Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
5/14/24 12:43 p.m.
feature_image

Wanna ride shotgun with GRM?

Welcome to this week’s test vehicle, a 2024 Land Rover Evoque Dynamic SE.

For the 2024 model year, the Evoque is offered in two flavors: a base S trim and a more premium Dynamic SE trim–which is what our tester is for the week.

Both trims receive the same turbocharged inline-four rated at 246 horsepower and 269 lb.-ft. of torque, and both …

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JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
5/14/24 1:02 p.m.

I really wanted to like this thing more than I do. It has a lot going for it, but ultimately it's let down (for me, anyway) by some major flaws that are kind of inexcuseable in modern cars.

Flaw 1: Utter lack of buttons. Check out that center screen. yeah, that's it. That's all you get to control the functions of the car. And pretty much everything is at least one level deep in the menus. If the passenger wanted to change the volume of the stereo, they;d have to first navigate to the entertainment screen, then adjust the volume from there. Likewise with fan speed. Some controls should absolutely have first-order retrievability, and those are two of them in my opinion. Hiding them behind a submenu is kind of inexcuseable.

Flaw 2: Realy weird driveline surging. This one would almost send me to a dealer if I bought this thing. When downshifting approaching a stop, many downshifts are accompanied by a surge big enough to lurch the car noticeably. it makes it almost impossible to decelerate smoothly. That's kind of a dealbreaker.

And it's all kind of a bummer, because there's alot to like here. It's got the great driving dynamics of something like a Mazda CX-5—long one of the best small SUVs out there for driving enjoyment—with a decidedly more upscale feel to it. Seating position and presence from behind the wheel are great, it's just kind of ruined by some really dumb avoidable flaws.

It's also weirdly small in the back seat and cargo area. It's like a small SUV that completely takes the U out of the equation, at which point it may as well just be a car.

Oh well. Cool color. Looks neat. Big whiff pretty much everywhere else, though.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
5/14/24 1:22 p.m.
JG Pasterjak said:

It's also weirdly small in the back seat and cargo area. It's like a small SUV that completely takes the U out of the equation, at which point it may as well just be a car.

The 2-doors are even worse.  Do they even still make those?

I have to admit, of all the vehicles I have an implacable hatred for, the Evoque is near the top of my list, for that very reason.  Lid for every pot, etc etc etc, but I cannot think of a single thing this vehicle does that couldn't be done better by something else... except for impressing the kind of people I have zero interest in impressing.

The color is its only redeeming quality.  I'll give you that.

 

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
5/14/24 2:26 p.m.
JG Pasterjak said:

Looks neat. Big whiff pretty much everywhere else, though.

I'd be fine if something similar got put on my grave stone.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
5/15/24 9:28 a.m.

It does seem like the right size, but I'd imagine there are better options available on the market–regardless of budget.

However, some might be more than willing to overlook that for the chance to have a Land Rover.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/16/24 10:19 a.m.

It is a cool color. 

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
5/16/24 2:50 p.m.

After a couple more days to reflect on my initial review I've had a chance to evaluate the car less emotionally and rethink things a bit.

Yeah it sucks even worse now.

I'm a little surprised something this mediocre made it through multiple rounds of product development and testing and became real. The chassis is actually decent I guess, although I can't imagine it's of much use off road. But the drivetrain is... well this just ain't it, hoss. Trying to beat a yellow light? Good luck. The transmission will still be deciding whether it wants to downshift when the cop is already done writing the ticket. And that deceleration surge? Make sure your cargo is secure if you intend on using the brakes.

It's just a car that doesn't need to be nearly as bad as it is, yet here we are.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/17/24 12:42 p.m.

Last night I passed a–wait for it–Evoque convertible. 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
5/17/24 1:55 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

Last night I passed a–wait for it–Evoque convertible. 

That would actually be an improvement, since at least you could pretend to enjoy driving it when the weather is nice.

 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
5/17/24 2:13 p.m.

I had once hypothesized that the Evoque Convertible was just the new VW Cabrolet

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/17/24 2:29 p.m.

I have a friend who has owned a couple of Evoques. I think it's mostly because he's a Very Tall Belgian and he fits.

He also just traded in his Wrangler for a Corolla GR, so he's not the kind of guy who makes predictable vehicular choices.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
5/17/24 5:45 p.m.
John Welsh said:

I had once hypothesized that the Evoque Convertible was just the new VW Cabrolet

I am not arguing against your hypothesis, but just look how tiny the driver is in that giant bathtub.

 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/17/24 6:58 p.m.

In reply to Duke :

Okay, so it’s not me. Almost looks like he was Photoshoped in there. 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
5/17/24 9:16 p.m.

Here is another photo with driver.  It makes me think that the white car driver is just small.  The white car pic comes from an automotive review from India.  

This orange car driver comes up much higher on the headrest.  

The white picture is a bit freakish

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
5/18/24 6:19 p.m.

Please pit it against Tom's Trooper in a rock crawling contest and get pictures.

ddavidv
ddavidv UltimaDork
5/19/24 7:41 a.m.
David S. Wallens said:

It is a cool color. 

Which is the only thing good about it.

Ugly, certainly will be unreliable based on history, and horrifically overpriced. But, people will buy them anyway because Brand snobbery.

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/19/24 11:05 p.m.

Long story but a have I friend who was looking for a particular limited edition Range Rover that happened to be located in my city. Last week he asked me to go check it out for him. It was the first time I've ever driven an obscenely expensive car with a supercharged V8 and thought "huh... I don't really get it".  It was fast-ish without feeling fast, numb and somewhat clumsy to drive, big on the outside yet cramped on the inside.  Very luxurious interior with a bunch of ergonomic decisions that had me scratching my head.  Maybe this is just how the whole product line is?

It did look really cool and would definitely turn heads. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/20/24 2:57 p.m.

In reply to ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) :

Sounds about right, especially this part:

It was fast-ish without feeling fast, numb and somewhat clumsy to drive, big on the outside yet cramped on the inside.  Very luxurious interior with a bunch of ergonomic decisions that had me scratching my head.  

mad_machine
mad_machine GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/20/24 4:37 p.m.
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) said:

 It was fast-ish without feeling fast.

One does not drive a landy fast. They drive it quickly.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/20/24 4:51 p.m.

In reply to mad_machine :

In my experience, quickly isn't really an option either :)

 

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