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2016 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque was new.


Performance: 8.2

The 2016 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque leads the class in off-road ability and can handle virtually any terrain, according to automotive writers. However, opinions differ about the engine and transmission. Some are pleased with the engine’s power and pickup and think the transmission helps fuel economy. Others complain that the Evoque accelerates slowly and the transmission is reluctant to downshift. Most agree that the Evoque delivers agile handling and is very maneuverable.

  • "The 2016 Range Rover Evoque is by far the most nimble vehicle in the Land Rover stable. Quick steering and high grip levels inspire more confidence than most crossover SUVs." -- Edmunds
  • "In the civilized world, the Range Rover Evoque demonstrates a poise and level of ride and handling much more akin to a polished sports sedan. Body motions are measured and predictable, the steering firm and communicative and the power from the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine abundant." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "Don't let the Evoque's stylish exterior fool you, however. This sleek little SUV is every bit a Land Rover, with standard all-wheel drive and a rugged LR2-based chassis and suspension to take it far off-road." -- AutoTrader (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 Evoque features a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 240 horsepower. A nine-speed automatic transmission is standard. The Evoque gets an EPA-estimated 21/30 mpg city/highway, which is lower than that of many rivals.

Some test drivers think the turbocharged engine delivers good power and vigorous acceleration, but others say that it has no urgency when starting from a dead stop. The nine-speed transmission also draws mixed reviews, as some praise it for having a positive effect on fuel economy, but others say it hesitates to downshift when attempting to pass on the highway.

  • "We're less fond of the Evoque's engine and on-road behavior. While its on-paper specs seem competitive, the Evoque moves slowly from a dead stop when you first apply the gas, and only shows some verve at higher rpm. Upshifts from the nine-speed automatic are smooth, but the transmission's lackadaisical downshifts for highway passing are off-putting in cutthroat traffic situations." -- Edmunds
  • "The 9-speed automatic seems like a bit of overkill, but it does help return impressive fuel economy when cruising along at 70, 75 or 80 mph." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "The power produced by the turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is impressive. Even with light application of the accelerator pedal, the Evoque eagerly rockets forward with relentless hp and torque." -- AutoTrader (2015)
  • "Light traffic meant I could stretch out the turbo four a bit on the freeway, and I found myself consistently surprised at my speeds -- the Evoque is one of those deceptively quick vehicles that gets moving faster than the aural and butt-dyno cues would suggest." -- AutoWeek (2013)

Handling and Braking

The 2016 Range Rover Evoque features standard four-wheel drive that switches between two- and four-wheel drive automatically. Test drivers report that the Evoque feels athletic and agile on the road, with steering that inspires confidence. Some critics mention that the ride is firm, but others say it is only uncomfortably so with the available 20-inch wheels.

  • "Drivers who are familiar with the driving characteristics of other Land Rovers will find the Evoque atypical. It's noticeably stiffer than you would expect over bumps and through the corners, but the suspension and chassis aren't overly rigid, just taut enough to allow the Evoque to handle with firm precision." -- AutoTrader (2015)
  • "Note that your choice of wheels and tires can have a big effect on ride quality, so if a comfortable, serene ride is important to you, we'd advise against the Dynamic's optional 20-inch wheels." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "Over the road, the Evoque feels polished and sophisticated yet sporty and maneuverable. The body doesn't lean or bounce around too much, the steering feels right." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)
  • "You forget how small it is until you toss it about, turn a tight circle or park it." -- Cars.com (2012)


The 2016 Evoque features Land Rover’s Terrain Response system, which lets you choose drive modes for different types of terrain, including snow, mud and ruts, sand and gravel. Automotive writers say the Evoque is a class leader in off-road capability, noting its strong performance in mud and on steep inclines.

  • "Land Rover earned its reputation for building luxurious sport-utility vehicles with unequaled off-road prowess long ago. Given that, it's probably not much of a surprise that the 2016 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque trumps other compact crossovers when the asphalt turns to dirt. But at its core, the Evoque is best suited for everyday driving on paved roads." -- Edmunds
  • "Off-road, we were impressed at just how well our Evoque SUV handled mud, deep rutted back roads and slippery inclines. One or more wheels always seemed to find traction, and the competent suspension managed to absorb the brutal impacts that surpassed the Evoque's 8.3 inches of ground clearance." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)

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