This 2015 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque review explains changes for the model year, provides a summary of the 2015 Range Rover Evoque, and includes Land Rover Range Rover Evoque safety, reliability, and fuel economy ratings.
What is the 2015 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque?
Long known for building rugged off-roaders that can go just about anywhere, Land Rover has decided that perhaps the time is right to build a more compact and stylish yet still capable SUV intended more for urban duty. The result is the Range Rover Evoque, smaller, lighter, and more fuel-efficient that any Land Rover to come before it.
What’s New for 2015?
Looking like no Range Rover in history, the Evoque is designed to evolve and modernize the character of the brand in 160 countries around the world. Key highlights include three- or five-door configuration, permanent all-wheel-drive with Land Rover Terrain Response technology, and an available MagneRide Adaptive Dynamics suspension. Unfortunately, Land Rover insists on calling the Range Rover Evoque three-door a “coupe,” when it so clearly is not.
Trim Levels and Features
The 2015 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque comes in three different “themes,” and as much as we might think it silly that Land Rover calls the three-door model the Evoque Coupe, it certainly comes in handy as a way to distinguish between the two. That said, the Evoque Coupe comes only with Pure or Dynamic themes, with the Prestige theme reserved for the five-door model.
Pure models are patterned after the Land Rover LRX Concept vehicle upon which the Evoque is based, and include brushed aluminum interior trim and neutral cabin colors. Standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, a 380-watt Meridian sound system with an in-dash touchscreen and iPod/USB connectivity, Bluetooth hands-free calling and music streaming, and a fixed panoramic sunroof. Power heated front seats, heated power folding side mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, rain-sensing wipers, headlight washers, and a reversing camera are also standard. The Range Rover Evoque Pure also has LED running lights and taillights, a push-button ignition system, configurable ambient cabin lighting, and 19-inch alloy wheels.
Option packages for the Pure models include a Vision Assist Package (adaptive Xenon HID headlights with automatic high-beam assist and automatic headlamp leveling, and a Surround Camera System with Tow Assist), a Premium Package (Vision Assist plus navigation, 825-watt Meridian surround sound audio system, and cargo stowage rails) and a Climate Comfort Package (heated windshield, steering wheel, and heated washer jets). Additional options include navigation as a stand-alone item, a rear seat entertainment system (Premium Package required), satellite and HD Radio, and 20-inch wheels. Numerous extra-cost paint colors are also available.
The Range Rover Evoque Dynamic is the sport-themed model, equipped with unique exterior design details, special 19-inch alloy wheels, contrasting roof and spoiler colors, textured aluminum trim, and sport seats with perforated leather and contrast-color inserts. Standard features include fog lights, adaptive Xenon HID headlights with automatic high-beam assist, a Surround Camera System, a power tailgate, keyless entry and ignition, and storage rails in cargo area. The Dynamic model also gets a premium 825-watt Meridian surround sound audio system with 17 speakers, and a hard-disc navigation system. The Climate Comfort Package is optional, as well as rear seat entertainment, satellite radio, HD Radio, and a set of 20-inch wheels. An Adaptive Dynamics continuously adjustable suspension is also optional on this model.
Available only as a five-door model, the Range Rover Evoque Prestige is equipped like the Dynamic model but is opulently outfitted with sparkling metallic cabin detailing, real wood trim, and a two-tone leather-wrapped interior with contrast stitching. Upscale multi-spoke 19-inch alloys complete the list of upgrades. Optional features mirror the Dynamic model, except for the Adaptive Dynamics suspension.
Under the 2015 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque’s Hood
Land Rover equips the new Range Rover Evoque with a turbocharged, direct-injected, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making 240 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters directs power to all four of the Evoque’s wheels through a permanent all-wheel-drive system. Just like in a Jaguar XF, a rotary knob rises from the console when the Evoque’s ignition fires and is used for gear selection. The EPA estimates fuel economy at 18 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway for a combined average of 23 mpg. During our week driving the five-door Evoque, we covered 335 miles and averaged only 19.5 mpg. That was surprising since a good deal of driving was on the highway, but we simply couldn’t match the EPA-projected 23 mpg average.
The Range Rover Evoque is equipped with Land Rover’s Terrain Response system, which tailors powertrain and AWD systems specifically for driving on grass, snow, sand, mud, ruts, or gravel. When the Evoque is equipped with the optional Active Dynamics suspension, a Dynamic driving mode is also available through Terrain Response.
Hill start assist and hill descent control are standard on every Evoque, as well as a Gradient Release Control feature for exceptionally steep descents, giving it more capability than a typical crossover SUV. And with 8.4 inches of ground clearance at the front axle, a 19.7-inch water fording depth, and a 22-degree breakover angle, the Evoque can tackle whatever terrain most of its owners are likely to attempt.
Safety and Reliability
Six airbags, traction control, stability control, and antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist come standard on the 2015 Range Rover Evoque, but the roster of safety features is not quite as simple as that. For example, the braking system features cornering brake control and emergency brake lights that glow brighter the harder you step on the brake pedal. The traction and stability system are also more sophisticated than most, featuring hill start assist, hill descent control, gradient release control, roll stability control, and trailer stability assist functions.
Unfortunately, it remains to be seen how the Range Rover Evoque fares in a crash in the event that all this technology is unable to prevent one. Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has performed crash tests on the Evoque as this review is written.
Likewise, the jury remains out on reliability predictions from Consumer Reports and J.D. Power and Associates.
With a base curb weight of 3,582 pounds, the Range Rover Evoque is the lightest Land Rover model available, by far. One reason is that it’s also the smallest, as evidenced by interior cargo space measurements. The Evoque Coupe provides 19.4 cubic-feet of cargo space behind the rear seat and 47.6 cu-ft with the rear seat folded, while the Evoque five-door model boasts 20.3 cubes with the rear seat in use and 51 cu-ft with the rear seat folded.
Range Rover Evoque Driving Impressions
The Evoque is surprising in many ways. First, it’s smaller than you expect. You assume since it’s a Ranger Rover, it’s somehow still fairly substantial. But when you approach the vehicle for the first time as a driver you realize that this small crossover is, indeed, a small crossover.
Second, headroom is much better than you expect. Again, you look at the car from the outside and notice the way the roof tapers toward the back. Your mind logically assumes that headroom in the rear seats is awful. Your logical mind is wrong.
And third, this little Rover is much faster and more nimble on the highway than you may imagine. More about how I learned that fact a little later.
Let’s start with size. You’ll fit five passengers in the Evoque and they’ll be quite comfortable as long as they’re not huge people. Kids are the really the ideal size for the rear seat. We tried two: one in a booster seat and one without and they were perfectly content. Passengers with long legs won’t be as pleased. Yet in perhaps the most shocking part of our rear-seat assessment, tall rear-seat riders won’t complain about headroom. It nearly defies logic but we placed five people in the back seat who are all tall enough to play point guard on a college basketball team (six-foot to six-foot-three-inches tall) and they all expressed complete shock by the available headroom. The panoramic sunroof on our test car provided a greater sense of space since it’s all glass above the front and rear rows. But somehow Ranger Rover has managed to build a small crossover with a roofline that tapers downward over the rear seats yet still provide adequate headroom. That’s one impressive engineering feat.
The engine in the Evoque is ready and willing to get you in trouble—then help you out of it. Let’s start with the trouble part. The six-speed transmission is smooth and moves up and down gears easily. So easily, in fact, that you won’t notice shifts. And when you don’t notice shifts, you may not notice acceleration. And when you don’t notice acceleration or shifts, you might find yourself well above the posted speed limit on a freeway somewhere outside Park City, Utah. And when you ask your front-seat passenger how fast you’re going and they respond, “Oh, about 70,” and you’ll say, “Wrong, I’m at 90,” you’ll both express genuine surprise which will be heightened when you notice the flashing lights of a highway patrolman behind you.
My driving record and ego will long remain grateful to a generous officer who let us leave with a warning when a ticket was warranted. But know that the Evoque moves well on the open roads. Take it easy and avoid trouble. But if you get into trouble, the Evoque is ready to help with snow, sand and off-road all-wheel drive settings. We tested each of them on sandy, snowy and muddy roads and, true to expectation, never found ourselves in any real trouble. It’s an easy system to master. Push a button to transform the mode and the Evoque adjusts to match the environment. Simple.
We have two criticisms and two criticisms only. Number one, the software that drives the navigation and entertainment systems is seriously slow. Like put-you-to-sleep-while-you-wait slow. The other is the price. With more than $9,000 in options, our test vehicle cost just over $50,000. For that kind of money you expect a more responsive navigation and entertainment system. And you have to wonder if the Evoque is dramatically better than the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. It’s certainly better off road. Yet in terms of style, the Evoque is a knockout. In terms of driving dynamics, it’s fantastic. And if you’re willing to drop 50-large on a small SUV from Range Rover, we have a hunch you’re not so price sensitive anyways.
One more reason to consider the Range Rover Evoque: It was named 2015 North American Truck of the Year. It’s one more impressive credential for an already impressive small crossover.