2024 Range Rover Evoque First Drive Review: A Designer Crossover for the Trendy Crowd

The difference between an expensive designer jacket you’d buy at the trendy mall and a mainstream one you’d find at Target isn’t radical. They both have two sleeves and a couple of pockets, and they’ll both do an equally good job covering your body. Similarly, you could buy a mainstream crossover to get you places, or you could buy an expensive designer one. You can probably guess which camp the 2024 Range Rover Evoque belongs to.

Since its debut in 2012, the Evoque has catered to design-forward folks who are more likely to wear a Hugo Boss jacket than a Barbour (“What is it with this guy and jackets?” you’re probably thinking). A far cry from its Range Rover siblings in terms of ethos, size, performance, and price, the Evoque has cleverly marketed itself as the young and hip Landie rather than just the entry-level model.

Dinner at the newest trendy spot, tickets to a show, and a late-night cocktail before heading back to an ultra-modern loft: my road test wasn’t as chic as this crossover’s target customer’s life, but it was enough to find out what prospective buyers can expect from the lightly refreshed 2024 Evoque.

Jerry Perez
2024 Range Rover Evoque Specs
Base Price (Dynamic SE P250 as-tested)$51,075 ($64,035)
Powertrain2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder | 9-speed automatic | all-wheel drive
Horsepower246
Torque269 lb-ft @ 1,300-4,500 rpm
Seating Capacity5
Curb Weight3,935 pounds
Towing Capacity3,970 pounds
Cargo Volume21.6 cubic feet behind second row | 50.5 cubic feet behind first row
Ground Clearance8.3 inches
0-60 mph7.0 seconds
Top Speed143 mph
EPA Fuel Economy20 mpg city | 27 highway | 22 combined
Quick TakeYou can buy an Audi or Mercedes and carry on with your day, but you’ll simply look and feel cooler in a Range Rover Evoque.
Score7/10

The Basics

Often referred to as the baby Range, the Evoque is the smallest and least expensive of four models in the newly-created Range Rover brand. No longer Land Rover Range Rover, now it’s simply Range Rover, with the large and luxurious Range Rover (and Range Rover Sport) at the top, Velar in the middle, and Evoque at the bottom. Redesigned in 2020, the Evoque sees very few updates for 2024, but a couple of them are rather impactful.

The exterior remains mostly the same, with minor changes to the grille design that now has a mesh-style look with a rectangular pattern. Like on the Velar, headlight DRL signatures are slightly different for the new model year, showing a more streamlined light pattern throughout the clear housing. The headlights themselves are new, too, with Pixel 1 LED lights replacing the outgoing units. These feature three times as many LEDs to provide better coverage for the driver. The signature floating roof look of the Evoque remains, and now buyers can opt for cool contrasting roof color options, including a sleek gold color called Corinthian Bronze.

It’s inside the cabin where the biggest change has happened, with a new ultra-minimalist cabin theme in place for 2024. Designers have completely done away with all physical buttons and knobs. Yes, the steering wheel still has buttons, but you won’t find another on the dash or anywhere else. All HVAC, media, navigation, and vehicle setting controls are handled within the new 11.4-inch curved touchscreen. The overall feel is quite luxe but also a bit cold.

The Baby Range gets the baby-est engine of the lineup: a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 246 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque. It has a top speed of 143 mph—which frankly sounds a bit optimistic given its near-4,000-pound self—and it’ll take all of seven seconds to get from zero to 60 mph. Regardless of which trim Evoque you buy, this is the engine you’ll get. If you want something with more oomph, you should consider the Velar with its lovely turbo inline-six.

Driving Experience

Seven seconds to 60 mph sounds awful, but I should say that it doesn’t feel that lethargic from the driver’s seat. The punchy four-cylinder makes the Evoque feel much lighter on its feet, even if the numbers on the speedo don’t always back that up. On the tractor-ridden country roads outside of Paris, the preppy crossover felt agile and managed to squeeze in and out of narrow roads where only one car could fit at a time. Its bigger siblings would’ve certainly struggled, but the Evoque’s small footprint felt at home in the big city and the countryside alike. And even on a rainy and very windy afternoon, the cabin remained tranquil with very little road noise seeping through.

The steering is a bit quick regardless of which driving mode you’re in—Dynamic or Comfort. This was mostly pleasing on curvy roads where I could carry more speed and have a wee bit of fun, but I found it to be a bit too reactive while cruising on the highway or simply making minor adjustments in the city. It was a similar situation with the brake pedal, which was definitely on the touchy/grabby side even in Comfort mode. It will likely take owners a bit of time to get used to this.

I found the ride quality pleasant for most of my test, though, century-old broken French roads did manage to get an Ouch! or two outta me. This would’ve likely happened in most other cars, but it’s worth mentioning that if you’re looking for a plush ride with lots of suspension travel to iron out bumps, you should look higher up the range.

As much as I wanted to decry the lack of buttons in the cabin, it didn’t impact my driving experience at all. Sure, it’s different to buckle up for a quick drive in a car than it is to live with it every day, but I found that Apple CarPlay worked fine, I could still control the volume from the steering wheel, and the sidebars built into the touchscreen interface made accessing most vital controls quite easy. Would I still prefer a volume knob? Absolutely. Did it ruin my day not having one? Not at all.

Range Rover Evoque Features, Options, and Competition

A starting price of 50 grand is bound to make buyers shopping for a European luxury crossover take notice. Yes, a barebones Evoque will set you back $51,075 and offer most features you’d expect from a vehicle of this caliber as standard, including all-wheel drive, a heated steering wheel, heated seats, 12-way adjustable power seats, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, adaptive cruise control, and a variety of active safety features. However, at that price, it lacks the visual pizazz of higher-up models. At $64,035, my Dynamic SE tester featured lots of add-ons, including 19-inch wheels (instead of 18s), a contrasting roof, panoramic sunroof, Technology Pack, Meridian 3D sound system, Dynamic Handling Pack, Terrain Response system, and more.

The Evoque plays in a crowded segment where it’d be easy to draw parallels to many luxury crossovers. For the sake of comparison, I’ll narrow it down to the Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLC, both of which are driven by turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines. Starting with the Audi, a Premium Plus Q5 with the 45 TFSI quattro drivetrain offers 261 hp versus the Evoque’s 246, and features most of the same comfort, entertainment, and safety features. However, the Audi lacks the level of customization the Evoque offers in terms of exterior and interior color combinations, aesthetics, options, etc. Similarly equipped, the Audi Q5 undercuts the Range Rover at $57,000. The Mercedes offers more exterior and interior colors, a wider variety of in-cabin materials, and, in general, options carry bigger price tags. A similarly equipped GLC 300 4Matic with 255 hp comes slightly higher than the Evoque at $69,845.

Value and Verdict

In terms of value, the Evoque is right on the money when compared to its rivals. The final price of crossovers in this segment can easily vary by thousands depending on optional equipment, but for the most part, folks are going to spend between $60,000 to $70,000 for a well-equipped model. Like most of its competitors, the Evoque is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo four, but unlike them, it offers all-wheel drive as standard. It’s all about give and take.

Fans of design love to wax poetic about Herman Miller chairs and Frank Lloyd Wright homes—and for good reason: they’re beautiful. And while these items still serve their purpose, the main appeal is that someone spent the time, effort, and resources to make them shine and stand out from the rest. That’s exactly the case with the stylish 2024 Range Rover Evoque. You can buy another luxury crossover for your commute and your trips to trendy restaurants—you’d be just fine. But you’ll simply look and feel more en vogue in an Evoque.

Email the author at jerry@thedrive.com

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