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2020 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 7.8

On-road? Comfortable. Off-road? More than proficient. Through and through, the redesigned 2020 Range Rover Evoque is a proper Land Rover. Most of its performance weaknesses are powertrain-related. Although it’s better than in previous models, the transmission can still struggle to choose the right gear immediately, and engine power is adequate at best.

  • Despite surprisingly pleasant and feelsome steering, solid brakes, and quick responses to paddle-actuated shifts, the Evoque gives up grip early and understeers in a cacophony of tire squeal. Nor is the engine particularly inspiring; the little turbocharged four-cylinder thrashes further up the rev range and provides merely adequate acceleration." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "After just a few miles behind the wheel it became plainly apparent that the 2020 Evoque is far better suited for the Range Rover badge than its predecessor. Whereas the old Evoque was choppy over anything but perfect tarmac, the new model is smooth no matter the road surface." -- Left Lane News
  • "There’s a definite Range Rover, off-road-calibrated feel to the steering -- all the Evoque’s inputs, really." -- Autoweek

Acceleration and Power

Land Rover outfits the Range Rover Evoque with one of two powertrains. The base powertrain features a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 246 horsepower. The other powertrain is a mild hybrid, pairing the same engine with an electric motor to put out a combined 296 horsepower. A nine-speed automatic transmission is standard.

The base engine is fine for regular driving, but it doesn’t really stand out. The mild hybrid powertrain feels more energetic.

Fuel economy estimates are subpar for the class. The base powertrain gets 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway, while the gas-electric powertrain gets an EPA-estimated 21 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.

  • The Evoque’s base 2.0T is not overly powerful in a vehicle weighing close to two tons, nor obviously deficient in acceleration, and that pretty much describes the old Evoque and just about everything in this class." -- Autoweek
  • The Evoque's ZF-sourced nine-speed remains far from perfect, but you can tell efforts have been made to improve the unit's shift qualities. The revised nine-speed isn't as eager to upshift, but we'd still like to see crisper gear changes, especially when using the paddle shifters." -- Left Lane News
  • The engine provides abundant power for highway passing, and the transmission shifts crisply and quickly. On steep grades, the programming is spot-on and picks an ideal gear rather than constantly upshifting and downshifting. Full-throttle acceleration brings about a slightly raspy sound from the engine, but it's not entirely unpleasant." -- Edmunds

Ride and Handling

The Evoque is comfortable and composed on the road, handling turns with confidence. However, some critics feel that its steering is too vague.

  • "On pavement, the new Evoque’s ride is supple—more comfortable than many vehicles in this class. With the standard suspension, there’s a bit of body dip and sway when you start to get aggressive, and a definite inclination to understeer. The adaptive suspension minimizes the sway, and dynamic mode is the preferred choice for road travel." -- Autoweek
  • On curvy mountain roads, the Evoque is well-balanced and smooth. Body roll is minimal. One significant drawback, however, is the vague steering. The steering wheel is hefty and has a distinct on-center feel, which is good for both on- and off-road scenarios, but you feel very little of what the front tires are doing as you go around turns with enthusiasm." -- Edmunds
  • Naturally the Evoque is best enjoyed as a boulevard cruiser, but it's not incompetent when it comes to winding roads. The Evoque's suspension, though comfortable, also keeps the vehicle flat and provides confident handling. Steering is light, but still direct and accurate." -- Left Lane News

Off-Roading

Living up to the Land Rover name, the Range Rover Evoque is one of the best off-roaders in the class. The standard Terrain Response 2 system features five drive modes for adjusting the off-roading and suspension systems for various conditions. The Evoque also has 8.3 inches of ground clearance, a wading depth of 23.6 inches, and standard all-wheel drive.

  • "Many Evoque drivers will never take their vehicle beyond the edge of the pavement, but they should. This SUV is fully capable in all but the toughest of off-road scenarios, and it's unique in its class in that regard." -- Edmunds
  • "Of course being comfortable on-road is only half of the Range Rover equation. Anything with that iconic badge must be good off-road, and the Evoque certainly is. Even with its street-oriented tires, we couldn't stump the Evoque across a wide range of off-road obstacles. From stream fording to rock crawling to mountain climbing, the Evoque proved time and time again that it's a true Range Rover." -- Left Lane News
  • "Naturally, most Evoque owners will never task their SUVs with anything more severe than traversing a muddy field for weekend glamping, but with 8.3 inches of ground clearance, short overhangs and standard Terrain Response 2 drive-mode selector, the Evoque is actually more capable off-road than most other SUVs on the market. Certainly, it's far more accomplished in the rough stuff than direct rivals like the Audi Q3, BMW X1, Lexus NX, Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class and Volvo XC40." -- CNET
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2020 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque

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