15. Range Rover Evoque – Big surprise is that it’s fun to drive

Top cars for 2020: Evolutionary changes are the order of the day in terms of styling and interior

 

The new (rather pricey) Range Rover Evoque sprung one big surprise on us this year. Not with its styling - that is almost incredibly, certainly incrementally, evolutionary both inside and out.

Nor with its powertrains - aside from the addition of a small mild-hybrid system, it’s the same 2.0-litre diesel lineup as before, although a plugin-hybrid is coming soon. No, it was with the way it drives.

Not that the old Evoque was a slouch, exactly, in that department but the new one is just exceptionally peachy. The chassis, although related to that of the old Evoque, is substantially new and it has given the car a sense of agility and responsiveness that’s pretty much without rival in the mid-size SUV segment.

It’s just fantastic fun to drive, all the more so on a twisty, tight, bumpy, back road.

The cabin is a touch plain, but does feel luxurious if you spend the extra to spec it up, while space in the back and boot is improved on what went before. The only major caveat is the usual one - reliability.

Hopefully Land Rover can build this generation of Evoque to truly exacting standards, because a car this good deserves nothing less.

Best model: 2.0 D180 R-Dynamic SE Auto 4WD for €68,940

Price range: €42,845 to €90,490. Finance from €449 per month.

Co2 emissions: 143 to 186g/km

Sum up: Evoque-ative