2016 Range Rover Evoque TD4 SE review
Isaac Bober’s 2016 Range Rover Evoque TD4 SE review with pricing, specs, ride and handling, safety, verdict, and score.
In a nutshell: The refreshed 2016 Range Rover Evoque copped some minor styling tweaks and the addition of the Jaguar-developed Ingenium diesel engine.
2016 Ranger Rover Evoque TD4 SE 180
Pricing $66,495+ORC Warranty 3 years, 100,000km Safety 4 stars ANCAP (tested in 2011) Engine 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel Power/Torque 132kW/430Nm Transmission nine-speed automatic Body 4370mm (L); 1985mm (W); 1635mm (H) Clearance 215mm at the front and 225mm (because of active driveline on SE) Angles 25/22/33 degrees Kerb weight From 1674kg Fuel Tank 54 litres Thirst 5.1L/100km combined
THE RANGE ROVER EVOQUE has been a runaway success for the brand with the hot little Range Rover notching up five years on-sale earlier this month. Last year one in every four Land Rovers sold was an Evqoue while 2014 was the best-selling year ever for Evoque with global sales of 125,364 units.
All up, more than 400,000 Evoques have been produced since 2011 making it, given its time on sale and volume sold, the best-selling Land Rover ever. Read that sentence again if need be, before you skip straight to the comments section… We’re not saying it’s sold more than any other Land Rover, just that it’s outsold the rest in its time on sale. Make sense?
What is it?
Late last year the Range Rover Evoque copped a mid-life update that was more a series of minor tweaks than, not withstanding a new engine, a major change. Indeed, when the tweaked Evoque was revealed, Land Rover design guru, Gerry McGovern said: “The Range Rover Evoque first established and then dominated the luxury compact SUV sector generating worldwide acclaim and sales success. Our challenge has been to evolve the Evoque design without diluting its distinctive character”.
The refreshed Evoque saw Land Rover bring the trim options into line with that of the Range Rover Sport, offering four (Pure, SE, HSE and HSE Dynamic) with 10 cost option packs. Beyond this, the Evoque received a new bumper, new grille, cost optional LED headlights and four new alloy wheel designs. Inside, it received new seats, door casings and a new infotainment unit.
Looks aside, it was the binning of the old 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine that had powered the Freelander and the Evoque, for the newly developed Ingenium turbo-diesel that was the most significant change for the 2016 Evoque.
What’s it like?
Unless you’re an owner of the older Evoque, or a fan, or pre- and post-update models are parked alongside one another you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference. But there are a few differences as far as the looks go.
The most noticeable change has been the switch to slimline LED fog lights while a new bumper and bigger air intakes give the thing a more imposing look front on. There are two types of grille available, but our TD4 SE had the standard grille which features two horizontal bars and a fine mesh pattern. Other enhancements include LED daytime running lights and a tail-gate spoiler.
On the inside, the new seats are great for long distance driving and provide more than enough support when pushing a little harder on twisting roads. And, thankfully, for a car costing more than $50k Land Rover has managed to consign the last bits of hard, scratchy plastic to the bin, replacing them with well textured soft-touch plastics. Indeed, the interior is a step ahead of the F-Pace which we recently drove and features a little too much hard, scratchy plastic to feel properly premium.
Over in the back there’s enough room for three adults thanks to the minimal intrusion of the transmission tunnel. And the large door openings make it easy for an adult to climb in or out despite the high-ish hip point. The addition of rear air vents is a good thing, especially when cheaper vehicles have offered them for years.
The refreshed Evoque also features a new infotainment system. Land Rover’s infotainment systems have always been functional but not particularly cutting edge. The new InControl Touch system in the Evoque is certainly an improvement but in this day and age its lack of Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility is a disappointment. You can, however, download an InControl App that allows you to access a variety of smartphone optimised apps, but none are native smartphone apps (meaning native to either iOS or Android).
Connecting a phone for audio streaming via either cable or Bluetooth is easy, although while looking for albums stored on your phone via the infotainment unit can sometimes see you end up exploring the album you’re listening to rather than all albums on your phone. And I did occasionally find myself having to select the album via the artist list, but familiarity would probably reduce these issues. And the same goes for the sat-nav, I found when I was adding destination Favourites I ended up adding the same ‘Favourite’ twice because there was no way of telling that the first input had worked.
That said, all of the controls are easy to read and use on the fly and the fact there’s a small ledge beneath the touchscreen means you can rest your hand while selecting, which reduces the likelihood of you selecting the wrong function because of the car’s movement. The touchscreen isn’t overly sensitive which means you won’t brush the screen and activate a menu you didn’t want. And that’s good.
As mentioned, the addition of the new 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel Ingenium engine, that also serves in the Jaguar XE and the F-Pace, and while I never had a problem with the old 2.2-litre engine, this new one is excellent. Sadly, that’s not the case in all its applications, and F-Pace I’m looking right at you now.
You can read our launch review of the Jaguar F-Pace here but, in short, the F-Pace feels as quick off the mark as the Evoque but it doesn’t feel quite as enthusiastic between 80-110km/h. This could be due to a lot of things, like the weight of the Evoque compared with the F-Pace (1674kg Vs 1775kg) and also the gearing and the fact the Evoque runs a nine-speed and the F-Pace an eight-speed automatic.
Available in two states of tune, the 20-30kg lighter than the old engine, Ingenium engine offers 110kW at 3500rpm and 380Nm of torque at 1750rpm and 132kW at 4000rpm and 430Nm of torque at 1750rpm. This can be had with either a six-speed manual or the nine-speed automatic in our test car. Fuel consumption 5.1L/100km on the combined cycle, and this lines up with the 5.2L/100km our test car realised over the course of a week and around 800km of driving.
Even if Land Rover had ignored the rest of the tweaks for the refreshed Evoque, the addition of the Ingenium engine would have been enough to win over buyers. It adds a considerable step up in refinement, indeed, owners will be hard pressed to remember they’re driving a diesel so quiet and free of warm-up clatter is the thing. The nine-speed transmission does a good job, when it’s up and running, of managing the engine’s torque which is available, at peak, at, more or less, just off idle (which is 1000rpm) at 1750rpm.
The only minor gripe I have with the Evoque and its nine-speed transmission is there’s some slight hesitation moving off from a standing start and then again when, say, turning into a low speed corner with almost no throttle and then picking up the throttle again; you get a jolt as the transmission grabs a lower gear.
The steering is nicely weighted and direct in its action with good feel and accuracy in the straight ahead position, which means no fidget when travelling at highway speeds. The brakes are solid and the pedal is nice and progressive.
The Evoque isn’t intended to be a baby F-Pace, although the baby F-Pace will run on the same platform as the Evoque and that’s a good thing, because the Evoque offers good body control with minimal body roll. And that’s doubly impressive when you consider how well the thing rides with a near perfect blend of bump absorption and stiffness to make driving the thing on a twisty road enjoyable. I’d go so far as to say I enjoyed driving the Evoque TD4 more than the same engine in the entry-level Jaguar F-Pace.
The Evoque runs a, for want of a better description, lite version of Land Rover’s Terrain Response and it works well, although in most situations leaving the thing in Normal will see it tackle most obstacles without fuss. New for the 2016 Evoque, though, is the inclusion of Land Rover’s All-Terrain Progress Control (ATPC). This is a system that will keep the car moving at any speed between 1.8 and 30km/h, up or down hill, sort of like a low-speed cruise control for rough terrain.
It’s worth mentioning that in the Jaguar F-Pace the system works from 3.6-30km/h. The ATPC system works in both forward and reverse gears, with the speed able to be raised or lowered by tapping either the + or – button on the cruise control; it’s particularly useful for negotiating very low-speed situations where throttle consistency is important. Also now available on Evoque is Wade Aid for crossing water, and the Evoque is rated for up to 500mm.
In terms of safety, the refreshed Evoque gets autonomous emergency braking across the range, while lane keeping assist is cost optional as is attention assist estimation which monitors steering wheel inputs to determine if the driver is about to fall asleep. Other advanced aids on various models are blind spot monitoring, parking assist for both parallel and perpendicular, a surround camera system and adaptive cruise control. Beyond this it offers airbags, traction and stability controls, permanent four-wheel drive with Terrain Response, seatbelt reminders, automatic door locking, daytime running lights and more. Despite the update, the Evoque still carries its 4 star ANCAP rating from 2011.
2016 Range Rover Evoque trim tweaks:
- Torque vectoring by braking (not on eD4)
- Rain sensing wipers & Auto Headlamps
- Auto dimming interior mirror
- Rear air vents
- Front & rear parking aid
- Lane departure warning
- Autonomous Emergency Braking
- InControl Touch infotainment w/- 8” High resolution touchscreen
- InControl Touch navigation
The SE trim level (similar to 15MY Pure Tech) will now include the following specification (over and above Pure):
- 9 speed automatic transmission
- Active driveline (not on Td4 150)
- Power fold Heated Exterior Mirrors
- 8/8 Way electric seats
- Carpet mats
- Keyless entry
- Interior mood lighting
- Gesture powered tailgate
The HSE trim level (similar to 15MY Prestige specification) will now include the following – (over and above SE):
- 12/12 Way Electric memory seats
- Automatic Recirculation Climate Control
- Configurable interior mood lighting
- Head up display
The HSE Dynamic specification will include the following specification (over and above HSE):
- Bonnet vents
- 19” 7 split spoke – Style 707 Alloy Wheels
- Oxford leather with perforated and ribbed mid-section
- Steering wheel perforated section in Oxford leather
- Tread plates illuminated with Range Rover lettering
- Ebony headliner (no cost option)