A baby Range Rover – that was clever thinking, and the Evoque went straight on to many car buyers’ wish list at first sight. At first, customers were ordering without even taking a test drive. For a while they sold so fast that main dealers couldn’t keep them on their forecourts, and Halewood worked extra shifts to keep up with demand.
It’s a smaller package, but there’s no dilution of Range rover brand values. In other words, you get the style and comfort of a big premium car but in a medium-sized vehicle.
Driving is pure pleasure: handling, acceleration and braking are spot-on, though vision can be a problem when manoeuvring. Off-road, ground clearance and anti-roll bars limit articulation, but traction is impressive.
|Everyday use: ★★★★★
Off-road ability: ★★★☆☆
Equipment & accessory availability: ★☆☆☆☆
Theft of: ★★★★★
Theft from: ★★★★☆
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Here are our top tips for buying a Range Rover Evoque. Discuss prospective buys on our message boards, too.
For a full low-down on what the experts look for, take a look at our LRO Buying Guides. See below for details.
The 2.2-litre diesel engines are essentially Freelander 2 units, updated in 2011.
There are three diesels: 148bhp TD4 basic; 148bhp ED4 2WD version with recalibrated fuel injection and reduced fuel flow rates for enhanced fuel efficiency; and 187bhp SD4. The SD4 is desirable – but other buyers think the same, so you’re unlikely to find a bargain.
Diesels are common fare, but petrol-engined Evoques aren’t hard to find. If you want to wind things up, check out the 236bhp turbo petrol Si4.
Do a thorough test drive, get a proper servicing record and a warranty. You’re unlikely to hit problems, though.
Hesitation under light acceleration (usually a summer issue) will be an engine ECU calibration issue – it’s a half-hour software fix, costing around £60.
Check under diesels for sump oil weeps near the gearbox; the fix costs around £450. Another possible leak is the rear main crank seal; this means the gearbox will need to come out, setting you back about £700.
For 2012 and 2013 model-year Evoques (VIN639806 to 816769), recall campaign P033 should have dealt with diesel leaking from the spill-rail spigot to the spill return pipe connector joint. Dealers should have handled a variety of other fixes as a matter of routine.
From autumn 2013, six-speed manual and (for four-wheel drive only) nine-speed auto were on offer. Petrol models got Active Driveline, which selects 2/4WD as necessary and features a rear axle with multi-plate clutches to control drive to each wheel.
Earlier Evoques have six-speed gearboxes (manual and automatic) and Haldex four-wheel drive. Both six-speed boxes have a good track record.
Automatics have no gearlever. Instead, a rotary dial automatically rises from the console at start –up. Some owners don’t find it intuitive to use, so decide on your test drive whether or not you can live with it.
Two-wheel-drive Evoques are 75kg lighter than the 4x4s, and with the differently optimised (and less responsive) eD4 engine can achieve 50mpg-plus. 2WD is surprisingly capable on ice and snow, but you’ll probably want a 4x4 if you intend to drive off-road regularly.
Evoques haven’t suffered from Freelander diff-pinion wear – the improved Haldex system seems good, so far. Check manual gearboxes for smooth selection; there have been very occasional problems with the selector mechanism. Also look out on manual cars for transmission vibration or poor clutch take-up, and listen for a light rattling sound – they’re all symptoms of gradual dual-mass flywheel breakdown.
SUSPENSION, WHEELS & TYRES
The Evoque rides on coil springs; there’s a long-travel MacPherson strut with lower control arm and anti-roll bar at the front, strut assembly with lateral and longitudinal links plus anti-roll bar at the rear. Road-holding is good, but not at the expense of comfort.
A badly kerbed car may have misaligned tracking (a symptom is one tyre with a scrubbed edge), in which case four-wheel alignment is needed. A common problem is that insufficiently tightened bolts allow the lower arm balljoint to move in the hub, so get someone to turn the front wheels slowly while you listen for clicking/squeaking.
Don’t presume there’s a spare wheel – it’s optional equipment.
The brakes are excellent, but teach yourself how to use them gently or you’ll terrify drivers behind you.
Brake pads should last 30,000 miles. Brake fluid needs changing at three years.
Check everything works properly and that the car pulls up straight.
STEERING & HANDLING
Steering and handling are delightful, unless something’s wrong. The driving experience is nearer to a sharpened-up Freelander than the waft-along serenity of a full-size Range Rover.
Self-park (parallel parking) is worth having because vision out of the Evoque from some angles is difficult.
Look under the steering rack for a white plastic marker inside a big nut, held in place with salt crystals. If water gets into the rack, the salt dissolves and the white marker moves.
The Evoque has more than 80 electronic modules, so there’s plenty of scope for problems. Inoperative stop-start on Eco models is a free rectification and crackling speakers are also fixed free.
Some cars built in the first six months or so of production developed faults with the reverse camera. Minor parking bumps can also damage cameras, so examine them carefully.
Expect to have a non-working smart-key if you keep it next to your mobile phone.
If possible, check through the manual and try every function twice – finding problems later is expensive.
BODYWORK & TRIM
The Pure is the simplest Evoque version and the Prestige is the upmarket extra-trim version. The Dynamic majors on performance and handling.
There are 12 exterior colours, three contrasting roof colours, 11 types of wheels from 18in to 20in, fixed roofs, sunroofs,a full-length panoramic glass roof, and a choice of three or five doors.
The bottom of the windscreen pillar and a hefty external mirror create a sizable blind spot. Raising the seat helps, but may not suit shorter drivers. That stylish rear-end styling sacrifices vision too.
Listen carefully on your test drive, the design and size of the external mirror and its mount mean any small gap will cause wind noise.
Cars with lower spec interiors but in really nice condition are likely to see least depreciation during your ownership.
Examine the trim thoroughly for marks and damage, and think how you’ll be using the car – kids scrambling in and kicking the door-cards will cause massive depreciation.
If you can, find a car with full-length panoramic glass roof (plus electric fabric sunblind and solar reflective coating). It makes the interior so light that all other car cabins seem dark.
Check the parcel shelf, because the lift pegs can come adrift. In addition, the shelf may rub paint off the tailgate. There have been issues with tailgate modules, release switches, power struts and occasionally, trapped wiring, which can trigger all sorts of symptoms.
Door latches can fail (similar to the Discovery), so check they all work properly.
A few of the earliest cars had issues with headlining when a piece of sound-deadening material glued to the roof fell off and could be heard sliding around above the headlining on acceleration. It should have been fixed now, but listen out for it.
FASTEST 0-60MPH: 7.1sec, 2.0 Si4 Dynamic 3d auto
APPROACH ANGLE: 31°
LENGTH: 4355mm/171½in or 4365mm/172in, depending on model
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