Full 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Review
What's New for 2014
The biggest change to the 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque is the arrival of a new nine-speed automatic transmission, which replaces last year's six-speed automatic. In other news, the available automated parking system gets a Parking Exit feature that simplifies the task of exiting tight parallel-parking spots. Other additions include new exterior mirrors, a sliding center armrest and optional heated rear seats. The rear DVD entertainment system is no longer available.
Small, premium-brand crossover SUVs typically earn their keep as weekday commuter vehicles and weekend errand runners. The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque is part of this category, but it hasn't fully given itself over to this pedestrian lifestyle. True, the Evoque is fuel-efficient and packed full of standard amenities that you'll enjoy on the drive to work. But at its heart, the 2014 Range Rover Evoque is a luxury crossover for shoppers who are more interested in making a fashion statement than installing a rear-facing car seat in the backseat.
This distinction is apparent the first time you lay eyes on the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque. It has the most striking exterior design of any compact luxury crossover, and if the four-door looks too utilitarian to you, this is the one of the few SUVs on the market that also comes in a two-door version: It's called the Evoque Coupe. Unfortunately, there's a price to pay for high style. Headroom and legroom are tight in the rear seat, and the dramatically sloping roof line imparts a semi-claustrophobic feel and impedes rear visibility. If you opt for the Evoque Coupe, the backseat becomes even less accessible. Further, cargo space is well below average for this class.
So apart from its fantastic styling, why else might you consider a Range Rover Evoque? Fuel economy is one big reason. Though the new nine-speed automatic transmission is only good for 1 extra mpg on the small Land Rover's EPA combined rating, 24 mpg combined is a great number for this class -- in fact, the Evoque is tops among gasoline-fueled small luxury crossovers. It's also rather enjoyable to drive, particularly if you value sporty handling and a fair bit of off-road capability. Don't expect to follow an original Range Rover down a trail, but know that the pretty Evoque is capable of tackling some rough terrain, thanks to its various electronic aids. On the other hand, the Evoque's stiff ride could be a turn-off for some shoppers (especially on models with the 20-inch wheels), while its four-cylinder engine is noisier than we'd like.
Of course, there are quite a few small luxury crossovers to consider in this price range. The 2014 Audi Q5 is one of our favorites, thanks to its diverse engine lineup and rich interior furnishings. Another fine pick is the 2014 BMW X3, which boasts two powerful engines, an athletic character and generous rear-seat room. Meanwhile, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz GLK250 is the most fuel-efficient option in this class (it rates 28 combined with its optional diesel engine), while the 2014 Acura RDX has lots of interior space and a standard V6 engine. Although the 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque certainly isn't the most practical crossover in this group, it's still a good choice if you're drawn to its fashion-forward styling, impressive mpg and uncommon off-road talents.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque is a small luxury crossover SUV available in four-door and two-door (Evoque Coupe) body styles. There are two basic trim levels: The four-door Evoque comes in a Pure trim level, while the base two-door Evoque coupe is known as the Pure Plus. From there, you can customize the four-door Evoque with Pure Plus, Pure Premium, Dynamic and Prestige option packages. The two-door is eligible for the Pure Premium and Dynamic packages.
The four-door Evoque Pure comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic wipers, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, keyless ignition and entry, driver-selectable drive modes, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, power front seats (six-way driver, four-way passenger), partial leather upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, an 8-inch touchscreen electronics interface and an 11-speaker sound system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and two USB audio jacks.
If you choose the Evoque Coupe (Pure Plus), you'll get all of the above standard equipment, plus 19-inch wheels, front and rear foglights, a power liftgate and a panoramic sunroof and full leather upholstery. This extra equipment is also included if you select the Pure Plus option package for the four-door Evoque.
Available for both body styles, the Pure Premium option package adds adaptive xenon headlamps with automatic high-beam control, a blind-spot warning system, a 360-degree parking camera system, a navigation system with voice controls and a 17-speaker surround-sound audio system with a 10-CD changer.
Offered only on the four-door, the Prestige package adds 19-inch wheels, slightly different exterior trim, upgraded leather upholstery, wood or aluminum interior accents, heated and ventilated front seats, additional front seat adjustments, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, and satellite and HD radio. Also included is an automated parking system that steers the vehicle into and out of parallel-parking spots.
Finally, there's the Dynamic package, which is offered on both the Coupe and the four-door. It's similar to the Prestige package (without the cooled front seats) but it has a sportier ambience that includes 20-inch wheels, sport exhaust, adaptive suspension damping, a rear skid plate, and different interior and exterior trim. Available only with the Prestige and Dynamic packages is adaptive cruise control with a forward collision warning system (with emergency braking assist).
Powertrains and Performance
Every 2014 Range Rover Evoque comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that generates 240 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic transmission is standard, as is all-wheel drive. All Evoques come with Land Rover's Terrain Response system, which automatically adjusts engine and transmission response depending on road and trail conditions and also offers driver-selectable modes. Also included are hill start assist and hill descent control systems.
The EPA rates both the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Coupe and the Evoque four-door at 24 mpg combined (21 city/30 highway): great numbers for a compact luxury crossover with a conventional gasoline engine.
Standard safety features on all 2014 Range Rover Evoques include antilock brakes, stability and traction control, trailer sway control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. Also standard are front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera.
Optional safety equipment includes blind spot monitoring, a 360-degree parking camera and an adaptive cruise control system bundled with a frontal collision warning system that can apply the brakes if it detects an imminent collision.
In Edmunds brake testing, an Evoque Coupe with 20-inch wheels and summer performance tires came to a stop from 60 mph in 117 feet.
Interior Design and Special Features
The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque's emphasis on design extends to its interior, where rich, multi-hued combinations of leather, plastics, wood and metal result in a cabin that has more flair than the more conventional layouts in other small luxury crossovers.
Visual interest centers on the "floating" center stack and the nifty rotary gear selector. The standard 8-inch central touchscreen controls most infotainment and climate control functions and is easy enough to use, if sometimes slow to respond. The overall appearance of the dash, particularly the center stack and console, is classy but high-tech.
The Evoque's sloping roof line is a stylist's dream but does backseat occupants' heads no favors, and the upward-sloping door sheet metal results in small rear windows, contributing to a claustrophobic feel in the rear. The sensation is heightened in the Coupe, which is also more challenging to get in and out of, naturally. The Evoque's styling and packaging also affects cargo capacity. Its maximum volume of 51 cubic feet (47.6 for the Coupe) with the rear seats folded trails most competitors by a wide margin.
Although the 240-hp 2.0-liter engine is not especially powerful, quiet or refined by luxury crossover standards, it is quite fuel-efficient, especially when paired with the new nine-speed automatic transmission in the 2014 Range Rover Evoque. We also expect the Evoque to feel slightly more responsive during highway passing maneuvers, given that the new transmission has the ability to skip over unnecessary gears when the driver rapidly applies the accelerator pedal. We haven't yet tested a 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, but we'll update this review once we have.
Handling is a strong suit for the Evoque, as it feels composed and steady going around turns, while its light-effort steering is impressively precise. Your choice of wheels and tires can have a big effect on ride quality, though. If a comfortable, serene ride is important to you, we'd advise against getting the optional 20-inch wheels. Off-road capability typically doesn't even come up when discussing compact luxury crossover SUVs, but the 2014 Range Rover Evoque has a fair amount of talent in this department. If you regularly venture to trailheads or mountain chalets, the smallest Land Rover should make a trusty companion.