Perhaps it's the low profile, or the signature Land Rover grille, the panoramic glass roof, or the sharp rear design, or just the entire package -- but I would rank its exterior design near the top of any list. Inside the Evoque, materials (including Oxford leather seats) are plush, cozy and upscale, as they should be in a luxury ride. The center console features a user-friendly design -- including a rotary shifter.
Only negatives I found on design are the limited leg and head space in rear seat (front seat is comfy and roomy), and the limited storage space in the rear -- which are byproducts of a design focused on making everything look as sleek as possible. Rear visibility for the driver is also a bit tough at times due to design.
For those in warmer climates, new for 2017 is a convertible version of the Range Rover Evoque that allows you to put the top down.
The 2017 Range Rover Evoque is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and it features a 9-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. Numbers are 240 horsepower and 250 lb.-ft. of torque
The experience driving an Evoque is best described as smooth and responsive. It handles well, and is to a certain degree powerful. You’ll enjoy your time behind the wheel, and will definitely be comfortable. Acceleration is adequate, but won’t blow your socks off.
In terms of where you can drive, the Evoque does borrow some basic off-road capability from its bigger siblings, but this is mainly intended for the city crowd. Off-roaders can go with the full-size Range Rover, or save some money by dipping down to the Land Rover Discovery model.
Helpful for driving in adverse conditions is Land Rover’s Terrain Response system, which comes on all Evoques and lets you adjust for the conditions of the road. Also standard is hill descent control.
The Evoque features a rather unique tech system -- a rectangular touchscreen featuring several tiles that takes time to get used to. Voice commands help you get by as you get used to using the physical interface, but the learning curve is longer than I found on other systems. Also, Info screens are tricky to navigate via steering wheel buttons.
A rearview camera comes standard on the Evoque, plus the usual array of airbags, and parking sensors.
You can add features like blind spot monitoring and a forward collision warning system that will brake for you.
Official fuel mileage numbers on the 2017 Range Rover Evoque are 21 city/29 highway/24 combined. Compared to its main luxury compact SUV rivals (Audi Q5, BMW X4, Infiniti QX50, Volvo XC60), those numbers are at the top of the heap and the best you are going to get. So that’s another positive to consider when weighing your options.
My test vehicle was a higher trim level with options, and came in at a grand total of $57,592; Base price on the Evoque starts about $41,800. This is a much more affordable option than full-size Range Rovers, which can top six figures, and an attempt to broaden the brand’s reach in the market..
Reliability rankings are a weak point on the Evoque, as it rates about mid-pack.
Anyone looking to buy a smaller luxury SUV should consider the Range Rover Evoque among their options, especially if their focus is on design and style and comfort. While the weak points are some tech setup issues and long-term reliability, the vehicle’s on-point design and truly enjoyable and comfortable driving experience will no doubt move it to the top of many people’s lists.
Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.