This is the quintessential Sandton SUV. The Range Rover Evoque is undeniably stylish with huge brand cachet making it fantastically desirable. With those Range Rover graphics on its nose, you’d think this SUV was far beyond your budget but it is surprisingly affordable to buy as a pre-owned model. Is it a good SUV to buy second-hand, though?
What is it?
The first-generation was launched in 2012 as a three- and five-door model and they were later joined by a two-door convertible. The Evoque was available as two- and four-wheel-drive models until this first-generation was succeeded in 2018. It is a wildly popular model for Land Rover with more than 500,000 sales clocked up around the world and took the Range Rover nameplate to new audiences.
As the entry-level model in Range Rover’s line-up – and based on Land Rover’s Freelander II platform (although featuring some 90 percent redesigned components) – the Evoque is a “designer’s choice” in a sea of German SUVs. As such, it was available in stunning exterior colours and striking contrasting roof hues, with interiors befitting the Range Rover badge. It also featured a plethora of comfort and safety systems to make it truly stand out from its competitors on the market.
The first-gen Evoque is available with diesel- and petrol-powered engines and is paired only with a 9-speed automatic transmission. The diesel engine is a 2.2-litre unit with 140kW of power and 420Nm of torque while the 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol motor boasts 177kW and 340Nm.
Off-road performance isn’t class-leading but it is in the top 10 percent of the category. With the electronic wizardry on-board, it offers satisfying dirt-road travel. Let’s face it, though: something as beautiful as an Evoque won’t be doing 4X4 work or bundu bashing on trails.
Premium badge and premium specs
It was widely reported that Posh Spice aka Victoria Beckham was responsible for designing the interior of this SUV, but that’s largely inaccurate: she was given the title of “Creative Design Executive” upon the launch of the vehicle, while she served as a design consultant for the materials and fabrics fitted. She was also responsible for a limited-edition model with a hand-painted, 20” wheeled, rose-gold-plated accents and a hefty price tag. Either way, this SUV is posh.
As you’d expect from a boutique SUV, the interior is top drawer stuff too. It is solidly put together, uses rich fabrics, makes do with double-stitching in areas too, and is equipped with myriad systems and features to make every drive one of luxury.
Touchscreen displays, panoramic sunroof, heated seating, various metal and wood inlays, and more are split between various trim lines of Pure, Prestige (SE), and Dynamic (HSE).
It scored several awards upon its market introduction, backing up Land Rover’s intensive design and development of this model:
• 2011 Auto Express Car of the Year
• 2011 Car of the Year by Top Gear Magazine
• 2010 Best production car by Car Design News in 2010
• 2012 North American Truck of the Year• 2012 World Design Car of the Year
• 2012 Women’s Overall World Car of The Year and Women’s Top World Luxury Car of the Year• 2012 Best of the Best/Truck by AutoWeek Magazine
• 2012 SUV of the Year by Motor Trend
What to look for on a used Range Rover Evoque?
The car might have won many prestigious awards when it was launched, but what about owning and driving this car over the past nine years? How have those electronics and design gimmicks held up over time? Unfortunately for this brand, reliability is an issue that hamstrings its wider appeal. The Evoque has not been able to escape this curse despite it being well-developed and engineered.
The overall build quality of the Evoque is high, but on a few examples, we’ve seen this quality can vary from excellent to nightmarish. Take a close look at the electronic units by testing them for full operation: electrically-adjustable seats, SatNav, aircon, infotainment system, and the Terrain Response controls. Some buttons and switches stop functioning and require re-working by a workshop with hefty repair bills. Another issue is a clunking automatic gearbox. A test drive will indicate to you whether your particular Evoque in question has been riddled with a fiddly gearbox. Make sure the Evoque you’re interested in has undergone all recall repairs: there were recalls for a leaking fuel rail and an electrical system fault.
These examples have been selected from Cars.co.za for their value, quality and condition. We have no affiliation with these dealerships nor do we receive any commission or payment for these recommendations.
Are those used prices real? Is there a catch?
As we’ve outlined above, there is a stigma attached to Range Rover vehicles for their expensive maintenance. It is like those stories you hear of Alfa Romeos and their electrical systems… They’re true, but you take the gamble. This can be said for the Evoque too. Most of the problems of the earlier Evoques have already been tackled by the previous owners, so the vehicle you’re looking at is rather better than it originally was. If you’re in love with the Evoque – and it is easy to understand that – pay extra due diligence to find the right Evoque. It’ll make for a great SUV!