Range Rover Evoque MHEV Review
Lease price: from £292.86 per month**
Favourite mid-size luxury SUV that resets the benchmark
It’s been almost a decade since Land Rover set the benchmark for luxury compact SUVs with the groundbreaking, and now best-selling, Evoque. And with the firm now revealing a choice of powerful and efficient new mild-hybrid engines, as well as a host of technological improvements, one of the world’s most fashionable cars has never been more appealing.
The Evoque is, then, a supermodel of the automotive world, coveted by celebrities and adored by owners. The aggressive, muscular, taut lines of the exterior quickly make you forget that it’s the smallest - and most accessible - vehicle in the Range Rover line-up. If you’re new to the brand, the Evoque offers all the big badge kudos without the perhaps daunting prospect of owning and maintaining one of the heftier and more expensive SUVs to roll off the Land Rover production line.
Meanwhile Range Rover has made no secret of the fact that the Evoque is extremely popular with the female demographic. Last year a Land Rover marketing campaign aimed at American owners spoke about how they were reaching-out to ‘a younger, urban, and increasingly female demographic.’ And yes, the Evoque’s attributes will curry favour with city-dwellers, younger drivers and women. But don’t be fooled into pigeon-holding the Evoque as the status-symbol chariot of the school run mum. Because when a car boasts the agile dynamics of a hatchback with the imposing nature of an SUV, as well as genuine off-road capabilities, there’s a vehicle here for everyone.
Select's rating score* - 4.0 / 5
Style to burn and a dizzying number of configurations
With prices starting at £32,100, the Evoque has style to burn, combining a distinctive coupé-like silhouette with minimalist touches. And one of the first things to note about the Evoque is that the list of configurations is dizzying. Want a straightforward diesel engine in basic trim? No problems, there’s a 2.0 litre common rail mill to do the job. Or, do you want a powerful 309 PS plug-in hybrid that’ll return at least 166 miles to the gallon? Again, there’s an option for you.
This month, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Range Rover family, there have been further tweaks to the Evoque line-up. Gone are a clutch of naturally-aspirated engines, replaced with two new mild-hybrid (MHEV) diesel mills, offering power outputs of either 165 PS or 200 PS. You’ll also find these uprated engines in the freshly-facelifted Range Rover Discovery Sport, too. Meanwhile there are new improvements to the trim specifications, too.
Previously you had the standard Evoque, followed by the more expensive ‘Evoque R-Dynamic’, which features sportier looks, chrome treadplates, a perforated leather steering wheel and black gearshift paddles. Move up a notch and you then had the ‘Evoque First Edition’, which sat at the pinnacle of the range. But now Range Rover has replaced the First Edition with a new arrival at the summit - the ‘Evoque Autobiography’, which promises ‘refined modernity and sophistication both on the exterior and interior’, according to Professor Gerry McGovern OBE, Chief Creative Officer at Land Rover.
A baby Range Rover with an attractive package of urban and offroad features
Whichever version you opt for, Evoque owners will enjoy both the prestige of owning a baby Range Rover as well as an attractive package of features. And the watchword here is ‘capability’. While many Evoques won’t go anywhere near the rough stuff, it’s a vehicle with genuine off-road abilities that will keep you well planted in the urban environment, too.
All but two variants in the entire range are all-wheel-drive, and the Evoque can balance torque between the front and rear wheels depending
on the slipperiness of the surface, be it grass or snow, in order to maximise traction. Land Rover’s ‘Terrain Response’ is also standard on the Evoque, and which monitors the driving conditions and then systematically selects the most suitable driving mode for you. Again, that’s ideal whether you’re negotiating green lanes or simply want premium handling while pushing the Evoque to its limits on the Tarmac.
In the more premium models the Evoque you get Land Rover’s ClearSight Ground View system, giving you a virtual view of the road in front of you and essentially rendering the bonnet transparent, giving you maximum visibility as you drive...or attempt to park. It’s a versatile family car, too, with 1,383 litres of space in the back with the rear seats folded flat, 591 litres in the boot alone. And tech levels are enviable.
The all new Evoque boasts Land Rover’s state-of-the-art ‘Pivi’ infotainment system as standard, which requires a separate data plan and battery but ensures there’s no delay when you first press the ‘Start’ button. Some of the features of the Pivi platform include a 10" Touchscreen, DAB digital radio, a newly designed interface, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Remote accessibility. Add to that a host of driver assistance and safety features, as well as scores of bolt-on accessories for carrying and towing, and it’s tough to find fault with what’s on offer.
Performance with the Evoque differs quite radically depending on which engine you choose from
This 2.0 litre inline-4 common rail diesel option comes as either a manual, front-wheel-drive naturally aspirated incarnation, or as an all-wheel drive mild-hybrid married to a 48v Belt-integrated Starter Generator (BiSG).
Both versions have 163 PS to play, max torque of 380Nm, and a top speed of around 120mph. As you might have predicted, the mild-hybrid version is quicker off the mark, covering 0-62mph in 9.8 seconds compared with 10.1 seconds for the D165 without additional battery power.
- D200 MHEV
The D200 is another new 2.0 litre diesel mild-hybrid, this time with 204 PS, max torque of 430Nm, and a top speed of 120mph. A 9-speed auto box and all-wheel-drive takes the D200 MHEV from 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds.
- P160 MHEV
A 1.5 litre turbocharged petrol engine available with front-wheel-drive only, the P160 is married to a 48v Belt-integrated Starter Generator (BiSG) for a combined 160 PS and 260Nm of torque. Courtesy of an 8-speed auto box, it takes 10.2 seconds to get to 62mph and will hit a top speed of 124 mph.
- P200 MHEV
Boasting all-wheel-drive and a 9-speed automatic gearbox, the P200 features a turbocharged 2.0 petrol and 48v Belt-integrated Starter Generator (BiSG) to create 200 PS and 320Nm torque. It takes 8.6 secs to reach 62pmh and will carry on to 134mph.
- P250 MHEV
Moving up the range, the P250 has - predictably - 250 PS and 365 Nm torque thanks to a 2.0 litre petrol mill with the 48v Belt-integrated Starter Generator (BiSG) to provide the boost of electric power. 0-62mph time is down to 7.6 secs and top speed increases to 143mph on the larger alloy wheels.
- P300 MHEV
The top of the MHEV range - while using the same 2.0 litre turbocharged petrol engine and electric boost - the P300 has 300 PS power, 400Nm torque, and will hit 62mph in just 6.8 seconds. Top speed increases to 150mph on the larger rims. As before, it’s all-wheel-drive with an auto box.
- P300e PHEV
Arguably the most desirable drivetrain of the range, the P300e is a plug-in hybrid featuring a 1.5 litre, three cylinder petrol engine bolted to both the Belt-integrated Starter Generator (BiSG) inverter and an Electric Drive Unit (EDU). Peak power hits 309 PS while torque rises to 540Nm.
Meanwhile the P300e can sprint from 0-62mph in just 6.4 seconds, courtesy of all-wheel-drive and an 8-speed auto box, and has a top speed of 132mph.
As with all Evoques, handling is to be praised for what’s still a relatively tall car - with a total height of 1,649mm and a ride height of 212mm. Owners report a commanding view of the road, while the optional Adaptive Dynamics, selected via the Touchscreen, means the Evoque delivers even tighter body control with flatter handling and sharper responses, than its rivals (which we’ll come on to later...)
As pleasing to your wallet as on the eye
With the introduction of the new MHEV diesel engines, as well as the existing plug-in hybrid mill, Land Rover is making a concerted effort to make the new breed of Evoques as pleasing to your wallet as they are on the eye. That means better efficiency than the outgoing 2.0 litre diesel mills, and better emissions stats, too. And we take a look some other key data when it comes to fuel economy, emissions and running costs:
For the front-wheel drive manual, you get up to 46.7 mpg on the WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure) cycle.
CO2 emissions (WLTP, g/km) - from 158-170
For the AWD auto, it’s up to 44.1 mpg with CO2 emissions from 168 - 177
- D200 MHEV
Up to 43.8 mpg (WLTP) CO2 emissions (WLTP, g/km) - from 169-184
- P160 MHEV
Up to 35.4 mpg (WLTP) CO2 emissions (WLTP, g/km) - from 180-188
- P200 MHEV
Up to 31.7 mpg (WLTP) CO2 emissions (WLTP, g/km) - from 201-217
- P250 MHEV
Up to 31.6 pg (WLTP) CO2 emissions (WLTP, g/km) - from 201-217
- P300 MHEV
Up to 201.8 mpg (WLTP)
CO2 emissions (WLTP, g/km) - from 32-38
Cabin has been transformed across the board
It’s not just under the bonnet where Land Rover has made big improvements to the Evoque, because the firm says the cabin has been ‘transformed’, too. The first thing to shout about it is the previously mentioned Pivi infotainment system, which now features as standard. Software updates are available over-the-air via the vehicle’s embedded data connection at no cost, and can even be scheduled at a time to suit.
That means you always have the latest map and apps - including integrated Spotify to play your music - at your fingertips with minimal fuss. The system is enabled by a new Electrical Vehicle Architecture and is available as either standard Pivi, or ‘Pivi Pro’, with the Pro offering a customisable home screen that also lets you pinch and zoom the map as you would on your smartphone.
Bluetooth connectivity supports two phones at once, there’s also wireless device charging with signal-boosting option, and an improved ‘Activity Key’ lets you unlock any door, lock or even start the vehicle, just by being nearby. Another significant addition is a ‘smart’ new Cabin Air Filtration system.
The set-up is designed to filter out harmful fine particulate matter often found in cities and high-traffic areas, as well as allergens, pollen and even strong smells - the latter of which could prove extremely useful when ferrying the family - and dog - long distances. Occupants simply select 'Purify' mode to activate the system, which filters and continually monitors the air inside the cabin relative to the air outside. The touchscreen offers reassurance that the air within is cleaner than the air outside.
Of course, being behind the wheel isn’t just about technological wizardry - it’s about the enjoyment and feel of the cabin. And as you’d expect from Range Rover, the interior is as plush as ever. Leather features on all but the entry level Evoque, while there are environmentally sustainable Kvadrat premium wool blends and Eucalyptus fibre textiles available also.
You might look at the downward-sloping roof of the Evoque and worry about space in the rear for occupants. Yet, somehow, headroom in the back is actually more generous than you might think - 973mm, less than 2cm shy of the headroom in the front. That, says Land Rover, is down to the fact that the sloping effect is actually a clever illusion created by the rising waistline. There are two USB ports and a 12-volt socket located inside the cubby box. For second row occupants, a 12-volt power socket is fitted to the rear centre console and there’s a further 12-volt power socket located in the rear loadspace area. That should be more than enough to keep the kids happy as you dash for the ferry.
Owners should be calm and contented, too, with extra sound insulation adding to the sensation of plush refinement, and drowning out all but the loudest sounds even at motorway speeds. In range-topping ‘Autobiography’ trim, you also get a fixed panoramic roof as standard, further improving the sensation of light and space.
Leg room and luggage space is impressive when compared to all rivals
If you’re looking for a huge boot, Land Rover are quick to point out that you might want to consider the Land Rover Discovery Sport instead. But by no means is the Evoque impractical, with improvements to luggage space for 2020 compared to previous models and with the available space being versatile enough to be usable.
In terms of leg room, you get 1016 mm in the front, 864 mm in the back. That compares favourably to the Volvo XC40, perhaps one of the Evoque’s biggest competitors, with the Volvo’s legroom being 1040 mm in the front and 917 mm in the rear. Headroom in the Evoque again gives the Volvo a run for its money. The Evoque has 989 mm in the front, 973 mm in the back, while the XC40 boasts 1030 mm in the front, 994 mm in the rear.
Luggage space in the Evoque is also impressive compared to its rivals. The Audi Q3, for example, has 530 litre capacity boot, while the XC40 has to make do with just 460 litres of space. The Jaguar E-Pace, meanwhile, has a larger 577 litre trunk. Evoque owners, however, can call on 591 litres of space in the boot with all over the seats folded up - which increases to 1,383 with all the seats in the rear folded flat. That’s much better than you might expect at first glance. Meanwhile convenience is increased in Autobiography trim thanks to an automatic ‘gesture’ tailgate which raises at the mere movement of your hand.
Maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating ensures peace of mind for Evoque owners
A maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating ensures peace of mind for Evoque owners, and it’s a stat that will please family users in particular. The facelifted new Evoque also boasts a host of new safety features designed to keep both driver and occupants cosseted and secure.
A new Rear Collision Monitor uses radars to constantly monitor the vehicle’s rear, meaning the vehicle is always ‘primed to reduce the severity of an impact for the occupants’, according to Land Rover. A new 3D Surround Camera lets the driver see what’s happening around the vehicle at speeds of up to 19mph, keeping you clued-up whether you’re navigating the urban jungle or tackling tough terrain off road.
Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Electronic Traction Control (ETC), Roll Stability Control (RSC), Electric Parking Brake (EPB), Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) all come as standard on the Evoque, as do Lane Keep Assist, Emergency Braking, Driver Condition Monitor, Cruise Control and Speed Limiter, as well as ‘Wade Sensing’ - which water depth of the river or brook you’re about to tackle, using sensors located on the door mirrors, making sure it’s safe for you to proceed. All in all, the Evoque is a serious bit of kit even at standard levels.
Trim choice is extensive, possibly almost too much
When it comes to trim, again the choice is extensive - and may leave you scratching your head. You essentially have three initial options to choose from - the Basic Evoque, the mid-range Evoque R-Dynamic (starting at £37,880) and the top-spec Evoque Autobiography (priced from £52,110).
Then, if your starting platform is the basic Evoque or the R-Dynamic, you can then upgrade further with specification packs, going from S, to SE, and then HSE. In HSE form you can expect 20 inch alloys, the ClearSight interior rearview mirror and bling-laden ebony quilted perforated Windsor leather seats. For all models, ‘Fuji White’ is the base paint and any other colour - from Firenze Red to Carpathian Grey, will set you back an extra £700. There’s almost a dozen different alloy wheels to choose from, too, running up to 21 inch gloss black split-spoke rims.
There is no shortage of luxury SUVs in the marketplace, even if the Evoque was the car that set the trend. And so this is a vehicle that needs to work hard to stay desirable. The biggest competitors are the Audi Q3 (priced from £32,460), Volvo XC40 (£25,420), BMW X2 (£29,295), Jaguar E-Pace (£29,050) and even the Porsche Macan (£47,060).
Yes, the Volvo XC40 might have a lower starting price point, and the XC40 range might also boast the all-electric ‘Recharge’ model as a really attractive and cutting edge offering, but the Evoque wins many of the individual battles so important in this segment - particularly where it comes to a luxurious interior and overriding sense of opulence. The Evoque’s new range of mild-hybrid engines are also something of a game-changer and ensures the car has adapted to the changing habits and needs of owners, both here in the UK and beyond.
A veritable winner, with welcome new refinements to the both interior and exterior
The Evoque has always been a stylish, attractive trailblazer, appealing to a wide range of owners. And if you’ve got a winning formula, you don’t ditch it. Which is why the subtle new tweaks to both the powertrain as well as to refine the interior and exterior are welcome indeed, and keep the Evoque ahead of the chasing pack. It may be more expensive than competitors, but as with most things in life, quality comes at a premium.
Lease price: from £292.86 per month**
*Based on Select’s unique meta score analysis, taking into account the UK’s top six leading independent car reviews of the Evoque
**Correct as of 03/09/2020. Based on 9 months initial payment, 5,000 miles over a 48 month lease. Initial payment equivalent to 9 monthly payments or £2,635.74. Ts and Cs apply. Credit is subject to status.
More on this topic: Range Rover Evoque Review