Range Rover Evoque 2WD prototype review
There's no doubt that the 2WD-only Evoque is set to become the best-selling Range Rover. What's it like?
Shane O' Donoghue
Shane O' Donoghue

Published on December 9, 2011

Overall rating: 4/5

Removing four-wheel drive from the Range Rover Evoque reduces its weight, fuel consumption, emissions and price, but not its smoking hot desirability. It's not as competent away from the beaten track, but that really won't matter to the vast majority of customers.

In the metal 5/5

There's nothing to tell the two-wheel drive Evoque apart externally from its four-wheel drive sibling. So it remains one of the most exciting looking production cars of the moment and attracts attention like little else. Whether the styling will age well has yet to be seen, but for now we're smitten.

Likewise, the interior is nothing like other Land Rovers or Range Rovers, yet it manages to slot seamlessly into the range. There's more space than you'd expect too. This version does without the Terrain Response system so the centre console is a little different, but elsewhere it's the same, with high quality materials used throughout and an unmistakable feel-good factor.

Driving it 4/5

In normal conditions there's precious little difference between the two- and four-wheel drive Evoques. The steering stands out as being direct and free of slack, while the car lives up to its looks by proving to be remarkably agile. The front-wheel drive version's 2.2-litre diesel engine does make do with a little less torque than its sibling, but you'll be hard pushed to notice - partly due to the 75kg weight reduction. It is a little slower against the clock, but not by a large enough margin to matter.

Although we acknowledge that few buyers will want to venture off road in the Evoque, it was interesting to compare the front- and four-wheel drive variants on a variety of extreme manoeuvres. The extra traction of the 4x4 model shone through here, though the eD4 version gave a good account of itself - and it's certainly more capable than a regular front-wheel drive hatchback in the rough.

What you get for your money 3/5

It's difficult to logically call the Evoque good value, as it's an expensive car by any normal measure, but its desirability ensures that it'll be bought by the heart as much as it will the head. This eD4 model at least reduces fuel consumption and, more prominently, CO2 emissions, which will help save money in the long run.

Buyers have the choice of three-door Coupé or the five-door Evoque, in Pure or Prestige guises. It's worth remembering that the six-speed manual gearbox is the only transmission option at this stage.

Worth Noting

Land Rover makes a big deal about the sustainability of the Evoque. The 45-slide presentation won't quite fit here, but in summary the company is committed to reducing weight and size, while optimising the powertrain and using recycled materials. Just a few examples include the thermoplastic front wings, a polymeric composite tailgate and the aluminium roof - they alone save 20kg. The Evoque also uses 16kg of recycled plastics and is the first Range Rover to receive ISO accreditation for life cycle principles and requirements. No doubt there's more to come later in terms of hybrid powertrain, but we couldn't prise the information from the Land Rover representatives at the launch.


Off-road enthusiasts and Land Rover die-hards may snub the two-wheel drive Range Rover Evoque, but there's undeniable demand for such a car and it's likely to be the best-selling version. It retains all the delectable qualities buyers covet while being cheaper to buy and run. The four-wheel drive Evoque is better, but that probably won't matter to most.


Tech Specs

Model testedRange Rover Evoque eD4 2WD Prestige five-door (Coupé figures in brackets if different)
Pricingyet to be announced - on sale in April 2012
Engine2.2-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel
Transmissionsix-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Body stylefive-door compact SUV
RivalsAudi Q3, BMW X1, Volkswagen Tiguan
CO2 emissions133g/km (129g/km) - Band B, at €225 per annum
Combined consumption5.0 litres/100km (4.9 litres/100km)
Top speed180km/h
0-100km/h11.2 seconds
Power150hp at 3,500 - 4,000rpm
Torque380Nm at 1,750 - 2,500rpm
Kerb weight1,625kg (1,595kg)