Still got the looks inside and out, on-road refinement, reasonable PHEV range
Not the most spacious, irritating driver assistance systems, expensive upper trim range
What is it?
The second coming of Land Rover’s compact SUV. The first generation arrived back in 2011, with this second generation entering the fold in 2018.
All along it's been the chiselled outline that has snared Evoque buyers, so it's no surprise that there are no surprises with the Mk2. It has a longer wheelbase - good for the people inside - and bigger wheels.
Like any latest Range Rover, the surfaces are ultra clean. The panels lie naked of unnecessary creases, the lines are tight. The lights and handles lie almost obsessively flush but there's more depth and detail in those illuminations. It has the distinctiveness of the old one, but feels completely contemporary.
A facelift in 2023 introduced a new grille, pixel LED headlights, fancy daytime running lights and other minor tweaks. The bigger story however is inside, where it has largely done away with physical buttons completely. More on that in a bit.
Is it still suited to urban life?
Critically, the overall size has hardly changed. This is not what normally happens: cars (even evergreen ones like the Golf or 911) habitually swell up with each generation. The Evoque is sold as a car for cities, where bloated width is a pain in narrow streets and every extra inch of length is an annoyance for parking.
Because the Evoque isn't your normal mid-size crossover with a family car mission, it gets a more luxurious cabin than most. That's defined not just by the upholstery of the furniture and dash, but the technology.
The facelift introduced an 11.4in curved touchscreen featuring the firm’s latest Pivi Pro operating system, with the climate controls now integrated within the main screen. Land Rover claims approximately 80 per cent of tasks can be performed within two taps of the home screen, but, as is common these days, we're not sure we agree. More on the Interior tab.
Why the longer wheelbase?
Introduced when the Mk2 replaced the Mk1, the lengthened wheelbase is a clue that this isn't just a re-skin of the old car, but an all-new platform. It's all about the usual reasons: to make it ride and handle better, roll along more quietly, crash more safely, embrace more technology.
Your engine options consist of two diesels (badged D165 and D200), two petrols (P200 and P250) – all of which except the base diesel get a 48-volt mild hybrid system – and one plug-in hybrid (P300e), which offers up to 39 miles of all electric range. Full details over on the Driving tab.
Note it's five doors only in this second generation. The original concept might have been a three-door, but sales were too slow to justify a replacement. The convertible, too, is a goner. Proof that the number of crossover niches is actually finite.
How much does it cost?
Prices start from £40,080 – that’s for the base 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel – with the plug-in hybrid starting from £49,000. Full details (including trim options) over on the Buying tab.
Our choice from the range
What's the verdict?
After all these years, there's still something that makes an Evoque special. The rest of the premium crossover crowd look and feel like taller versions of their makers’ regular hatchbacks. By contrast this is a machine from a line-up that does nothing but luxury off-roaders, and does them in its own unique and successful way. Albeit the Evoque is the gatehouse, not the actual stately home.
It's not the roomiest thing in the posh crossover class. Nor is it the sportiest (see the Porsche Macan if that’s what you’re after). But do you want that in this type of car? We habitually advise that you don't. Instead, sink into the (now button-free) cabin, relax with the mature road manners and feel coddled in a sense of wellbeing. Ahh.