Arguably the most fashionable luxury crossover on the market, the compact Range Rover Evoque also happens to be Land Rover's smallest and most popular model.
Designed to compete against the likes of the BMW X1, Audi Q3, and Lexus NX, for 2016, Land Rover has given the Evoque its first major facelift. The nip 'n tuck includes headlamps with LED accents and available adaptive LED bulbs, hood vents, a new front valance with slim LED fog lamps, plus two new grille designs. Moving to the rear, the rear spoiler receives a wider LED brake light, while the tailgate now is available with a hands-free power opening function. New wheel designs also join the range including ones that mimic the look of the powerhouse Range Rover Sport SVR.
Changes to the interior of the Evoque are subtle but noteworthy and include redesigned seats with an available massaging function, heating and cooling, and 14-way power adjustments, revamped door sills, and greater use of premium materials throughout the cabin. Despite being a crossover the Evoque has a driving position that's more similar to a sports car. Thick pillars and narrow windows mean visibility is less than great; front and rear parking cameras are standard, though.
All Evoques also receive heated 12-way power adjustable front seats, a heated steering wheel, fixed panoramic sunroof, navigation, and 18-inch wheels as standard equipment. Buyers can also choose from contrasting roof colours, wheel designs, and interior colour schemes.
While the Evoque’s infotainment system might appear the same at first glimpse, it’s been updated to the new InControl system which is shared with the Discovery Sport. InControl features tablet-style gestures for swiping and pinching, plus apps that enable control of the vehicle’s climate control, engine start, and central locking via a smartphone. Despite being on the small side of the compact class, the Evoque is available with a rear-seat entertainment system, something of a rarity for this class. It includes dual eight-inch screens and wireless headphones.
Land Rover has also made the latest active safety equipment available on the Evoque. Features include lane-keeping assist, emergency autonomous braking, and a driver alertness monitor which aims to put a stop to drowsy driving. These features are bundled in with full-speed radar cruise control with stop-and-go traffic functionality. The Evoque is also available with an automatic parking function, 360-degree parking camera, and traffic sign recognition as a part of the Driver Assistant Package.
The only body style available this year is the standard four-door version; the two-door model has been discontinued. A new convertible body style will join the Evoque range next year, making it the only convertible SUV on the market aside from the Jeep Wrangler.
All Evoques come powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder. The motor produces 240 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque, and is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission with rotary gearshift and paddles. All come standard with permanent four-wheel drive, which for 2016 is enhanced by a new All-Terrain Progress Control, a sort of low-speed off-road cruise control. The Evoque is also available with magnetic dampers, similar to those fitted in the Chevrolet Corvette and various Cadillac products. They come standard on the HSE Dynamic and are optional on other trims.
Pricing for the updated Evoque starts at $49,990 for the base SE. The top-of-the-line Autobiography sells for $63,990.