By the time the original Range Rover Evoque was replaced, more than 750,000 of them had been sold, including 150,000 in the UK. So it was inevitable that Land Rover wouldn’t mess with the formula too much when it came to creating a successor. We liked the Evoque Mk2 so much upon its introduction, that we named it our 2019 Small SUV of the Year. At the time we said: “Its exterior might not be a revolutionary change, but the interior has been overhauled and it’s now the most interesting, high-quality, luxurious and tech-filled car in its class.” With the arrival of the Mk2, Land Rover made the Evoque more desirable than ever and there are lots to choose from, but check carefully before buying, because reliability can still be a problem.
The Range Rover Evoque is now such a familiar shape that it’s hard to remember just what a reaction the original concept received when it was unveiled 13 years ago.
When the covers were removed from the Land Rover LRX at the 2008 Detroit motor show, the response was so positive that it just had to go into production, and sure enough, three years later, the Range Rover Evoque burst onto the scene to great acclaim.
Land Rover couldn’t build them fast enough, and even though this premium compact SUV was soon everywhere, demand was so high that values just didn’t seem to drop.
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When the second-generation Range Rover Evoque arrived in 2018 it looked much the same as before, although it contained more tech than ever; sometimes it’s best not to mess with a winning formula.
The Range Rover Evoque Mk2 went on sale in November 2018, but the first cars weren’t delivered until January 2019.
At launch there was a choice of 148bhp D150, 177bhp D180 and 236bhp D240 diesel engines, while petrol fans could choose between 197bhp P200, 245bhp P250 and 296bhp P300 options. All of these models came with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, with mild-hybrid technology as standard when an automatic transmission was fitted.
The P300e plug-in hybrid joined the range at the end of 2019, with a three-cylinder 1.5-litre petrol engine. In July 2019, Land Rover rationalised the diesel options to the 161bhp D165 and 201bhp D200, a year later a new range-topping Autobiography trim was introduced, then in May 2021 the luxurious and sporty P300 HST joined the range.
Which one should I buy?
You’re unlikely to be disappointed with any Evoque, because even the cheapest models have plenty of equipment and enough power.
We’d generally opt for an all-wheel-drive car with an automatic transmission, but the manual-gearbox front-wheel-drive editions are usefully more frugal.
The entry-level Evoque comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, dual-zone climate control, fabric trim, heated front seats, a 10in touchscreen, parking sensors front and rear, plus a rear camera and a heated windscreen. S trim brings 18in wheels, power folding door mirrors, 10-way electric front seat adjustment, leather trim and navigation. The SE has 20in wheels, a powered tailgate, 14-way adjustable front seats with memory, and an Around View camera system.
The HSE has lots more driver-assistance systems, 16-way seat adjustment, a Meridian hi-fi and more leather-trimmed surfaces.
Alternatives to the Range Rover Evoque Mk2
None of the Land Rover’s rivals can match the Evoque’s style, but the German trio of Audi Q3, BMW X3 or X4 and Mercedes GLC are still very tough competition because they all offer impressive build quality, with refinement and a decent driving experience.
They’re also plentiful, practical and each has a wide model range – plus they seem to be more reliable. If peerless reliability is more important than anything else, take a look at the Lexus UX, which comes in electric (UX300e) or hybrid (UX250h) forms. Both are incredibly well equipped and wonderfully refined.
A couple of other Jaguar Land Rover products that you could consider are the Jaguar E-Pace and Land Rover Discovery Sport. Also think about the Mazda CX-5, the Volvo XC60, while the Cupra Formentor is an intriguing left-field choice.
What to look for
All Evoques came with all-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox apart from the entry-level 148bhp D150. This came in AWD form, or there was a front-wheel drive version with a manual transmission.
The Evoque makes an accomplished towing vehicle if you don’t overload it. The D150 FWD and P300e can pull up to 1,600kg, AWD diesels can tow 2,000kg, petrol models are rated at up to 1,800kg.
The all-wheel-drive transmission constantly sends the power to whichever wheels have the most grip. As a result the Evoque can be totally front- or rear-wheel drive, or anything in between.
Electrical and electronics glitches are not unusual, with lots of features within the infotainment system potentially affected. The Pivi system can suffer from terrible crackling that can’t be eradicated.
Some people buy the Evoque just for its cabin, which has a premium design and plenty of high-quality materials.
It’s a wonderful place to spend time, with multiple digital screens and plenty of leather on most versions.
The Mk2 Evoque has more rear seat leg room than the Mk1, but it’s still quite tight and head room is compromised too. There’s also more boot space than before: with the seats up there’s 472 litres available, rising to 1,156 litres with the seats folded.
Evoque owners can choose between fixed and variable servicing regimes.
Those who opt for the latter are usually lower-mileage drivers, with the car allowing up to two years and 21,000 miles between garage visits; high-mileage drivers tend to choose the fixed (annual) option, which has a 16,000-mile limit.
The variable scheme alternates between minor and major services, which are priced at £372 and £468 respectively, although the fifth service (at 10 years or 105,000 miles) costs £706. The annual maintenance scheme is priced at £355-£795, although the average cost is £520.
The brake fluid should be replaced every three years and the coolant every 10 years (these are included in the above service costs), and because all Evoque engines are chain driven there are no cambelts to replace.
So far, Land Rover has issued 13 recalls for the original Evoque and three for its successor.
The first one was issued in March 2019, just two months after the first cars were delivered, because all of them made up to that point were fitted with a sender unit that could show an incorrect fuel level in the tank.
Five months later, in August 2019, the second recall came, aimed at Evoques made up to April 2019. This time the problem was front and rear washer jets fusing the electrics if they were operated in freezing conditions.
The most recent recall came in February 2020, because the eCall system had been incorrectly programmed on cars made up to January 2020. A software update was all that was required.
Driver Power ownership satisfaction
The second-generation Range Rover Evoque has yet to appear in any of our Driver Power surveys.
The last time an Evoque was represented was in the 2018 new car survey, when the original model came 42nd, having come 55th the previous year.
In our latest Brands survey, which was collated in 2020, Land Rover came 25th overall out of 30. It came last for reliability and running costs but scored highly for ride comfort, interior design and front seat comfort.