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

Coupe 2.2 SD4 190 4WD auto

An SUV Coupe - sounds radical? Yes, but that's just what a groundbreaking new car the Range Rover Evoque is. Sitting beneath the Range Rover Sport, it is smaller than even the Land Rover Freelander, and much sportier than both. Technically, the Range Rover Evoque Coupe is a 3-door, but not to Range Rover: it has a lower windscreen, sportier roofline and lower overall height than the alternative Range Rover Evoque 5-door. There are also extra bonnet vents and styling features to make it stand out - and justify the £1000 price jump.

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 EvoqueImage number 3 of the Land Rover Range Rover EvoqueImage number 4 of the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque

Performance Performance - 4 stars

The range-topping Range Rover Evoque Coupe engine is a 240bhp 2.0-litre petrol - but the 190bhp diesel alternative isn't far behind, and returns 43.5mpg. With 0-60mph taking 8.0 seconds, it is 1 second FASTER a Range Rover Sport TDV6 and, even in prototype form, felt responsive and immediate. There is lots of quickly-accessible torque and it remains strong when revved, too: thanks to excellent refinement, you don't mind doing this. It may be the only modern four-cylinder Range Rover on sale, but the Evoque Coupe diesel does not suffer from its reduced cylinder count, as smoothness is very impressive. Four-wheel drive on the 190 SD4 as standard helps you fully utilise this grunt off the line without troubling the traction control. A six-speed automatic is standard on the SD4 190 4WD model, using a Jaguar-style rotary controller, and this too changes gear intuitively.

Ride & Handling Ride & Handling - 5 stars

To justify its Coupe billing, the Range Rover Evoque needs to handle well - and, after a brief drive, it certainly seems to. Top-spec models such as the 190 SD4 Dynamic get Audi R8-style MagneRide adaptive suspension as standard (it's optional on some of the other versions). This provides agile and roll-controlled handling that's enhanced by precise and nicely weighted steering. Even on really twisting roads, the Evoque is impressive, with genuine tenacity that helps you utilise its performance. Impressively, though, the ride is also supple, with good body control and an excellent ability to soak up harsh roads. Land Rover is also eager to point out it is not compromised off-road, either. The Range Rover Evoque Coupe isn’t a full-blown SUV, but it still has a 500mm wading depth and much better off-road approach and departure angle statistics than the competition. There are lots of off-road electronic aids too.

Build Quality & Reliability Build Quality & Reliability - 3 stars

The Range Rover Evoque feels every inch the premium machine, even in prototype form. The interior is finished in high quality materials throughout, and has a real look and feel of substance. Some of the details, such as the cotton stitch seam on the passenger dashboard panel, are superb, and give you confidence in the assembly of the interior. Switches, controls and displays also operate with well-oiled precision befitting of the Range Rover badge. Land Rovers haven't always fared well in terms of reliability, so there are some question marks here. Using a much-modified (and honed) Freelander 2 platform should help though, as it will have allowed the engineers loads of time to perfect systems and controls. The Halewood manufacturing plant has also been refitted - and, don't forget, until a few years ago, it was building Jaguars...

Safety & Security Safety & Security - 4 stars

We won't know a Euro NCAP score for a while yet, but Land Rover engineers have been hard at work in the virtual reality booths, ensuring the Range Rover Evoque is safe. The platform has been honed and electronic driving aids have then been added to it, including ESC stability control with electronic features to enhance off-road driving, too. A brace of outside-view cameras can be had as an option, as can blind spot assist and a clever feature that helps you hook up a trailer using the central display screen.

Space & Practicality Space & Practicality - 4 stars

Do not worry - it may be a Coupe, but the Range Rover Evoque is still very practical inside. Despite a roofline 30mm lower than the 5-door, it has ample headroom inside for adults, even if the optional panoramic glass roof is fitted. Legroom is ample too - the trickiest part is getting in, as access is tight around the front seats (although they do slide electrically forward, slowly, via a button on the seatback). Front seat occupants are even better off, with a high seating position that, somehow, is dualled with a sporty and coupe-like feel: it must be the high sides and cockpit-style dash layout. The boot has been computer designed to provide 420 litres with as much practicality as possible. The rear section is wide enough to swallow a set of golf clubs with the long driver club still in place - although it does narrow as you move back due to the suspension. The floor is flat and it's well designed, although the load sill may be a bit high for some.

Ownership & Value Ownership & Value - 5 stars

Fuel economy for all Range Rover Evoque is superb. The base eD4 2WD Coupe averages 58mpg, with its 4WD TD4 alternative still returning 50mpg. This ensures it's both cheap to run and very green with it, thanks to low CO2 emissions. The economy of the engines brings CO2 benefits that ensure low tax implications, for both private buyers and company car users (Land Rover has ensured it has an Evoque sitting beneath all the major benchmark CO2 'steps'). The Range Rover Evoque Coupe is well priced too, with prices starting at under £29,000 for the Pure model - and even this includes electric leather seats, Bluetooth, alloys and climate control. This will ultimately ensure competitive contract hire costs, meaning the marketplace has both a stylish AND economic new alternative to the Audi TT, BMW 3 Series Coupe and, yes, the Audi Q5 and BMW X3.

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