2014 Range Rover Evoque First Drive Review


Noticeably the new 2014 Range Rover Evoque is more efficient than the 2013 Range Rover Evoque and, with a wide range of new colour and alloy wheel options, a hugely competent car becomes more desirable and enjoyable than ever.


Boot space isn't as generous as many rivals and this goes hand-in-hand with relatively poor rear visibility. Under duress you could argue that JLR's infotainment system isn't fast enough, either.


The headline addition to the Range Rover Evoque's already significant arsenal of equipment for 2014 is a new nine-speed gearbox. Along with Land Rover's 'Active Driveline' option, which can operate the car in front-wheel drive mode when power to all four wheels isn't required, it means the new Evoque is up to 11.4 percent more fuel efficient than before with a 9.5 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

Range Rover has been selling the Evoque at a rate of nearly 10,000 units a month over the past 18 months – an extraordinary volume for a premium vehicle – and it wants that trend to continue. As a result the 2014 Evoque comes with the option of Park Exit, which automatically extricates the car from parallel parking bays, and Reverse Traffic Detection, which warns the driver of incoming traffic. Lane departure warning and traffic sign recognition are also available, as is wade sensing, for adventurous Evoque buyers.

The enjoyment of driving an Evoque derives from a high driving position, its fleet of foot nature and an ability to change direction quickly and accurately. In many ways it feels like a raised Volkswagen Golf 4Motion and, despite questionable visibility, is easy and reassuring to drive both in the city and out on the open road. The car has always been a jack of all trades when it comes to ownership, too.

The new model is all about that nine-speed transmission, however. It means the Evoque can sit at 70mph with the tachometer reading just 1,500rpm, roughly half of what a car with five or even six gears would manage. Whether you leave the car in automatic mode or choose to use the steering column-mounted paddles, shifts from the ZF-sourced gearbox are crisp and unfailingly quick. It's an excellent addition to the Evoque and, while there have been reports of it fidgeting between gears a bit on motorway routes, the vast majority of buyers who choose to spec it won't regret it.

The 2014 Evoque starts at a not inconsiderable £29,200 and prices rises steeply from there. In fact, it's not hard to surpass £40,000 if you opt for one of the higher powered engines. The model AutoeBid tested – and the likely best-seller – was the 190hp SD4 model with the nine-speed automatic gearbox . The balance of strong performance and a combined 48.7mpg is hard to ignore and a relatively low list price for the model leaves room for options. Prices start at £32,705 OTR.

Those wanting a fully kitted-out Evoque will want to consider the Intelligent Pack (Water Wade Sensing, Lane Departure Warning, Traffic Sign Recognition, Headlight with Automatic High Beam Assist) for £700 and the Lux Pack (Powered tailgate, Fixed Panoramic Roof, 825W Meridian Sound System, Dual View Touch Screen, Digital Television, Surround Camera System with Tow Assist, Blind Spot Monitor, Keyless Entry, Parallel Park and Climate Control) for a slightly heftier £4,650. Select both packs and you're half way to world domination.

The more usual options are adaptive xenon headlights (£305), a heated steering wheel (£180) and, of course, privacy glass (£350).

The interior is business as usual for modern Range Rovers; an open and minimalistic leather-clad architecture distances the Evoque from darker, button-infested German rivals and means long journeys are a pleasure. Range Rover interiors are always the first thing that new drivers to the brand really notice so it's worth experiencing the Evoque in the metal if it's on your shortlist. A handful of new interior colour options are also available on the 2014 model.

With undoubtedly competent, and in some cases equally desirable, rivals arriving by the shed-load (think Mercedes GLA, Porsche Macan, BMW X4), the meaningful updates bestowed on the 2014 Evoque have come at the right time. For now, at least, it remains top of the class.

'Range Rover Evoque SD4 190 Automatic'

Comfort...........5 stars

Style................5 stars

Handling..........5 stars

Depreciation...4 stars

Economy.........4 stars

2014 Range Rover Evoque Deals & Discount

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