Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5
  • Impressively comfortable front seats
  • Decent driving position
  • Driver aids compensate for poor visibility

The Range Rover Evoque's new interior won't come as a surprise to owners of the old one, or anyone who's spent time in a Velar. But that's no bad thing, considering both are a great place in which to spend time. As soon as you step into the Evoque, you'll be impressed by the luxurious ambience – the well-considered trims and materials, the low-line dashboard, well-shaped seats, and twin-screen infotainment system.

The driving position is perfect – both elevated above the non-SUVs, but reclined enough to feel almost sporting. The main criticism with this – and the old Evoque – is the poor visibility – the thick A- and B-pillars, along with the slit-like rear windows mean that it could be quite claustrophobic inside if you choose a dark interior and don't specify a panoramic sunroof.

What tech do you get in a Range Rover Evoque?

One of the biggest issues that needed sorting on the old model was the slow touchscreen infotainment system, and here, it is all up to date. The lower half of the dash has been cleaned up with much fewer buttons, but the old rotary gear selector has been replaced by a more conventional-looking lever.

This is a bit of a shame as it made the cabin of the old model a touch more special, and it's not like you gain anything here in terms of storage space by having this replacement.

The Meridian sound system has also improved over the old one, sounding less muffled than before through the speakers, but there are still better systems offered by rivals out there. The fully-digital instrumentation featured in the SE and above is clear and logical, echoing the entry-level model's twin-dial analogue set-up (which looks far from low-rent).

The larger steering wheel and its additional buttons for the added tech adds to a more grown up and expensive feel to the cabin. Land Rover’s Clearsight rear-view mirror comes as standard on the Evoque HSE or as an option elsewhere, and is well worth looking at if you carry passengers regularly – or just think the view out isn't good enough.

A backwards-facing camera feeds the widescreen video display in the mirror, which does the same job, but if your boot is fully-loaded or the rear seats are occupied, this allows you to still get a clear view behind. It's not quite perfect (cars following you look closer than they are), but it's good enough to not warrant a thought once you've used it for a short period of time.

There's also the option of Clearsight Groundview, which uses a combined view from three low-mounted forward-facing cameras that's displayed on the central screen. We've tried it, and given the Evoque's bulkiness and lack of great visibility, it will be of great use when parking in tight spaces, or cresting a hill on your favourite green lane.

Is it comfortable?

  • Impressive ride comfort
  • Body control is also excellent
  • High-speed cruising is very quiet

Ride comfort and overall refinement has taken a large step in improvement over the outgoing Evoque. The old car's suspension absorbed bumps well, but the new Evoque has raised its game – feeling every bit like a baby Range Rover should. The low speed ride can be a little firm, but there’s an air of softness to it still, with a great level of isolation and suppleness the old one never had.

The comfort levels are aided by the low levels of noise, too. There are low levels of road noise, partly helped by slightly thicker profile tyres over the previous one.

The engine has been brilliantly isolated from the cabin – and feels a world away from the same engines used in the last car. The petrol engine we tested (P250) is quiet at pretty much all times, even when heading towards the 6,000rpm redline, as are the diesels.

The D240 diesel is also far quieter than the old model, and overall refinement is up there with the best of the opposition, such as the Audi Q3 and BMW X4. It's as gruff as ever, but the noise levels are so muted, it's much less of a problem. In a nutshell, it's up with the best – and that's quite an achievement.

Inside, the softer seats feel more luxurious than it did before, which should be good news for long distance comfort, while the additional space for rear seat passengers will be wholly appreciated. That said, it’s still not as spacious as an Audi Q3 and doesn’t have the ability to recline the rear backrest for added comfort.