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Range Rover Evoque 2020 review: SE D240 R-Dynamic


The first-generation Range Rover Evoque set the bar for wannabe stylish SUVs across the globe. It was not only beautiful, but actually had enough space for families, as well as the much coveted height factor. Essentially it finally put SUVs on the map for those seeking excellent design as well as practicality. 

This second-generation Evoque has been updated with elements from its big sister, the Range Rover Velar, and it keeps the trophy for best SUV design. Here we have the Evoque RDynamic D240 SE model, which is in the middle of the range and costs $87,060 before extras.

It competes with cars like the Audi Q3 and the Volvo XC40. I test drove it with my family over seven days for this week’s family review.

This second-generation Evoque has been updated with elements from the Velar. This second-generation Evoque has been updated with elements from the Velar.

How does it look?

The new Evoque retains all those things we loved about the first generation; the sloping roof line, the two-tone paint, the stylish grille and front end all still have those signature traits. They’ve now been elevated with some Range Rover Velar features, like door handles that sit flush with the car, popping out and open once you unlock it. The Evoque is undoubtedly sophisticated and still, in my eyes, one of the best-looking SUVs on the market

One of the best-looking SUVs on the market. One of the best-looking SUVs on the market.

The interior keeps up with the exterior with a layout that is both refined and practical. There are two screens, one for multimedia and one for controls such as the climate, and a very glossy black finish on most surfaces. 

The car I tested was fitted with the Responsibly Sourced Pack, which costs an extra $4188 and is essentially a vegan interior, compared to the leather one  you will get as standard. The seats are finished in premium wool, which keeps you cool in summer, warm in winter and looks fab while being hard wearing. There’s a lovely, suede-like fabric covering the steering wheel and while I did wonder why they didn’t use vegan-leather fabric for the seats (much easier to keep clean), I wondered more about the cost. Normally, you pay more for leather, which makes sense. Range Rover is charging more for making an ethical choice, which I have a bit of an issue with, and think it should be offered at the same price. 

An interior layout that is both refined and practical. An interior layout that is both refined and practical.

I drove it over a terribly rainy week and my kids traipsed mud through the car and on the seats, which I thought would leave a stain on the light-coloured fabric, but they just needed a (thorough) wipe down and they were clean again, so perhaps it’s more hard wearing than I first thought. 

There’s a panoramic glass roof ($2040), which is totally worth the extra cash, the seats are heated and 14-way power adjustable, and very comfortable. It's a car that does feel fabulous to sit inside. 

How spacious is it?

This to me is more like a mid-sized SUV, rather than its official category of small SUV, because of the interior space. It’s positively huge for a small SUV, about on par for a mid sizer. There’s plenty of leg and head space (even with the sunroof) for the taller members of my family and we didn’t feel cramped at all. 

The backseat is spacious. The backseat is spacious.

The backseat was also spacious, with plenty of room for my two children, aged five and seven. I’m 161cm and could easily fit into the backseat. There’s a decent amount of space between my knees and the seat in front of me - not enormous, but good enough - so taller adults and teenagers will be comfortable in the back, too. 

And the boot has been upsized by 20cm width-wise, so while it doesn’t look extraordinarily deep, you’ll get the extra space on the sides. It fits the CarsGuide pram, it’ll fit small children's bikes or groceries and school bags, and if you have a family of four, at 591 litres, this is a great amount of boot space. 

For a family of four 591 litres is a great amount of boot space. For a family of four 591 litres is a great amount of boot space.

How does it drive?

This is the D240 engine, which is the top-spec diesel engine, so while it’s the mid-spec model, you can still choose the engine and configure your Evoque to be exactly how you want it. The driving is superb. It’s super smooth once it kicks into gear and is so quiet for a diesel - there’s none of that ‘chug’ sound that you’ll get on a lot of other diesel SUVs. 

This is the D240 engine, which is the top-spec diesel engine. This is the D240 engine, which is the top-spec diesel engine.

All models have a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine and I positively zoomed up hills, and the handling is also great. The Evoque is uncommonly agile for an SUV. I took it on a few highway drives and felt very confident with the way it handled. It goes quite quickly, effortlessly, so you actually have to watch your speed if you’re not using cruise control because it can easily creep up. 

Parking was a cinch. There is a high-definition reverse-parking camera, although you don't get a 360-degree camera, and the proportions aren’t large, so getting into spaces is fine. It also has Park Assist, which means the car will park itself for you if you find it all too much.

How easy is it to use every day?

I always find powered front seats a good thing, and in this car they were 14-way adjustable. There are enough storage areas - two cupholders in the front, a large centre-storage bin and bottle holders in each doors - but the spot for a phone was below the centre console, which I found inconvenient. Also, the sunglasses holder kept popping open and I hit my head on it

Rear passengers also got two cupholders in the centre armrest, their own airvents and pockets on the backs of the front seats. 

The boot opens and closes with a button on the key. The boot opens and closes with a button on the key.

The boot opens and closes with a button on the key, which is one of my favourite features and more useful than you’d imagine, plus there is keyless entry and the park brake turns on and off by itself when you go in and out of Park. It’s the little things. 

The controls on the centre console are easy to use and even the air conditioning is easy to work out, which is not always the case on a completely digitalised control panel. There is also an actual knob for the volume, which I think car companies are finding is essential.

 

How safe is it?

What’s the tech like?

There is a reason the phone rest sits underneath the centre console panel - because technically while you’re plugged into Apple Carplay and Android Auto, you shouldn’t be touching your phone anyway. The 8-inch multimedia screen turns into a large version of your phone and you can use the maps app to navigate and a streaming app to listen to music. There’s also voice control so you can make calls and send texts. 

There are eight speakers and, true to Range Rover form, the sound is excellent.

The 8-inch multimedia screen turns into a large version of your phone. The 8-inch multimedia screen turns into a large version of your phone.

What does it cost to own?

The Range Rover Evoque RDynamic D240 SE costs $87,060 before extras. The options on this particular car took the grand total to $101,193 plus on-road costs. Fuel consumption is a claimed 6.3L/100km for the D240 engine. 

It’s covered by LandRover’s three year/100,000km warranty, which is short by industry standards. The Evoque will tell you when it needs servicing - approximately once every 12 months. 

Land Rover has a three year/100,000km warranty. Land Rover has a three year/100,000km warranty.


The Wrap

I had a grand time driving the Range Rover Evoque R Dynamic D240 SE this week. I had a lot of driving to do all over the city and this car made the whole week effortless, plus I was able to fit everything in the boot so I loved the blend of great design with practicality and comfort. 

I gave it a family rating of 8.7/10, and my kids gave it the same. It’s really quite bizarre how they’re getting to recognise a good car when they see one.

Likes

Design - interior and exterior
Large interior
Smooth driving

Dislikes

No electric option

Scores

Nedahl:

4.4

The Kids:

4.4

$87,060

Based on new car retail price