Photography and video by ©2016 Toni Avery

Since the launch of the Evoque I’ve always thought it was one of the best-looking Compact Crossovers on the market. Seeing it in person for the first time only confirmed my original thoughts. And now, finally, I was able to move beyond admiration and actually get some time behind the wheel of one. What I didn’t expect was just how much I’d enjoy the driving experience.

This Evoque is equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine producing 240 HP and 250 lb-ft of torque mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission. Torque comes in early at 1750 RPMs and you can definitely feel it. from the first press of the accelerator I knew the driving experience wouldn’t disappoint.

Cornering quickly is fun and so is accelerating up an onramp. It’s incredibly well-balanced unlike other larger cars or even ones of its size and it doesn’t feel like it’s going to tip over. While it performs well on the street, the Evoque is also at home off-road.

The grass/gravel/snow mode is ideal for ground surfaces that are covered with loose or slippery materials, but for deep gravel, the Sand program should be selected. The Mud-rutts program should be used for crossing terrain that is muddy, rutted soft or uneven.

The Sand program should be used for terrain that is predominantly soft dry sand or deep gravel. But if the sand that you are trying to cross is wet then the Mud-rutts program should be selected.

Then there’s Hill Decent Control, which is automatically engaged for some terrain response programs, but can be selected/deselected independently.

Lastly, there’s Dynamic mode that can be selected for on-road adventures where you want to enhance traction, handling and drivability for maximum responsiveness.

To help stop the Evoque from all these on and off-road adventures, the brakes performed as expected with positive pressure and force.

The exterior of the Evoque features Adaptive LED Headlamps (part of the optional Driver Assist Plus Package), 19-inch alloy wheels, optional black accent roof, all finished in Yulong white (optional).

The profile is by far the best angle on this Compact Crossover. The optional black contrast roof only adds to its sleek look. It’s much lower profile than most cars of its size and has more of a coupe/sedan mix appearance.

Inside the Evoque are Ivory seats, a fixed panoramic sunroof, Meridian Audio System and Satellite Radio.

The contrast between the light and dark in the interior makes the Ivory seat/door insert option a must. At first I mentioned in my video review (below) that I wasn’t a fan of they grey soft touch material on the dash and doors. After some further consideration, it doesn’t bother me as much. Sure, some grey Alcantara would have been nice, but this material isn’t as bad as some other soft touch plastics and is a nice contrast to the light Ivory seats.

As mentioned in my video, I love the brushed metal accents. They add a modern feel to the front space. The infotainment system is ok, but it’s a bit slow for my liking. For example, when pressing something on the screen the delay between pressing it and the function actually being performed is delayed. The Meridian Audio System is also nice but not the best quality I’ve heard.

Seat comfort is pretty on point, making this a great city, off-road and long distance car. The trunk is a decent size, but there is a lot more cargo space with the seats down. The power tailgate is also a big plus for those large shopping trips where free hands just aren’t available.

The Range Rover Evoque exceeded my expectations in performance, making it an even better option for those looking for a capable off-road and on pavement vehicle that looks great and performs just as well.

2016 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque HSE

Base Price: $50,475


Driver Assist Plus Package, Cold Climate Convenience Package

Sirius XM Satelite Radio, Contrast Black Roof, Yulong White

Total Price with options: $55,550

Destination Charge: $995

Total Price: $56,645

Fuel Economy: 21 City, 30 Highway, 24 Combined 

GirlsDriveFastToo gives the 2016 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque HSE an overall rating of (out of 5 total):