Performance, ride and handling

You won’t find a big rumbly V8 under the Evoque’s wraparound bonnet. Instead, lying in there somewhere is the rather familiar Ford sourced EcoBoost 2-litre lump that is also used in various Volvo 2.0T and T5 models. Range Rover calls the four-pot the Si4. With the aid of direct injection and a turbocharger, the 1999cc four-pot churns out 240bhp and 340Nm.

Performance is reasonably good – a 0-100km/h time of 7.6 seconds and 217km/h is just slightly down on the sprightly Audi Q5 2.0 TFSI’s impressive numbers of 7.2 seconds and 222km/h. The four-cylinder unit might not deliver performance that is as punchy as the Q5 or the X3 xDrive35i can offer but it delivers real world go that is easily useable and exploitable on our crowded roads. Even though it is basically the same motor as Volvo’s T5 models, the Evoque’s motor somehow feels slightly different on the power delivery and engine acoustics front. The Evoque unit’s peak torque of 340Nm is 20Nm more than the Volvo unit but it feels like it needs some revs before it’ll deliver the punch while mid-range torque is obviously more potent than the Volvo motor. At low speeds, the engine stays relatively quiet and docile, pile on the revs though and it’ll emit a somewhat vocal four-pot roar.  

Mated to the transversely mounted motor is a six-speed torque converter automatic gearbox with a ‘+/-‘ sequential mode and steering mounted gear shift paddles. The gearbox is operated by a rotary knob like in the Jaguar models. The gearbox shifts and works well enough in most instances but there are times when it feels like it is smoothening the gear changes by slipping a tad – other than that there’s hardly anything else to rue about the box.

The Evoque shares most of its underpinnings with its Freelander 2 stable mate but you’ll never know this when you consider how different the two feel on the road. For a start, the Evoque steers sharper than the Freelander 2 – the Evoque’s helm responses instantly to any driver inputs. The steering is also more communicative than the Freelander 2’s. The Prestige model we tested does suffer from some body roll in the corners. Dynamic models though come standard with MagneRide magnetic dampers, which are optional on the Prestige model – these sophisticated dampers, also featured in cars like the Audi TT and Ferrari 599GTB Fiorano should further improve the Evoque’s body control and cornering stance when Land Rover’s patented Terrain Response is set to ‘Dynamic’ mode.

With such compliant suspension, the ride is superbly comfortable at all speeds. The suspension does a fantastic job of cancelling out bumps and road irregularities, thus giving passengers a pliant and cushy ride.

Range Rover admits that the Evoque will never be as good off road as its Range Rover Vogue or Sport models but it is still suitably equipped to tackle the rough stuff better than any of its competitors. Like its bigger stable mates, the Evoque is equipped with Range Rover’s Terrain Response system for better control, traction and stability in the rough. Unlike the rotary knob operated system in the Vogue and Sport, the Evoque’s Terrain Response is operated via buttons next to the rotary gear knob. Terrain Response offers four different driving modes – General Driving, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud and Ruts, and Sand. The system maximizes traction and stability on each of the different surfaces through the vehicle’s electronic brain and traction aids. Selecting Mud and Ruts for example, will have the drivetrain allowing a small degree of wheelspin to maintain vehicle momentum. As previously mentioned, Dynamic models and cars with the MagneRide dampers option have an additional ‘Dynamic’ mode as part of their Terrain Response arsenal.

In addition to Terrain Response, the Evoque is also equipped with Hill Descent Control (HDC) for maintaining the right speed when it goes down a steep slope, something that the Evoque is quite adept at thanks to wide departure and approach angles.


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Engine

Engine Capacity 1999cc
Engine Type Inline 4
Power 237bhp @ 5500rpm
Torque 340Nm @ 1750rpm
Power to Weight 144.5 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 7.6s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 217 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 11.5 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Drive Type F4

Measurements

Body Type SUV
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4355 x 1965 x 1635) mm
Wheelbase 2660 mm
Turning Circle 5.65 metres
Kerb Weight 1640 kg
Boot Capacity 575 L

Brakes