The 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque is a small and stylish sport utility vehicle that brings the brand to a more accessible price point. While many people may see the Evoque as a sort of automotive fashion accessory, it's still capable of significant off-road capability while offering the luxury features that defines the Range Rover brand. Oh, and they make a convertible version if you're one of those people who want a drop-top SUV.

Best Value

The best value for the expansive Evoque line lies with the HSE trim with the base engine option. The 237-horsepower is plenty for 90 percent of the people who shop for an Evoque, and the extra power doesn't make the little SUV feel like it can move a mountain. Instead, you'll get the pocket-sized Range Rover with enough equipment to give it the feel of its bigger brothers at a reasonable price. The HSE adds 12-way adjustable leather seats, interior mood lighting, and a premium sound system to the previous offerings, giving you a serious amount of luxury for your money.

As for options, the Cold Weather Package is a must-have as heated seats are essentially a requirement for a luxury SUV, especially if you don't live in Southern California like us. We'll also recommend the Driver Assistance Package, as it is seriously helpful in removes stress from the pain of driving parking around town, and removing stress from the driving experience is the entire point of the Luxury automobile.

  • Model: 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque HSE
  • Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
  • Output: 237 hp / 251 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
  • Fuel Economy: 22 City / 29 Hwy
  • Options: Cold Climate Convenience Package ($510, heated windshield, heated washer jets, heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats), Driver Assistance Package ($1,735, park assist, surround-view camera, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, driving condition monitor, road sign recognition)
  • Base Price: $52,095 (including a $995 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price: $54,340

Performance

The Evoque gets a choice of two power options, which are essentially two tunes of the same 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. The base model gets a reasonable 237 hp and 251 pound-feet of torque, while the upgrade gives you 286 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Neither of these engine choices are much to write home about, but they don't leave you wanting for power either. Regardless of engine choice, the Evoque is equipped with a nine-speed automatic transmission that feels very competent.

You may think that this pint-sized Range Rover that's practically built with Los Angeleno nobles in mind may skimp out on the off-road goodies the company has built its name on, but you would be mistaken. The Evoque's all-wheel-drive system has the same terrain sensing technology found in other Land Rover models, and the optional All-Terrain Progress Control allows you to do a surprising amount of rock climbing for the little 'ute. Most surprisingly of all, the Evoque can actually ford up to two feet of water, which is pretty impressive and almost certainly a feature that will be disused by most owners.

Style

Style is the point of the Evoque. It looks like a pocket version of the rest of the Range Rover lineup, and that's incredibly important. It allows people to say they drive a Range Rover at a lower price and in a smaller package, which is very important to a significant slice of the population. Inside, the Evoque's Range Rover roots carries on, with a luxurious but utilitarian approach to design.

The Evoque's comfort is fantastic for two with adjustable real leather seats even in the base level, but the rear seats are quite cramped. It's important to remember that this vehicle isn't a car for hauling families. Equipment and features are added as you climb the trim chart, with comparatively few packages and options compared to most other luxury vehicles. No features are particularly noteworthy or groundbreaking with the Evoque, but it does offer the standard palette of luxury vehicle technology and features across the trim levels including high-end leather, heated and cooled seats with massaging functions, and a surround-view camera system.

Those who look to make a serious statement are given the option of the Evoque convertible. Convertible SUVs generally look ungainly and poorly executed, but the Evoque may be the best rendition of the concept so far. It doesn't look as awkward or ungainly as previous attempts, and it'll certainly inject a bit of fun provided you live in an area that gets sunlight on a regular basis.

The Best and Worst Things

The best and worst things about the Evoque is the size. On one hand, the Evoque is the perfect vehicle for the city-bound who are unladen with the need to haul children around. It offers everything you would expect from a Range Rover, but in a package that allows you to cram it into small parking spots that would be completely impossible for the larger Rovers. If you're by yourself most of the time yet still want a Range Rover, the Evoque is everything you could need.

On the other hand, the size does negate almost all practicality in terms of carrying things and people. The back seat is cramped and uncomfortable for most adults, and cargo space is fairly limited – as is the case with most compact SUVs. The Evoque is best experienced with only one other passenger, doubly so for the convertible versions.

Right For? Wrong For?

The Evoque is honestly the perfect vehicle for the L.A. or Manhattan socialite. It's aimed at those who have money, but don't have the need for larger vehicles. The baby Rover is easy to park on trendy shopping streets or cramped high-rise parking decks, and the prestigious badge will announce your elevated status even if it's the cheapest Range Rover in the stable.

Those who live a more suburban life with a yard and a driveway would probably be better off with either the larger Land Rover Discovery or Range Rover Velar if you'd like to have a Rover in your life. That way, you'll be able to accomplish the more utilitarian aspects of SUVs like hauling around your kids and their friends and picking up bags of mulch or beds of flowers.

The Bottom Line

The 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque is a Range Rover for those that don't really need a Range Rover. Its small size is perfect for getting around the city while still offering the experience people expect from the brand. That said, it's too small for utility work, and those with families should look elsewhere.