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 seahull on Monday, December 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "Styling, Engine"
Cons: "Transmission, Navigation, Dash UI"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"I bought this Evoque Pure Premium to replace a BMW x3. Surprisingly for me, I like the small 4-cylinder turbocharged engine. It has enough power, and the ECO mode is non-instrusive. And with the right dash display, I can play at hyper-miling. I get pretty good fuel economy for my primarily short urban trips - usually above 20 and sometimes nearing 30 MPG. The styling is all very nice, but not unique in this neighborhood. The styling has a drawback and that is lack of storage. Unbelievably, I cannot even fit a golf bag in the trunk, without removing the driver. I should have compared this to Golfs or Imprezas for all the space it has. My 5'9" father-in-law bumps his head every time he gets in the front passenger seat. The 9-speed transmission has some real issues where it will not get in the right gear, and when it does the results are jarring. Sometimes starts in 3rd or 4th gear even when flooring the accelerator - probably 2 seconds to get to 5 MPH. Parking on a slope, place the car in reverse, put foot on accelerator and car rolls 2 feet forward before reverse engages. Starting out , the transmission might not be in gear, engine revs to 3000 RPM and then the car jerks - first gear this time... The center screen unit (navigation and such) is horrendous - it is very slow and the interface looks like it was designed backwards. I went to take my daughter to a soccer game at a school 10 miles away and my wife still could not get the destination entered in the navigation system before I got there through guessing the route - we knew the street and the name of the school, but the Evoque would not accept them - finally it found it if we entered the telephone number!?!. Want to use the cameras to see around while parking (visibility is poor in this car)? Ok, choose Home (physical button), then Extra Features, then Cameras, then Camera Icon, then Special Views, then finally Kerb View. Six steps to get to what should be a convenience feature needed in a hurry - 20 seconds minimum. The navigation map is poor. The auto-zoom feature does not work and you have to manually change the zoom - four clicks on the screen to do that. And then even at the highest zooms you cannot see the names of the roads around you. And when you have any other zoom level, you cannot see the roads at all. Most of the time, unless you are on the interstate or the largest state highways, you will be shown in a green field with plenty of topographical features but no roads. In Washington DC, I can be driving down a major commuter road and only that road shows up - not a single cross street on the entire map. Ever wanted to take a traffic diversion and rush hour, but not sure if the side street connect or are one-way? Better bring a smart phone in the Evoque, because that is the only way to find out. Smart phone integration is decent - bluetooth for phone and audio. When Bluetooth audio is selected, it restarts the audio when it reconnects and displays the song names usually. But again slowness issues - it sometimes takes a minute to connect to bluetooth audio and even longer for the bluetooth phone (5 minutes in some cases), so it you need to make a call on the trip to the grocery store, you must manually connect it."
35 people out of 55 found this review helpful
By ROVERGIRL510 on Wednesday, October 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "LOVE TO DRIVE"
Cons: "BAD GAS MILEAGE"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"WELL, I HAVE TO SAY, I LOVE MY EVOGUE, HOWEVER, THE GAS MILEAGE IS BAD, ONLY THING I DO NOT LIKE ABOUT CAR, PERIOD, EVRYTHING ELSE IS BANGING.....LOVE THE EVOGUES, NOTHING LIKE THEM , IF YOU WANT A TOUGH CAR, GET IT, BUT KEEP IN MIND, YOUR BUYING A BEAUTIFUL MACHINE TO DRIVE, WHY WOULD WE TAKE IT IN THE MOUNTAINS ON ROCKY TERRAINS, ETC???????? IF YOU CAN AFFORD TO DO IT, GO FOR IT, THAT WHAT IT WAS BUILT FOR BUT DAILY USE ? ITS A WASTE OF CAR, I BABY MINE BECAUSE IT IS GORGEOUS, I DON'T WANT SCRATCHES OR DENTS ON IT FROM USING IT FOR OFF ROAD FUN, ITS ALL UP TO THE BUYER WHAT YOU USE IT FOR SO OVERALL MY RATING IS 9 OUT OF 10,,,GAS MILEAGE STINKS FOR SHORT RUNS BUT HIGHWAY ISN'T BAD.....GO LANDROVER!!!!! STILL ROCKING..."
22 people out of 39 found this review helpful
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."
27 people out of 46 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."
21 people out of 36 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."
14 people out of 19 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."
14 people out of 26 found this review helpful