Range Rover Evoque review - Engines, performance and drive

The Evoque is comfortable and refined, but not the most thrilling car in its class

Unlike its sportier JLR stablemate the Jaguar E-Pace, the Range Rover Evoque hasn’t been designed to offer outright thrills to its driver. On a twisty country road there’s a bit of body roll, some slack in the steering at the straight-ahead position and a less tenacious front end than that of the Jaguar.

However, the Evoque is perfectly pleasant to drive with a bit less gusto – as most of us do most of the time – and it particularly comes into its own on the motorway. Here, the refinement and comfort levels on offer have taken a big step on from those of the old car; Land Rover’s engineers have made sure that the Evoque is a cosseting cruiser rather than a sports car in an SUV body. In this respect, the Evoque compares favourably with the Volvo XC40, a small SUV with a similar outlook on life. Even on our test car’s optional 21-inch wheels, ride quality was excellent – though we are yet to test the Evoque on the rutted roads of the UK.

It’s not terribly likely that any Evoque will venture off-road, but being a Land Rover product, the car does boast impressive skills when the going gets rough. Wading depth has increased from 500mm on the old car to 600mm, while Land Rover’s Terrain Response 2 system can automatically adjust the Evoque’s behaviour to suit the conditions at hand. The supplied Comfort, Sand, Grass-Gravel-Snow and Mud and Ruts settings can each be selected manually too.

Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed

Land Rover expects that most customers will choose a diesel engine despite the current trend towards petrol units. The entry-level D165 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel produces 161bhp and manages a 0-62mph time of 9.8 seconds. Next is a 201bhp D200 version of that engine that cuts the 0-62mph time to 8.5 seconds.

The entry point into petrol Evoque ownership is the P200, which brings a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine with 197bhp and a 0-62mph time of 8.6 seconds. The P250 ups power to 246bhp, dropping the 0-62mph sprint to 7.6 seconds, while the top-spec P300 gets hot-hatch levels of performance thanks to its 296bhp, 6.8-second 0-62mph time and 150mph top speed. 

The P300e plug-in hybrid features a 197bhp 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol unit driving the front wheels, while at the rear axle there’s an electric motor with an output of 107bhp. The PHEV is no slouch, reaching 62mph from standstill in 6.4 seconds and moving on to a maximum speed of 132mph.

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