Skip advert
Advertisement

Best Compact SUV: Range Rover Evoque

Why it won...

It's amazing to think a year has passed since the Evoque beat all-comers to scoop our overall Car of the Year prize, as it is still such hot property.

The baby Range Rover has helped transform the fortunes of the entire company and lengthy waiting lists bear testimony to its desirability. It’s easy to see why, because the car looks like a concept that has driven straight from the styling studio on to the high street.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Since last year, the efficient eD4 version has hit showrooms, too, so the Evoque now has even more widespread appeal. With two-wheel drive and CO2 emissions from as low as 130g/km, the entry-level model is aimed squarely at company car drivers – and you can see why they’ll be tempted. Nothing else at this price turns heads like the Range Rover, and it comes comprehensively equipped, too.

Best of all, the Evoque’s hatchback body is surprisingly practical for a car that majors on style and design rather than versatility and space. A decent 420-litre boot and comfortable rear seats make it perfect for families.

Classy touches include a Jaguar-style rotary gear selector and puddle lights in the door mirrors that project a silhouette of the car on to the ground at night.

There’s more to the Evoque than a glamorous cabin and striking design, though, because it drives more like a sporty hatch than a tall-riding SUV, with decent performance, a smooth-shifting automatic gearbox and entertaining handling. Best of all, it was designed, engineered and is built in Britain.

Our choice: 2.2 TD4 Pure

If you want the full concept car experience, the stylish coupe is the best Evoque, but we prefer the added versatility of the five-door model. It looks almost as good as the sporty three-door, but in 2.2 TD4 trim it doubles as a sensible, and surprisingly practical, family hatch.

Commended

Land Rover Freelander 2

Land Rover has been making world-beating off-roaders since 1948, and the Freelander 2 shows just what this kind of pedigree gets you. Its upper crust image is only the start, because beneath its classy exterior lies the most talented off-road chassis in the class.

BMW X3

Buyers are spoiled for choice here. While the Freelander 2 rules the roost off-road, the X3 is the class leader on it. Sharp handling and a range of efficient diesel engines make the BMW a very desirable package. It’s no mug in the mud, either, so the X3 is a great all-rounder.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Continue Reading
Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

Range Rover Evoque review
Range Rover Evoque P300e Autobiography - main image
In-depth reviews

Range Rover Evoque review

The Range Rover Evoque offers great levels of luxury, technology and – perhaps most importantly – style
30 Jan 2024
New Range Rover Evoque 2024 review: premium plug-in hybrid is pricey!
Range Rover Evoque facelift - front
Road tests

New Range Rover Evoque 2024 review: premium plug-in hybrid is pricey!

The updated Evoque has been fitted with new tech and an impressive plug-in hybrid powertrain to keep it competitive, but this comes at quite a cost
8 Dec 2023

Most Popular

New Volkswagen Golf 2024: facelifted hatchback icon on sale from 11 April
Facelifted Volkswagen Golf - front static
News

New Volkswagen Golf 2024: facelifted hatchback icon on sale from 11 April

The eighth-generation Golf has been given a mid-life refresh - just in time for the model’s 50th birthday
9 Apr 2024
New Skoda Kodiaq 2024 review - the do-it-all family SUV
Skoda Kodiaq 2024
In-depth reviews

New Skoda Kodiaq 2024 review - the do-it-all family SUV

The Kodiaq aims to be the do-it-all SUV for families and it largely succeeds. The driving experience isn’t the most exciting, but for a big, practical…
12 Apr 2024
Toyota Yaris vs Renault Clio 2024 twin test: hybrid supermini battle
Toyota Yaris vs Renault Clio E-Tech - front tracking
Car group tests

Toyota Yaris vs Renault Clio 2024 twin test: hybrid supermini battle

With more and more electrified rivals arriving, Toyota has given its hybrid-only Yaris a facelift. We put it up against Renault’s class-leading Clio.
13 Apr 2024