The 2015 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque is the baby of the Range Rover lineup. It’s also the most unabashedly focused on the highway rather than taking things off-road. You can drive this into the forest if you want, but it’s most at home on paved roads where it truly shines as a crossover.
The whole crossover segment is flooded with cars that promise utility and room with handling that’s better than their full-size SUV counterparts. They’re not sedans and they’re not SUVs, but they’re just right. The only problem is they aren’t often a good middle ground and tend to feel very SUV-like in their ride and handling.
The Range Rover Evoque does not have that problem. It drives more like a sedan than other crossovers making it something unique in a crowded field. It has the cargo space of an SUV with off-road capability, but handling, styling, and comfort are all like a sedan, and a very nice one. Inside and out it is beautiful and stands out for not looking like every other crossover in the grocery store parking lot. This one actually looks good.
This being a Range Rover, the interior feels luxurious and refined, but without the overt luxury of its larger siblings. It’s as though they’ve scaled everything back, not just the size, but the look and feel of the interior. It’s clean and uncluttered while still being comfortable and inviting. It’s luxurious without being over the top.
The Pure Premium Package ($4,800) includes passive entry, surround camera system, HDD navigation, intuitive voice control, and a Meridian surround sound system with 17 speakers and a subwoofer. There’s also adaptive xenon headlamps with LED signature lighting, auto high beam assist, blind spot monitor with closing vehicle sensing, reverse traffic detection, and loadspace rails. The only thing in that package that’s bothersome is the auto high beam assist. It works, but it’s annoying as heck to have your lights flicking from high to low in a situation where you’d leave them on low due to heavy traffic.
The Pure Plus Package ($3,000) adds power leather seats with lumbar and memory, Homelink, fixed panoramic sunroof with blind, front fog lights, headlamp powerwash, 19″ alloy wheels, and a power tailgate. There’s some functionality in there, but it’s basically about amping up the Evoque’s looks. Those power, leather front seats are spacious and comfortable and the rear seats offer similar comfort with slightly smaller dimensions.
There is still plenty of room for two to spread out in back, but even a third passenger won’t be terribly cramped. The panoramic sunroof lets in loads of light and makes this small vehicle feel big. As one young passenger said as he stared up at the sky, “It’s like being in an observatory!” He is absolutely right.
Cargo capacity is 20.3 cubic feet behind the rear seats or fold them down for 51.0 cubic feet. It’s not full-size, but that’s still a good amount of room to haul around the average family’s stuff. The power tailgate offered in the Pure Plus Package makes it easy to load.
The Range Rover Evoque is powered by at 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with 240 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque paired to a 9-speed automatic transmission. The transmission shifts smoothly and the engine provides all the power this lightweight car needs to take command on the highway.
Despite being a crossover with off-road chops, this car embraces the idea that most crossovers never leave the pavement. It most definitely can go off-road, however. The Terrain Response System offers a choice of general, snow, mud, or sand. There is all-wheel drive with active drive control, an electronic rear differential with active torque biasing, and torque vectoring by braking.
Yet, the Evoque feels completely at home on the highway with handling that is more like a car than you’d expect. The electronic power assisted steering is very responsive and almost sporty without any sloppiness. There’s a manual mode and paddle shifters so you can have a little fun, and trust me, you’ll want to have fun with the Evoque.
Fuel economy for the Evoque is 21/30/24 mpg city/highway/combined. This falls in line with competitors like the BMW X4 and Audi Q5 for highway driving and places it slightly ahead for drivers who will be spending most of their time in city traffic.
There are those who mock the idea that any crossover is an off-road vehicle since so few leave the pavement. The Evoque snubs its nose at these people by providing Land Rover off-road capability in a package that is perfectly suited to highways, byways, and city streets.
2015 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
Base Price: $41,100
Price As Tested: $49,650 (not including destination charge)
- On-Road Handling
- Unique Exterior Design
- Beautiful and Comfortable Interior
- Fuel Economy
- Annoying High Beam Assist