By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.4
Land Rover's rugged-yet-luxurious Range Rover line has long appealed to the well-heeled and adventurous elite. But with rising gas prices and ever-more-stringent fuel-economy and environmental standards, even the mighty Range Rover needs to adapt. Enter the 2012 Range Rover Evoque, a comparatively compact Range Rover crossover SUV that comes in five-door and coupe flavors, offering up a striking shape nearly identical to the Land Rover LRX concept car on which it is based. With an efficient 240-horsepower four-cylinder engine, improved aerodynamics and a smaller, lightweight body, the all-wheel-drive Evoque reinterprets the classic Range Rover formula with a renewed sense of style and a newfound environmental conscience.
You'll like the 2012 Range Rover Evoque if you want a seriously stylish luxury SUV that drives well in the city, but isn't afraid of the wilderness. The new Evoque also returns up to 28 mpg on the highway, a number inconceivable in anything else wearing a Range Rover badge.
If your vision of Range Rover ownership involves treks across the Serengeti or bashing along craggy mountain trails you may not like the Range Rover Evoque. Its Haldex all-wheel drive system happily varies the torque front to rear, to the wheels where added traction is needed, but the low-speed transfer case and locking differentials found on higher-end Range Rovers–and essential for hardcore off-roading–are missing.
The 2012 Evoque is the lightest and most fuel efficient Range Rover yet, representing a substantial departure for the Land Rover brand and giving cues about where the rest of its vehicle range might be headed. With 20,000 Evoques pre-ordered before cars even arrived on dealer lots, it looks like Land Rover's bold departure is paying off.
Driving Impressions It's a known fact that most SUVs are never taken off road. Given that reality, we are pleased with how well the Evoque performed on road. Body motions are controlled,...the steering feels good, and the six-speed automatic transmission and 2.0-liter turbocharged engine work well together, reacting eagerly to produce quick acceleration when needed. From a comfort perspective, the Evoque rides smoothly, feels stable at higher speeds, and limits the noise getting into the cabin. But what about that rare driver who does venture off road? We tested the Evoque on muddy, rutted back roads, in wet fields and up and down steep slippery hills. Throughout these trials, the Range Rover Evoque impressed, ably getting power to the ground, absorbing impacts from rough surfaces and generally doing whatever we asked of it. We wouldn't recommend it for crossing the Rubicon Trail, but we'll bet the Evoque is capable enough for most drivers' needs.
Panoramic glass roof
Given the Evoque's narrow side glass, we expected the interior to feel confining. Not so, thanks to the standard panoramic glass roof. This unbroken expanse of glass is positively huge, letting in an abundance of sunlight and it giving those inside a brilliant view of the wonders above.
Pop-up shift knob
When the vehicle is started, a rotary shift knob ascends from the center console to give the driver control of the transmission. Found on the top-line Range Rover models and throughout Jaguar's lineup, the ceremony of the pop-up shift knob reminds you that you're about to drive something special.
Contrasting the flashy exterior is a simply laid out five-passenger interior. Material quality is excellent but it's subtler details like the buttons and switches that really impress. These operate with a refined click that conveys a sense of quality. The seats are comfortable yet supportive and passenger space is good in all positions in the five-door model, though we suspect the rear seats might feel cramped with three aboard. Accessing the coupe's cozier rear quarters is a challenge, but once aboard, occupant comfort remains generally good. Cargo space is good in both models with fold-down rear seats included for larger loads.
Based on the Land Rover LRX concept SUV, the Range Rover Evoque is unusual for having made the transition from concept to reality with its design almost completely preserved. Signature Ranger Rover details like a clamshell hood and "floating roof" coexist with an ultra-narrow greenhouse and a sharply drawn features to give the Evoque a low, wide, athletic and modern appearance. Pragmatic types might gravitate to the somewhat larger and cheaper five-door body style, while style-focused buyers will appreciate the slightly lower roofline and stylized hood vents found on the Evoque coupe.
The base "Pure" trim includes a long list of features including keyless entry and engine start, power-adjustable leather seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power tailgate, 19-inch alloy wheels and an 11-speaker audio system with an eight-inch touchscreen. On the dynamic side, all Evoques feature hill-hold and Hill Descent Control along with Land Rover's terrain response system featuring unique driving modes for sand, mud and snow. Standard safety features include stability and traction controls, roll stability control, Trailer Stability Assist (to help when towing), and six airbags.
Options are grouped into three trim levels. The Pure Premium trim adds a five-camera surround-view system, navigation, adaptive xenon headlights and a 17-speaker audio system. From there buyers can move up to either the sporty Dynamic Premium or the luxurious Prestige Premium trims, each offering a variety of interior and exterior upgrades. Lastly, the optional Adaptive Dynamics system serves to improve ride and handling by way of magneto-rheological dampers that continually adjust their firmness.
Under the Evoque's hood sits a 2.0-liter direct-injection four-cylinder engine that, while turbocharged, exhibits virtually none of the power lag often associated with turbos. Incidentally, the same engine is also found in the Ford Explorer EcoBoost. For Range Rover duty, the engine has been waterproofed and beefed up for operation at more extreme driving angles. Acceleration to 60 mph from a standstill takes around seven seconds–a decently quick time, though the engine sounds less refined doing so than the Evoque's pricier Range Rover kin. The sole transmission offered is a six-speed automatic that includes steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters for manual control.
2.0-liter turbocharged in-line 4
240 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
251 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/28 mpg
By Tapukakababa on Monday, July 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Ride it to believe it, luxury aside, best fuel economy you can get in an SUV with V4 engine and more than 250 hp gives this beast a hand above every other Luxury compact SUV out there. The looks are amazing, specially the pan atomic glass roof matches nothing in the market. The multiple driving options helps you drive it in all weather road off road conditions. It's a must have vehicle for street urban as well as off road adventures."
16 people out of 28 found this review helpful
By Lee on Wednesday, June 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000overall rating 2 of 10rating details
Pros: "Quality of materials and overall design"
Cons: "Sputtering, Constant issues"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I would never have bought this car knowing what I now know. Its been to the dealership 4 times, 2 of which were recalls. There is a constant sputtering when I push on the gas and climb a hill. Quality of materials are outstanding and the ride is very nice though it could be a bit quieter. Navigation stinks as does the phone interface. Visibility is bad but I knew that when I bought it because I love the look of the car, though I doubt I look good sputtering uphill."
11 people out of 21 found this review helpful
By viks on Tuesday, June 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "terrific exterior looks...great interior design"
Cons: "holder for sunglasses is not a good fit"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Got the zanzibar color evoque with contrast roof and the black package and its the best looking vehicle on the road. Some super cool features (1)Panoramic roof allows great views from inside esp from the back seats (2) Smart key where you can open the door even with the keys in your bag or pocket. Lock the vehicle with a touch on the door handle (and it doesnt lock if you forgot the keys inside the car) (3) Self-parallel parking - great for tight spots (4) Tons of cool features on the Infotainment system. Also, great service from the dealerships - free car washes, free dent removal, 24x7 country-wide emergency support. I was earlier also looking at BMW as an option and I'm so glad i bought the Evoque."
8 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By NewCarSmellGuy on Tuesday, April 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "fit, finishes, sound system, driving dynamics"
Cons: "missing the cooled seats in the dynamic version"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Picked up my 2014 RRE Dynamic, Zanzibar, contrast roof this week. Surprised at how sport car-like it's posture and approach are. I test drove the 2013, the 2014 turns out to more refined. The sound system is great and the interior so comfortable. Also the visibility is great, I feared compromise. This baby Ranger is impressing me with each turn, especially when it parallel parks itself."
12 people out of 22 found this review helpful
By ybenjira on Thursday, March 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I've been enjoying this car a lot. Beautiful, extremely comfortable even after 5 hours of driving. For the bad reliability rep Range Rovers have and how this is the first model of its generation, in 2+ years mine only gave me two minor incidents. One where the battery emptied out when I left my trunk accidentally open slightly, and another where my front lights blew and I had to change them. That's it. It's also so much fun driving, it feels very light and the turbo is very decent."
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By NOLA Renovator on Wednesday, February 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,500overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great styling, gadgets, ride, and sound system"
Cons: "Horrible Transmission with abrupt downshifts"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"This car looks great standing still. The sound system is great, the seats firm and comfortable, the ride decent, great gadgets - high beam assist works like a wizard - I'm an engineer and the ability for the car to figure out when to turn on and off the high beams is quite cool. HOWEVER, I get similar mpg to my 4.2 liter V-8 BMW X-5 (about 2-3 mpg more), but with a gutless 4 cylinder. At a standstill, you floor it, count to two, then the car starts accelerating. Under 3000 rpm you get nothing. At 3000 rpm, the turbo kicks in and gives you too much. It's really an issue in traffic. At 30 mph in moderate traffic, you barely give it a little gas and it drops what feels like two gears, hits 3000 rpm, snaps your head back, you get off the gas, tap the break, and start over. It is enough to make me hate driving it. I believe Land Rover realized this, as well as the horrible gas mileage, and put a 9 speed in the 2014. It's sticker is 30 mpg highway instead of 28. After shelling out mid 60's for the Dynamic version, I find myself regretting the commitment I made. I called Land Rover to see if they would take it back, and they said it is operating as designed, so no. The head mechanic at the dealership explained to me there is way too much piping between the turbo and the engine, making the turbo lag worse. I have been driving on the gravel/snow program, which reduces the hard downshifts, but decreases acceleration as well. I have never owned a vehicle I paid more for, and also hated it any more than this one. Shame on Land Rover/Tata for selling such a poorly designed vehicle"
18 people out of 26 found this review helpful