It’s been 11 years since Land Rover came out with the Range Rover Evoque, and in that time it has served as both a valiant and stylish entry point into the brand and a solid entry in the uber-competitive compact luxury crossover segment.
As poshly-styled as ever and now boasting a decent set of tech inside, the 2022 Range Rover Evoque offers a serviceable driving experience and an admirably luxurious cabin, but it lacks the polish, build quality, and value of some of its competitors.
In my mind, Range Rovers are to SUVs what Aston Martins are to sports cars. Historically, they may not have boasted the sharpest handling or the best tech, but you forgive all of that because they are exceedingly handsome. And the Evoque is, without a doubt, exceedingly handsome. This special Bronze Collection tester gets a bronze roof and bronze accents near the front fenders to set it apart from other Evoques.
As much as I like how it looks on the outside, I’m an even bigger fan of its interior style. Visually, it’s all very clean and upscale, and its chrome-and-gloss-black aesthetic reminds me of that of the appliances in a new luxury condo unit. Keeping with the theme, the colours, typefaces, layouts, and icons used in the infotainment system remind me of a brochure for a swanky highrise that hasn’t been built yet. The shift paddles behind the steering wheel are made of a very luxurious-feeling alloy, while that infotainment screen can tilt to the angle of your liking, uses visibly very thick glass, and has a convex curve that gives it the look of a lobby security panel or smart thermostat. This interior somehow even smells a bit like how I imagine a new luxury apartment unit does, too.
Cynics may point this out as yet another parallel with newly-built luxury real estate, but the interior leaves room for improvement in terms of build quality because this brand new example was creaking quite significantly over bumps.
Before I even got inside the Evoque I noticed its very small rear window. A byproduct of its steeply raked beltline, it means cars behind you can easily disappear.
Other safety-related misses include the absence of blind-spot monitoring from this particular tester (it’s a $590 option for now but, per the automaker, will be standard for the 2023 model) and the weirdly sparse and ineffective array of semi-autonomous driving features. Cruise control is of the old school, non-adaptive variety, while the lane-keep assist doesn’t seem to be able to keep the Evoque in its lane at all. On the bright side, the Evoque has some of the most aggressive windshield washer nozzles I’ve ever used.
The Evoque being a vehicle from a brand synonymous with luxury, the number of creature comforts both standard in this Bronze Collection model and optional are quite vast. Highlights include an optional head-up display that’s clear and visually simple (part of the $1,000 Tech package that also includes the 12.3-inch digital instruments), standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (wired, unfortunately), and 380-watt premium audio for $450 that sounds quite nice and clear.
The big panoramic roof is standard, though, and it has a sliding shade that closes automatically every time you turn the engine off. In addition to keeping the cabin cool when parking under the sun, this also means that it slid open every time I started the engine as well, which I found to be a cool, dramatic touch.
User Friendliness: 8.5/10
Much of the Evoque’s user experience exists within the two touchscreens that dominate the centre console. The infotainment software for the top display is probably best described as decent – not bad or amazing, just alright. The bottom screen, meanwhile, is dedicated to vehicle-related settings like HVAC, seat heating/cooling, as well as drive modes.
As clean as the design looks, Land Rover has thankfully kept the volume knob intact – although I’m not a fan of how it’s positioned on the console so that the gear selector is always sort of in the way. More successfully done, however, are the climate knobs that are partially laid onto the screen so the temperature readouts are inside the dial. These knobs also double as seat temperature control when you press down on them, a smart solution that I’m surprised isn’t copied by other automakers more.
The screens don’t, however, appear to adapt to changes in light very well, a problem I’ve encountered in the past with Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) products. The default brightness, even after the system adjusts, is too bright at night but too dim in direct sunlight. I found myself manually adjusting this every time I drove it at night (and then back again on the next daytime drive), which is done within the infotainment screen.
As for JLR idiosyncrasies that are a bit more welcome, you can choose to have the built-in nav voice be that of a slightly sultry-sounding British woman. I’m not a Brit myself, but I was a little offended on behalf of all Britons that this was not set as the default.
It may look quite sizable from some angles, but the Evoque is technically a compact crossover (the last-gen model was even offered as a three-door). Therefore, rear seat space is fine for average-sized people, but if you’re any sort of tall or happen to be sitting behind somebody who is, the Evoque’s rear legroom will probably be too tight. Even as a person of average height, the headliner was a little closer to my head than I would’ve liked.
Similarly, its 606 L of cargo capacity should be OK for most everyday applications, but it’s probably too small for, say, moving duty. Thankfully, the rear seats fold down in a 60/40 split for up to 1,419 L of cargo room.
This being a crossover with little sporting pretension, the ride is very comfortable. However, I was less impressed with the seats, which weren’t remarkably relaxing. In fact, I even experienced some lumbar pain after driving, while the seat bottoms became uncomfortable after being in the Evoque for only about an hour.
A heated steering wheel is standard in the Bronze Edition, but heated and cooled front seats and heated rear seats are an $800 optional extra. Discounting the aforementioned creaks made by its own interior, the Evoque is quite good at insulating against outside noise, making for a very quiet cabin at speed.
Powered by a mild hybrid-assisted 246-hp 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder, the P250-grade Evoque is sufficiently powerful for normal day-to-day driving. However, some other characteristics surrounding that powertrain leave room for improvement.
The throttle pedal, for example, exhibits a weirdly long delay even by non-performance crossover standards. That delay applies both ways, too, which means not only does the engine take a half-second to respond to jabs of the pedal, it also keeps applying power for about the same amount of time after your foot has been taken off the gas. It’s all slightly disconcerting. This engine also does not sound very good.
To me, the Range Rover Evoque is one of those vehicles where I don’t think we’ll be losing much when it eventually goes fully electric.
Driving Feel: 7.5/10
Show-stopping on-road driving feel isn’t really a hallmark of the Land Rover experience but, even so, the Evoque’s on-ramp handling in dynamic mode isn’t bad. Steering is fairly responsive and the vehicle goes where you point it but the whole ordeal indeed feels a notch more wooden than, say, the lifted sport sedans that are the BMW X3 or Genesis GV70 – or even the Acura RDX or new Lexus NX.
On loose surfaces, such as the heavy snow that fell on the Greater Toronto Area during this test, the Evoque was appropriately competent, carving through snow-covered corners with decent confidence and grip. It was all pretty impressive, especially considering this particular Evoque was, for whatever reason, still wearing all-season tires in February.
Anyway, cruising across plowed highways, the Evoque is appropriately steady and quiet, while city driving is easy. The latter is helped by a non-jerky brake pedal that’s extremely easy to use smoothly at parking lot speeds.
Fuel Economy: 6.5/10
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) oddly does not have fuel economy figures on the 2022 Evoque, but according to Land Rover, the subcompact SUV officially achieves 11.9 L/100 km in the city, 8.8 on the highway, and 10.5 combined. After 370 km of mixed driving, however, I saw a pretty disappointing average of 12.6 L/100 km on the trip computer. This is despite the mild hybrid system – that for better or worse, did not operate very noticeably at all – and the ignition stop-start system that was kept on for the duration of my time behind the wheel.
In P250 Bronze Collection form, the Evoque starts at $56,400; but after more than $10,000 in options and a non-negotiable $1,800 destination charge, the tester you see here totaled $68,380. That’s around the same money as a Genesis GV70 3.5T Sport, which happens to be more powerful and technically exist one size category up from this Evoque. Head to the Lexus store and that amount of coin will also get you into an NX 350 loaded with the top F Sport package.
The Range Rover name – much like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Porsche – undoubtedly carries clout, which means buyers should expect to pay a premium. Prepare to spend the same amount of money that could perhaps get you more elsewhere.
If you’ve got the cash to spend, though, the 2022 Range Rover Evoque rewards with an impeccably clean and fancy-looking interior, supreme off-road cred for inclement weather driving, and an infotainment interface that’s decidedly not bad. More and better semi-autonomous tech, comfier seats, tighter build quality, a more charismatic powertrain, and a less anemic throttle pedal would likely take this near the top of the class. For now, though, the Evoque makes do with being a pretty face with alright bones.
|Engine Cylinders||Turbo I4|
|Peak Horsepower||246 hp @ 5,500 rpm|
|Peak Torque||269 lb-ft @ 1,300–4,500 rpm|
|Fuel Economy||11.9 / 8.8 / 10.5 L/100 km cty/hwy/cmb|
|Cargo Space||606 / 1,419 L seats up/down|
|Model Tested||2022 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque P250 Bronze Collection|
|Price as Tested||$68,380|
$10,080 – Carpathian Grey paint, $850; Windsor Leather – Ebony, $1,700; Convenience Pack, $900; Cabin Air Purification, $480; Meridian Sound (380W), $450; 21-inch Gloss Black wheels, style 5078, $850; Extended Leather Upgrade, $450; Premium Cabin Lighting, $400; Cold Climate Package, $550; Technology Pack, $1,000; Dynamic Handling Pack, $1,650; 14-way heated and cooled electric driver memory front seats, 2-way headrests, heated rear seats, $800