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 environmental standards, even the mighty Range Rover needs to adapt. Attracting younger fans away from BMW X3 and Audi Q5 models won't hurt either. Enter the 2014 Range Rover Evoque, a sleek and stylish compact SUV that comes in 5-door and 3-door coupe flavors and five trim levels that Land Rover calls "design themes." With an efficient 240-horsepower turbo-4 engine, good aerodynamics and a small, lightweight body, the all-wheel-drive (AWD) Evoque reinterprets the classic Range Rover formula with a renewed sense of style and a newfound environmental conscience.
You'll Like This Car If...
You'll like the 2014 Range Rover Evoque if you want a seriously stylish compact-luxury SUV that drives well in the city but isn't afraid of the wilderness. The new Evoque also returns 30 mpg on the highway, a number inconceivable in any other Range Rover.
You May Not Like This Car If...
The Evoque's rakish, compact shape squeezes rear-seat and cargo space, making it less functional than small-luxury SUV rivals. And its AWD system lacks the locking differentials and low range of other Range Rovers. If either of those is a problem, shop elsewhere.
Although it has only been on the market for two years, the 2014 Range Rover Evoque gets substantial upgrades. Foremost is the new 9-speed automatic transmission, which helps improve fuel economy and acceleration, and lessen overall emissions. The exterior also gets a few noteworthy alterations, and there's a new suite of driver-assist features, including active cruise control.
Driving the Range Rover Evoque
Despite being smaller and lighter than any previous Range Rover, the 2014 Evoque still delivers the brand's expected measure of on-pavement refinement and in-the-rough capability. Over the road, the Evoque...
... feels polished and sophisticated yet sporty and maneuverable. The body doesn't lean or bounce around too much, the steering feels right, and the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine produces plenty of power for quick acceleration, or relaxed cruising. New this year is a 9-speed automatic transmission, designed to help improve acceleration and fuel economy. When the pavement ends, the Evoque impressively handles muddy, rutted back roads and slippery hills, ably getting power to the ground and absorbing impacts from the surface. True, the Evoque lacks the locking differentials and low range of full-size Range Rovers, just as its on-road ride is a bit less plush. But against rival compact-luxury SUVs, the 2014 Range Rover Evoque delivers.
PANORAMIC GLASS ROOF The panoramic glass roof – standard on all models but the base Pure – helps keep the Evoque's interior from feeling confining despite the low roofline and shallow side windows. It lets in an abundance of sunlight and gives a brilliant view out.
POP-UP SHIFT KNOB Turn on the 2014 Evoque, and a solid aluminum 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.
2014 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Details
Contrasting with the flashy exterior is a simple-laid-out interior. Material quality is excellent, and the details like buttons and switches have a quality feel. The seats are comfortable yet supportive, and passenger space is good though a little tight in back. Sitting three across is strictly short-term. Accessing that rear seat is obviously more challenging in the 3-door. Cargo space is OK in both models with fold-down rear seats adding some room for loads, but the rakish, tapering body design does squeeze space.
The initial design for the Range Rover Evoque was carried over largely intact from the Land Rover LRX concept vehicle, and the 2014 Evoque is little changed. That's fine with us. While retaining the signature Ranger Rover details like a clamshell hood and "floating roof," the 2014 Evoque gets a restyled front end to coexist with an ultra-narrow greenhouse and sharply drawn features, giving the Evoque a low, wide, athletic and modern appearance. Pragmatic types might gravitate to the more useful and $1,000-cheaper 5-door body style, while style-focused buyers will appreciate the slightly lower roofline and stylized hood vents found on the Evoque coupe.
The 2014 Range Rover Evoque gets an upgraded all-wheel drive (AWD) system called Active Driveline. This system uses only the front wheels when cruising at speeds above 22 mph; it automatically activates the rear wheels when it senses extra traction is needed. The torque vectoring redirects engine torque among the four wheels to enhance stability in corners. This comes on top of other luxury amenities like keyless entry and engine start, power-adjustable leather seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power liftgate, 19-inch alloy wheels and an 11-speaker audio system with an 8-inch touch screen. Evoques also come standard with Land Rover's Terrain Response system with its different modes for sand, mud and snow, and safety features like stability and traction controls, roll-stability control, Trailer Stability Assist (to help when towing) and six airbags.
Options are grouped into trim levels Land Rover calls design themes: Pure Plus, Pure Premium and Dynamic on both 3- and 5-door models, and also a base Pure and top-line Prestige on the 5-door only. The Pure Premium trim adds a 5-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 or the luxurious Prestige trims, each offering specific interior and exterior upgrades. The optional Adaptive Dynamics system serves to improve ride and handling, and the new Adaptive Cruise Control manages the distance between you and cars ahead of you, even in traffic.
Under the Hood
There's one engine available for the 2014 Evoque: a 2.0-liter direct-injection turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that provides good power, impressive running smoothness and virtually no throttle lag. Based on the engine in the Ford Explorer EcoBoost – a legacy from when the company owned Land Rover – the Brits have tweaked it for better waterproofing and operation at more extreme driving angles. The sole transmission offered is a new 9-speed automatic that includes steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters for manual control. Full-time AWD is standard on all Evoques.
The base 2014 Range Rover Evoque 5-door starts at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) just under $42,000, for the Pure trim. Stepping up to the Pure Plus adds $3,000, and the Premium is right below $50,000. The Prestige will set you back more than $56,000, and the range-topping Dynamic is just over $57,000. If you want the slick-looking 3-door, prices start at about $46,000 for the Pure Plus. The 3-door Pure Premium runs about $50,500, and the Dynamic is just over $58,000. The Adaptive Cruise Control technology adds $1,250 to the bottom line. Other premium-small SUVs such as the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLK and Audi Q5 start in the mid- to high-$30,000 range, and most offer more usable space inside but less distinctive style. To see what others in your area have paid for a Range Rover Evoque, check the Fair Purchase Price on KBB.com. Models from Land Rover tend to have below-average residual values, though the Evoque's strong desirability could temper that somewhat.
Pros: "A head turner, very sporty, luxurious interior"
Cons: "Lack of cargo space as well as interior storage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Well after 18 months and 20K miles I thought it was time to review. I fell in love with this vehicle when I first saw it. I was afraid it was too small but after a test drive I changed my mind. I ordered the sportier 3 dr coupe from the factory. The car is sporty, quick, rides quiet on the highway and is outright fun to drive. I do keep it in S (Sports mode) when driving around town as it makes it much sportier and fast off the line. We recently took it on a 3500 mile road trip and I can honestly say my only complaint is lack of storage, It was always difficult strategically packing the car from destination to destination. I was a bit afraid of the Land Rover because of reliability reputation but so far no issues."
"I PURCHASED THIS 2014 LAND ROVER EVOQUE PURE...I LOVE IT!!! IT IS THE PERFECT ALL WEATHER VEHICLE!!! IT GOES GREAT IN THE SNOW! AND DRIVES LIKE A SPORTS CAR...IT IS A LITTLE SLUGGISH ON TAKE-OFF, BUT AFTER YOU TAKE OFF...MAN WILL IT GO...DRIVES AND RIDES REALLY NICE!I GET ABOUT 21MPG. I HAVE 5300 MILES ON IT CURRENTLY...AND I HAVE HAD NO MECHANICAL ISSUES....WHAT CAN I SAY....IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A SMALL SUV, WITH CLASS THIS IS IT! GORGEOUS LITTLE SUV! :-)"
"I got myself the COUPE, Evoque Pure Plus. I was looking for a compact vehicle that had the feel and look of a sports car while at the same time sat me up higher than the average sedan. I looked at all the SUVs out there and the Evoque coupe turned up as the only SUV/crossover with a sport feel and look to it. In fact I am not sure if there are that many , if any, 2-door cross overs in this price range.At the same time I really find the exterior pretty sexy. I know some feel the roof line may be weird, I actually find it very individual and original. The long and narrow windows all around give it the sporty and capsule like feel and look to it. The front is the mini version of the majestic look of the larger models. Getting indie is like getting inside a sports car with the low roof line. It is not for the elderly who cannot bend at the waist to get in the car. The interior is very intelligent. Everything is in the right place and the driver has a very comfortable reach to everything in front of him. The leather seats have great feel to the touch, snug around the body and comfortable. However, if big frame, I would imagine the bucket seats may not be appropriate. The overall look and feel of the interior looks, feels and even smells .....quality, rich and luxurious. Contrary to some reviews, the head room in the rear is not bad at all. I am 5'11" and sitting in the back, was not an issue. I think this may be a psychological drawback for some who are just too accustomed to have 8"-12" of head room versus this low profile being a problem. The other complaint I have read in other reviews is the limited vision thru the rear window. Again, I believe this is more of a physiological obstacle. Yes, there may be less of the sky that one may be limited to in the center mirror or indeed maybe less of the road as well. However between the road and the sky and a clear view from the left lane to the right is where it matters and the coupe gives the driver just that in addition to having 2 large outside mirrors. The navigation etc. is rather slow and does get frustrating but we are talking about split second slow. While the glass roof is truly panoramic and beautiful, I think it is time LL/RR considered to split the big glass into two halves and have the front portion operable. Finally I think the sexy sleek rear windows would be nicer if they were operable. I can imagine that sitting in the rear of any car and not be able to open your own window may be annoying. Having said that, besides 10 minute drives to drop of my sons' friends to their home, I cannot remember the last time I had more than one passenger in my car. That is why I got the coupe.
The steering wheel is smooth as butter and the turning radius is awesome. One can do a u turn on a dime! While the ride is great and very comfortable, the turbo does jolt the car when pushed a little harder than normal driving. Definitely something that LL/RR should look at.
As for price, I compared it to the BMW, Audi, Porsche and quite a few other brands and quite frankly with all the bells and whistles than the Evoque comes with, it is by far the cheaper of all the brands. Plus the fact that as good as all the competitors crossovers are, none of them have the sexy, sporty and dynamic exterior or even the interior look and feel the sportiness of the Evoque COUPE. The fact that there is no other crossover that is a 2-door, confirms that. The long doors and slanted aero-dynamic roof line and the shortened and yet stretched windows remind me of the tiny windows of yester years British roadsters. The coupe is not for frequent FAMILY use. It is a perfect car for a single or couple who do not regularly have use for the rear seats. Not having any need for the rear seats also eliminates the concern for the storage since the rear seats can be folded. Anyway, as is, I don't feel the storage is tight considering that this is a compact cross over.
I just hope my car does not breakdown every other week like some of the reviews I have read. Right now, I am loving it and get a lot of positive remarks."