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Range Rover Evoque engines, driving and performance

How does the Range Rover Evoque drive?

On the whole, the Range Rover Evoque is a really pleasant car to drive. The controls are well weighted and respond intuitively to your inputs, helping inspire plenty of confidence even on broken and twisty Tarmac. There’s a little body roll as the car’s weight settles into a corner, but its motions never feel wayward and the sophisticated ride quality you get in return feels like a worthy tradeoff.

Few Evoque owners will truly experience what their cars are capable of when travelling off road. Thanks to optional four-wheel drive, clever off-road driving modes, and wide approach, ramp and departure angles, the Evoque will go much further than most of its rivals when leaving the pavement. That might be of little use on your daily commute, but it’s nice to know that not even the worst winter storm will faze the little Range Rover.

Is the Range Rover Evoque comfortable?

Too many rivals in the premium SUV class make the mistake of injecting an overly sporty driving experience into their models. Thankfully, that’s not a trap the Evoque falls into. There’s genuine composure and compliance in its suspension, allowing the car to flow gracefully over even the most rutted of British roads. This effect is amplified on models with smaller alloy wheels, so aim for those if you value comfort above all else.

In the past, you’d usually have to sacrifice refinement in an SUV as the off-road gear and chunky tyres would often make for a noisy experience. Not in the Evoque, however, because it stays remarkably hushed on the move. Engine noise is almost non-existent except when you ask for full power and there’s very little tyre roar or suspension thuds to speak of. Higher speeds will see a little wind noise generated by the sizeable door mirrors, but this is the only real discordant note in this mostly silent ensemble.

What’s the best Range Rover Evoque engine to get?

There’s a selection of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, and a single plug-in hybrid option available for the Evoque. Urban buyers may find the best choice for them are the Evoque’s petrol engines, which come in 200, 250 and 300hp versions. The 200hp is more than punchy enough so we’d stick with this model unless you enjoy having more power under your foot.

Evoques are a popular choice among diesel buyers, as fewer and fewer SUVs are offered with these engines. The entry-level 150hp diesel – later upgraded to 165hp – has enough shove for most needs, so you should only step up to the 180 or 240hp versions if you want the extra acceleration. Most diesel Evoques should be able to return 40mpg with gentle driving compared with 30mpg for the petrols.

There’s also the P300e plug-in hybrid. This gets a 1.5-litre petrol engine and an electric motor, allowing for zero-emissions driving in the city and long-range runs on the motorway. With 300hp between the two power sources, this version’s also quite quick, but the extra purchase price and the need to recharge the battery mean it’ll probably best suit buyers that have easy access to an EV charger at home or at work.

Range Rover Evoque performance

If you truly value performance, a Range Rover of any kind probably isn’t the best choice for you. Nevertheless, you can spec your Evoque with up to 300hp courtesy of either a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine or a 1.5-litre plug-in-hybrid setup. Both of these models offer hot-hatch-baiting performance, but won’t be quite as fun to fling around a race track.

What more powerful Evoques do benefit from, however, is greater refinement when you do explore the further reaches of the throttle pedal. That means the stronger D240, P250, P300 and P300e versions feel totally effortless when merging onto a motorway, easily reaching the speed limit with barely a murmur from under the bonnet.

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