Range Rover Evoque, launched Downunder in October 2011 is a stylish SUV that can tackle moderately tough conditions when in its all-wheel drive variant. It’s also sold with two-wheel drive, which can be used on forest trails and the like as ground clearance is the same as AWD models. We wouldn’t take one to a beach, though.
Evoque looks like it has a very low roof, but that’s a clever illusion. While the roof certainly slopes down at the rear, the angle is not as steep as it seems as the rising belt line is a major player in the apparently low appearance.
Evoque five-door wagon has sufficient headroom for a six-footer in the back seats, but legroom isn’t good and you may have to ask the people in front to give up a few centimetres of their space.
The view to the side from the back seats suffers because of the rising belt line and younger kids will struggle to see out. Take your littlies on your pre-purchase test drive and get their comments.
The three-door, termed the Evoque coupe by Range Rover, has less head and legroom in the back. Getting through the front door to the back seat may prove a challenge for older folks.
Boot space is good and can hold a couple of fair sized suitcases, with smaller items snuggled around them.
In April 2016 Evoque received a major design that was offered in two frontal styles; an all-new Ingenium turbo-diesel engine; slimmer taillights; full-LED adaptive headlamps in topline models and an updated infotainment system with an eight-inch touchscreen. The revised interior shared many design cues with the Range Rover Sport.
A rear-seat entertainment system was an option that often got its box ticked, it uses a pair of eight-inch video screens and wireless digital headphones.
Power comes from four-cylinder 2.0-litre 177 kW turbo-petrol, or a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engines. The diesels were sold in two states of tune, with 110 kW or 140 kW until 2016 when it dropped slightly to 132 kW, however the big emphasis was on torque – 430 Nm – this is the engine to aim for if your budget is up for it.
Transmissions were six-speed manual and six-speed auto until 2014, when a sophisticated nine-speed auto was introduced.
Manuals are becoming increasingly hard to sell or get a decent trade-in value. So, if you’re happy doing your own gearshifting there are bargains out there.
Land Rover Range Rover, to give the company its full title, has been strong represented in Australia for many years. There are dealerships in all major metro areas and in quite a few country cities and large towns as well.
Servicing and spare parts prices are reasonable for this class and we have heard of no real complaints about parts availability.
Insurance costs aren’t too high and there isn’t a great deal of variation between major companies.
Though we are restricting this used car review to models from its introduction until the end of 2016, we should give a few lines to the fascinating Evoque convertible introduced in April 2017. Based on the three-door hardtop version of the Evoque, the convertible has a fabric top. It gained a lot of weight – about 275 kilograms depending on the model to add the strength that used to be provided by the sold roof, which doesn’t do a lot for performance.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Build quality is generally good but there have been a few niggles over the years so it should be essential to have a full inspection from a professional mechanic, ideally with Range Rover training.
We wouldn’t recommend buying an Evoque that doesn’t have service books that are right up to date.
The pre 2016 diesels can be noisy from outside vehicle, but noise reduction stops most of the sound getting inside. Have someone listen to the engine from the outside when you start it up.
Diesel engines made before 2014 were recalled for an inspection of a possible fuel leak. Some 2016 diesels were recalled to check for wiring loom that could touch the exhaust pipe. Check the service books.
Listen for squeaks and rattles when you’re driving on rough roads. Finding a dirt road is an even smarter way of carrying this out.
Expect to spend from $19,000 to $27,000 for 2011 Range Rover Evoque TD4 Pure; $24,000 to $33,000 for a 2011 TD4 Dynamic; $29,000 to $40,000 for a 2012 TD4 Prestige; $36,000 to $48,000 for a 2013 SD4 Prestige; $47,000 to $64,000 for a 2014 Si4 Dynamic coupe; $54,000 to $72,000 for a 2015 Si4 HSE Dynamic convertible; and $65,000 to $87,000 for a 2017 HSE Dynamic.
CAR BUYING TIP
SUVs that go off-road are rare beasts, if you see signs of under vehicle damage or scratches on the paint be suspicious.