Range Rover Evoque (2011-2019) Review logo

Range Rover Evoque (2011-2019) Review

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2011
      Body type
      Crossover
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
Hugely appealing and stylish SUV

Best bits

  • Styling and image
  • Reasonably practical
  • Becoming more affordable

Not so great

  • Still carries a price premium
  • Reliability niggles
  • Early engines were mediocre

Read by

Range Rover Evoque 2011 frontright exterior

Overall verdict

Range Rover Evoque 2011 front interior

On the inside

Range Rover Evoque 2011 right exterior

Driving

Range Rover Evoque 2011 central console

How much does it cost to run

Range Rover Evoque 2011 front interior

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"It’s easy to see the appeal of the first-generation Range Rover Evoque on the second-hand market. It still looks great, almost a decade after launch, and is practical enough to fit easily into your daily life. There are a few reliability niggles, so we’d suggest buying an approved used model. Get a good one, though, and you’re more likely to be pleased as punch."

Range Rover Evoque 2011 frontright exterior

The Range Rover Evoque has proven to be a landmark car for Land Rover. Introduced when the firm was suffering the impact of the 2008 recession, it immediately made a huge impact – aided by a glitzy launch at Kensington Palace, which was attended by a huge number of celebrities, including Evoque design consultant Victoria Beckham.


Two versions were offered, a three-door and a five-door. Both look similar, but the three-door, called Evoque Coupe, is just that bit more stylish. It’s less practical, though, which is why the vast majority of Evoques have five doors – and the car’s 2019 successor is only available in this format.


When sales began in 2011, it was clear Land Rover had a hit on its hands. The Evoque was a perfectly pitched, downsized SUV, one that was within reach of far more people than the larger, posher Range Rover. It was the right car for the time and, as the world emerged from a recession, so sales started to grow and grow.


One reason for the Evoque’s success is clear: those iconic looks. Styled to be modern, distinctive and much less 4x4-like than a conventional SUV, the car was an instant classic and quickly became the must-have accessory for fashion-conscious people everywhere.


It wasn’t all just fancy good looks, though. The Evoque was reasonably practical inside, too – not as commodious as a Land Rover Discovery Sport, of course, but still just about big enough to pass muster as an everyday family holdall. It was just the excuse many needed to switch into it from duller, more conventional cars.


All Evoques are good to drive. Land Rover made sure it was optimised for on-road use, with stable handling and a nice, absorbent ride. The vast majority were sold with diesel engines, and these are a bit less impressive (although later ‘Ingenium’ diesel engines are better).


Then there are the Evoque’s staggering abilities off-road. Like all true Land Rovers, it goes further than you’d ever imagine. For something designed to be a style icon, discovering exactly what it’s capable of in the rough stuff is a real surprise. Most came with all-wheel drive, which helps, although fuel-saving versions are front-wheel-drive only.


The Range Rover Evoque was facelifted in 2015. Key changes were the introduction of the improved new Ingenium engines, plus LED headlights that include a distinctive LED running light ‘bar’ pattern. Infotainment was also improved – a welcome update, as earlier models use a rather dated system.


Because the Evoque has proven so popular, there’s a broad array of choice on the second-hand market. These range from value-priced entry-level versions, to range-topping cars with all the bells and whistles. The sheer choice of colours and trims is also huge, making searching through the classifieds an entertaining affair.


A curiosity of the range is the bizarre Range Rover Evoque Convertible. Some questioned this when new, although it has proven more successful than many would have believed. It’s an interesting choice for those eager to be even more fashion-conscious.


Read on so we can help you navigate the broad and diverse choice of Range Rover Evoque models – and pick out exactly the right car for you.


If you're looking for the newer version, you need our Range Rover Evoque (2019-) review.

Is the Range Rover Evoque right for you?

SUVs are all the rage these days and the Range Rover Evoque was one of the first modern machines to boost the popularity of the sector. It showed you could drive a high-rise machine and not suffer in terms of high list prices, truck-like handling or poor fuel economy.


The five-door Evoque is particularly appealing. Children can easily jump in and out of the back, making it a much more interesting alternative to a humdrum hatchback. The boot is also convenient, proving (just about) pushchair-friendly.


Some new car owners really went to town when speccing their Range Rover Evoque. This means that if you like cars with a distinctive appearance and lots of goodies, there are some really special models out there to indulge yourself with. Meanwhile, diesel versions should offer reasonably competitive running costs – although check the insurance cost first. You might get a bit of a surprise if you’re switching from a regular car.

What’s the best Range Rover Evoque model/engine to choose?

The five-door Range Rover Evoque has practicality and convenience lacking in the three-door version, yet the stylish looks are barely diminished, so we’d choose that one for starters. Although a range of petrol engines was offered, they’re a bit thirsty, so are only really suitable for those who don’t cover many miles.


The later Ingenium diesels, offered from 2015, are better than the earlier Ford-derived motors, which were a bit workmanlike. Naturally, you should also choose an automatic gearbox – a manual Evoque just doesn’t feel right.


The early entry-level Pure grade was a bit light on style-led features that make the Evoque so appealing. Dynamic and Prestige trims have more features, while later SE and HSE versions were better still. Look out for Lux and Tech packs, which have even more goodies.

What other cars are similar to the Range Rover Evoque?

The Range Rover Evoque beat every other rival to market. It was a completely new type of road-focused premium SUV, and it took Audi and BMW several years to respond with the Audi Q3 and BMW X1. Only recently has Mercedes-Benz readied the GLB (the smaller GLA is not really a rival to the Evoque).


Following the success of its large Cayenne, Porsche introduced a smaller rival to upmarket Evoque models in the form of the Macan. More recently, the Volvo XC40 has arrived to eye up more affordable Evoque variants. Then there’s the internal competition from the Jaguar E-Pace, and Land Rover’s own Discovery Sport – the latter for those who like the idea of an Evoque but need extra space and practicality.

Learn more

Range Rover Evoque 2011 front interior

On the inside

Range Rover Evoque 2011 right exterior

Driving

Range Rover Evoque 2011 central console

How much does it cost to run

Range Rover Evoque 2011 front interior

Prices, versions and specification

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