shift towards practicality rather than outright catwalk looks, and is likely to be the bigger seller of the two Evoques. It actually costs £995 less than the Range Rover Evoque Coupe too, for an added bonus, although it does lose a few of the concept car details. No worries: this is still a genuine road-going concept car overall, with incredibly few changes over the 2008 LRX concept. It still looks incredible.

Road Test Reports Says5 star rating
A front-facing image of the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque

Image number 2 of the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque

Performance Performance - 4 stars

The best-selling Range Rover Evoque will use a 2.2-litre diesel: this forms the heart of the line-up, and is offered in three guises – eD4 150 2WD, TD4 150 4WD, and SD4 190 4WD. We tested the top-line SD4, in automatic guise; it is also offered as a six-speed manual. With 310 lb ft of toque feeling like it’s delivered from near-idle revs, it is a very strong and responsive engine under acceleration. 0-60mph in 8.0 seconds is faster even than the bigger Range Rover Sport TDV6 – and thanks to the four-wheel drive, it can be deployed in confidence no matter what the surface conditions are beneath. The engine is also extremely smooth and refined. This motor really does offer Range Rover refinement, proving very distant and well insulated when tested around the Land Rover Gaydon test track. The automatic gearbox also shifted swiftly and intelligently, further helping the refined sensations. Even the diesel engine ‘shudder’ has been dialled almost completely out.

Ride & Handling Ride & Handling - 5 stars

Range Rover ride with sporting handling was an aim of the Range Rover Evoque engineers – and they have achieved this with aplomb. The test car used the adaptive MagneRide suspension, which is optional on many cars, and standard on top-line Dynamic models. Thanks to suspension dampers similar to those on an Audi R8, ride quality is excellent: the long-travel suspension deals with anything thrown at it, and also remains composed, wallow-free and fluid on undulating surfaces, too. It handles eagerly, with minimal body roll and a real feeling of dignity. The meaty steering is well weighted and the Range Rover Evoque responds to it smartly. The wide-track feel gives confidence and stability in corners, and although occupants are sitting higher than a sporting car norm, it never feels top-heavy or clumsy. A very impressive machine to drive indeed.

Build Quality & Reliability Build Quality & Reliability - 3 stars

Build quality, fit and finish have been prioritised in the Range Rover Evoque. The aim was to offer the finish of a regular Range Rover, in a machine half the price. Even in pre-production form, it is clear the designers have achieved this. Not only is the stylish, open-plan dashboard very elegantly laid out, it is also constructed from extremely tactile materials – and, with no less than 380,000 combinations of Evoque on offer, personalisation is almost infinite. Land Rover really has raised its game in terms of quality. Reliability is more questionable. Current Land Rovers and Range Rovers do not have the best reliability record, with customer satisfaction surveys often placing them near the bottom for breakdowns and faults. The firm knows this has to improve with its most important car in decades, so has been putting huge work into ensuring it is so. Being derived from a modernised version of the proven Land Rover Freelander 2 platform should also help its fortunes. Fingers crossed.

Safety & Security Safety & Security - 4 stars

After several appalling winters, family cars buyers are becoming switched on to the merits of four-wheel drive. The Range Rover Evoque 5dr may well prove to be, for many, the ideal solution. Land Rover bosses are saying it could win sales from models such as the BMW 3 Series Touring and Mercedes C-Class estate, not least because of the extra on-road security it offers. Not only do many models come with electronic four-wheel drive, this is also supported by a vast brace of electronic driver aids, including anti-roll-back on hills and off-road hill descent control. Even the ESC stability control system has specific off-road settings. Years of detail engineering should produce a competitive Euro NCAP score: the Land Rover designers have left no stone unturned, even shaping the rear roofline to ensure passengers’ heads do not bang against it when they are jostled off-road. The additional benefit of smaller overall dimensions (it is 150mm shorter than a Land Rover Freelander 2) will also help city centre manoeuvrability and, thus, safety: in addition, there are aids such as surround-view parking cameras and parking sensors combined with parking cameras (utilising the standard 8-inch colour touchscreen in the dashboard).

Space & Practicality Space & Practicality - 4 stars

The Range Rover Evoque 5dr has a taller windscreen than the Coupe, and a slightly more upright roofline that provides 30mm more headroom in the rear. The tailgate is also a subtly different shape – and the overall result is a further enhancement of an already spacious cabin. Rear headroom is more than ample, and legroom is excellent, too. A key bonus here, though, is much easier rear access. Passengers do not have to scramble past the front seats to access the rear, making it a much more practical family car: no wonder the rear seat is a standard 3-person bench (that folds flat in a 60:40 split). The Coupe’s twin sculpted buckets are not offered here…

Ownership & Value Ownership & Value - 5 stars

The Range Rover Evoque 5dr is £995 cheaper than the Coupe, yet still comes with its ample standard equipment: entry Pure models include leather, climate control, electric seats and leather interior. Prestige and Dynamic are around £8k more and add both styling and gadget features – Prestige is ‘luxury’ and Dynamic is ‘sporting’ - the latter includes MagneRide and 20-inch alloys. All Coupe and 5dr versions return the same mpg and CO2 figures – except the base eD4. This is significant, as the Coupe achieves 129g/km, whereas the 5dr manages 132g/km: the 5dr thus sits in a slightly higher tax band, although as it still comes beneath the 140g/km benchmark, it shouldn’t be too much of a concern to fleet drivers. Overall, the Range Rover Evoque 5dr is a startlingly good package, which looks great (the 5dr loses little clout over the Coupe), drives well, is generously equipped and, most importantly, comes in at a very competitive price tag. Land Rover will provably sell every Range Rover Evoque it can build – fast…

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