Range Rover Evoque: Fifth report

17 Dec, 2012 10:15am Graham Hope

Expensive? Yes. Flawed? Yes. But our man still loves the Evoque

Is the Evoque the iPhone of the car world? I’m beginning to think so. Having run the baby Range Rover for a few months – and as a user of Apple’s pioneering smartphone – I can see distinct parallels between them.

Neither can be topped for sheer desirability in their fields, despite facing a raft of ever-improving, clever rivals. A blend of stylish good looks and genuine ability ensures they remain the benchmark for copycat contenders.

But perhaps the greatest trick they pull off is that their sheer ‘want one’ factor persuades you to overlook some obvious flaws. Don’t get me wrong; I still love driving the Range Rover Evoque. But it is a car you have to compromise with – particularly if, like me, you are a family man.

First of all, it’s pricey. Our Evoque costs a hefty £40,495 and for that you get a car that looks great, but is surprisingly compact. The arrival of my second daughter Erin means there are two child seats in the rear, and there really isn’t as much space left over as you’d like. The boot struggles to take all my kids’ gear, too.

In addition, on numerous occasions I have banged my older daughter Isla’s head while placing her in her seat, on account of the low, sloping roofline. That problem should be addressed in the next month or so when she switches to a Kiddy Guardianfix Pro booster seat, which sits lower on the rear seats.

The Evoque’s family credentials are further questioned by how costly it is to run. A mere 31.1mpg is disappointing, and the £361 I paid for a replacement Michelin tyre after a recent puncture had me reeling. The fact there is no spare tyre is another irritant, and I was also flummoxed by the handbook, hidden away in a hard-to-find compartment in the glovebox.

Logic, then, would say this is an overpriced, flashy motor that’s all style and no substance. But that’s when all its cutting-edge features win you over. DAB offers a host of crystal clear radio stations, the sat-nav is intuitive and reliable, the dashboard TV even has CBeebies – much to Isla’s delight – and the Bluetooth phone connection works flawlessly.

Memory seats ensure getting comfortable is simple, and I’ve even worked out how to set a maximum height for the powered tailgate, following my complaint it was too high for wife Seema in the previous report. Thanks to reader Michael Dale for his advice on that one.

On the road it’s comfortable, yet powerful and involving enough to put a smile on your face when required. In short, despite its niggles, it’s a machine with the X Factor, an unquantifiable feelgood factor that makes you covet it despite knowing there are more affordable choices that do the job just as well.

You want one rather than need one – rather like the iPhone, in fact. Of course, it’s worked a treat for Apple, so it’s no surprise to me that the Evoque is also proving such a success for JLR.

Disqus - noscript

Fully agree about the iphone comparison. Over priced under spec'ed hardware that has posers drooling at the mouth while the real 'drivers' go else where

very few 4 x 4 cars come anywhere near a Land Rover product for usability, there are so many youtube clips showing that a LR or RR goes where no other car can, yes the Evoque is expensive in the same way the Mini is expensive and the DS range, they are all for teh fashion concious and therefore are priced as such.

I pity the daughter of the author, to bump her head once is forgiveable but no more, it shows a lack of care for the child if you continue to do that knowing it can be done.

To say that it is too compact is stupid, you clearly know that when you get it, and clearly cant be a complaint, if space is a concern most sensible people would either get a freelander 2 or disco4, also to insinuate a complaint about the car when you have to buy a tyre is unfair, it is the tyre manufacturer that dictates the price not LR, if you want cheap tyres buy a Hyundai i10.

Not so sure about your iPhone comparison, as the iP is a compact and useful product, posing ability a non-issue.

The Evoque's fuel consumption is simply appalling, as is the cost of the replacement tyre.

The Evoque was not designed to have a large boot. If you have a family with 2 kids, how can you moan about the space? If you want to carry all the paraphernalia which goes with kids, then you buy a people carrier, estate or large SUV.

And you moan about finding it hard to locate the user manual?

er, you bought it for 40.5k, six months later it's worth 39.5k trade-in and you are complaining because it's too expensive????

If it has to be an urban 4x4 I'll take a CR-V. It it has to be a smart phone them I'll take the Samsung or HTC.

I've never been a fan of providing jokes for other people at my expense.

As for the Evoques hi-tech gadgets ... DAB, Sat-Nav, Bluetooth. Really? At £40k for an overblown Freelander I'd have expected at least a dasboard clock made by Rolex as well.

And it still looks the silliest car on the road, but perfect for those who try just a bit too hard.

As usual British
reporters can only criticize unless German badged. Very poor journalism.

Here, Here.

A nowhere niche for nowhere people.

I drive a Honda CRV & have also driven virtually every large & mid size SUV on the market as my job requires it.

The Evoque does not cut it in any way - for me.

Auto Express is clearly obsessed with Evoque. However in their defence there is nothing like Evoque on the road to date. Nothing else quite matches its fresh looks and bling.

Toyota any day! When did you lastm see an Evoque in the real tough spots of the world?

Simple fact. Many people buy cars on looks, much in the same way most people initiate relationships on looks. Hence our personal relationships and car relationships often fail to satisfy in the long run! The Holy Grail is looks and personality/practicality! Mind you, I'd rather choose a good looking person, (even if high maintenance) over a practical person, hence the success of the Evoque!

Completely agree with this review apart from the satnav comment - I've used much better systems (eg Audi) but if you're thinking of buying an evoque be warned - they aren't a practical family wagon , especially if you have a new born. And don't get me started on the throttle response on the diesel auto...

Key specs

  • On fleet since: March 2012
  • Price new: £40,495
  • Engine: 2.2-litre 4cyl, 188bhp
  • CO2/Tax: 174g/km/£195
  • Options: Metallic paint (£550), white roof (£500), Lux Pack (£4,425), wood trim (£200), panoramic glass roof (£790)
  • Trade-in now: £39,500
  • Insurance group/quote: 38/£1,127
  • Mileage/mpg: 13,700/31.1mpg
  • Costs: £361 for new tyre
AEX 1337
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