Land Rover Range Rover Evoque – a bit of a mouthful, but that’s its full title, reached us in Australia in October 2011.
It’s a stylish upmarket SUV and can tackle moderately rough conditions 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.
While the Evoque looks like it has a sleek low roof 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 so younger kids can’t see out properly. Take your children on to test this out, in some cases it may mean the Evoque is crossed off your shopping list.
The three-door, termed a 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.
The Evoque got a mild facelift in mid 2014. Changes to the 4WD system featured an electronically-controlled centre differential to improve off-road running. Just as importantly it made on-road handling even better.
In April 2016 the 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 features with the Range Rover Sport and buyers love it.
An Evoque Convertible was introduced in April 2017. Based on the three-door hardtop it has a fabric top. It gained almost a quarter of a tonne to add the strength that used to be provided by the sold roof. The weight doesn’t do a lot for performance. Its high sides do nothing for its appearance and it wasn’t a sales success.
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.
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 has been in Australia for many years and 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.
We wouldn’t recommend buying an Evoque that doesn’t have service books that are right up to date.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Build quality is generally good but we highly recommend a full inspection from a professional mechanic, ideally with Range Rover experience.
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.
Diesels made before 2014 were recalled for an inspection of a possible fuel leak. Some 2016 Evoque diesels were recalled to check for wiring loom that could touch an exhaust pipe. Check the service books to make sure the work has been done.
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.
Check the condition of the interior including the load area as items may have shifted if not correctly secured and scarred carpets and edges.
Set you budget from $14,000 to $20,000 for a 2011 Range Rover EvoqueTD4 Pure; $16,000 to $22,000 for a 2012 Si4 Dynamic; $18,000 to $25,000 for a 2014 eD4 Pure; $23,000 to $32,000 for 2013 TD4 Prestige; $26,000 to $34,000 for a 2014 SD4 Dynamic; $34,000 to $45,000 for a 2015 Si4 Prestige or a 2018 Td4 Pure; ; $38,000 to $50,000 for a 2016 Si4 HSE; $50,000 to $65,000 for a 2017 Si4 HSE Dynamic; and $61,000 to $81,000 for a 2019 Si4 HSE Dynamic.
RECALLS: To browse recalls on all vehicles go to the ACCC at: www.productsafety.gov.au/products/transport/cars/