I must confess, I’ve always loved the design and styling of the ‘Evoque’. In fact it was the first sub-compact luxury SUV to turn my head. While it blows all others out of the water with its 21st century futuristic looks, it does have its problems. So cast an eye over my summary before you pay out your hard earned cash.
1. Ultra cool 21st century styling that won’t date
2. Excellent off-road thanks to the ‘Terrain Response System’ that maximizes traction
3. Quality interior where everything it fitted and finished as it should be including stitched leather and brushed aluminum
4. The optional panoramic sunroof offers more light to a quite tight space
5. Available as 6-speed automatic and manual, or a 9-speed automatic introduced after 2015
6. Multiple trim levels including no less than 12 interior color choices, various wood and metal trims and 3 optional contrasting roof treatments to satisfy the most fastidious connoisseur
7. Optional 8–inch touch screen entertainment system that can display separate images to both the driver and front passenger
8. Models with parking sensors and surround cameras help tremendously with poor rear visibility
9. 2015 updated the Evoque with more efficient Ingenium-badged engines, extra tech and safety features
10. Great safety ratings
11. The optional ‘Meridian’ sound system is superb
12. Smaller design means easier parking and city driving
1. Cramped interior space – especially for rear seat passengers. Not for the tall or long legged. If you have issues with claustrophobia, then steer clear!
2. The narrow, tapering windows to the side and rear offer the driver compromised visibility
3. Increased wind noise from the large side mirrors the faster you drive
4. A firm ride compared to other alternatives on the used car market – especially with the 20 inch alloy wheels
5. Some early models were recalled for rear brake-caliper fixings that could loosen and come adrift
6. There was also a recall on some models regarding the airbags
7. A few thousand 2012 and 2013 diesel-engined models built between 2102 and 2013 were recalled to check for a fuel leak which could occur within reach of the hot turbocharger and exhaust system
8. The DPS on the diesels can clog up, but taking it out for a good drive on the motorway once or twice a month (at least) should stop this from becoming a problem
9. Soft top convertible has the usual issues and takes up trunk space
Make sure the mechanic doing the inspection goes over everything with a fine-tooth comb. Listen for any abnormal noises coming from the rear of the vehicle on early models that could lead to the rear brake-caliper fixings coming loose. Ensure any recalls on the model you are looking at have been attended to and proof of work done is documented in the maintenance records. You can check things like the enhanced seat operation and all the tech that accompanies the interior – especially the entertainment systems and sat-nav units. It is most unlikely these SUV’s have been off-road, but nevertheless check for evidence of off-road damage to the wheels, door frames and undercarriage. If you have your heart set on a convertible, make sure the mechanism works smoothly and that there are no rips on the fabric and no dulling on the soft top window.
Audi Q5 (2008-2017), Mercedes Benz GLC (2015-2021), BMW X3 (2010-2016)
This isn’t a performance car, it’s more of a show pony. The Evoque also came out as a convertible in 2017, which would give you more head room when the top is down, but takes up valuable trunk space and only comes with a soft top. The turbo engines are sufficient enough, and this is probably the best Range Rover for driving in the city. If I was in the market for an Evoque, then I’d opt for a later model with a surround-view camera and parking sensors, panoramic sunroof, and as many optional extras as I can find. I would avoid the 20 inch alloys as they make for a harder ride (preferring the 18 inch tires instead). The Evoque has been a big seller in the US and overseas, and there are plenty to choose from on the used car market, so be picky about the one you want.