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Used car buying guide: Range Rover Evoque

Autocar logo Autocar 18/03/2019 John Evans

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The arrival of the all-new Range Rover Evoque will be a strange experience for the original, which, since its launch in 2012, has enjoyed all the attention. It looked spot on straight out of the box and has barely changed – crucial qualities in a used car market that punishes failure and facelifts. 

First drive: 2019 Range Rover Evoque

a car parked in a field: Intelligent on-demand 4WD system was optional from 2014 © Autocar Intelligent on-demand 4WD system was optional from 2014 Buyers of new cars flocked to this first-generation Evoque with the result that the classifieds are awash with used ones at all ages, mileages and specifications. All prices, too: they start from as low as £8750 and don’t stop until they hit around £47,000 for a late-plate low-miler. 

The idea of an Evoque for less than £10,000 may surprise those who thought the little Rangie way beyond their reach. In fact, only another three or four thousand takes you into the realm of tidy but high-mileage cars with decent histories and good specs. At all price points, diesel dominates, whether it be the 2.2-litre unit or Jaguar Land Rover’s 2.0-litre Ingenium range introduced in 2015. 

a car parked on the side of a road © Provided by Haymarket Media Group The 2.2 came in two power outputs. The 147bhp eD4 was offered with front-wheel drive and the 147bhp TD4 four-wheel drive. A 187bhp version, badged SD4, was four-wheel drive only. It’s punchy and about as economical as the 147bhp unit. 

In the petrol corner was the 237bhp turbocharged Si4. It’s a thirsty old thing but smooth and, of course, free of the diesel particulate filter (DPF) issues that can affect the diesels. We saw a 2013/13-reg Evoque 2.0 Si4 Dynamic 3dr with 78,000 miles for £17,970. 

In 2014, the six-speed automatic available with the SD4 and petrol engines was replaced by a nine-speed one. It’s a slick-shifting affair that boosts economy while offering the benefits of a very low first gear that’s good for off-road and towing work. 

a car parked next to a body of water © Provided by Haymarket Media Group In 2015, the 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel engine replaced the 2.2-litre. Offered in 147bhp (Td4) and 177bhp (Sd4) outputs, it’s torquier, more flexible and more economical than the earlier engines. In 2017, a third, producing 236bhp, joined the lineup. At the same time, the 237bhp Si4 petrol was joined by a 285bhp one. 

Confused? Just remember that diesel is the sensible choice, and if your budget’s tight but you want four-wheel drive and a bit of muscle, go for the 2.2 SD4, and if you’re feeling richer, the later 177bhp 2.0-litre Sd4. 

a car driving down a dirt road © Provided by Haymarket Media Group Trims? How long have you got? At least 10 were offered during the Evoque’s life but Pure Tech models were the most popular and are the best value. Kit includes cruise control, Trailer Stability Assist, an 8.0in infotainment screen, electric windows, parking sensors and automatic lights and wipers. Options can distort prices massively. 

Make sure the one you’re interested in has full service history and is sold with a solid-gold warranty. It’s a great car, the Evoque, but a poor showing in the 2018 Reliability Survey of our sibling title What Car? means you should go over it with a fine-tooth comb. Just saying…

An expert’s view

James Holland, service advisor, Keith Gott: “I’m a former Land Rover main dealer technician and, apart from its well-documented problems with door latches, the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) cooler and the Haldex pump, I don’t recall any major, common problems with the Evoque. If you use an independent specialist for servicing, ensure they have the right diagnostic equipment. Also, check the garage is connected to JLR HQ for service records and technical bulletins.” 

a car parked next to a body of water © Provided by Haymarket Media Group

Buyer beware 

■ Engine: Check for EGR coolant leaks. Inspect the turbo hoses for cracks and splits. 

■ Transmission: Check for a ‘traction reduced’ message indicating a fault with the Haldex oil pump, which can become blocked (budget around £1000). Check effectiveness of 4x4 system by parking half on grass and half on Tarmac, accelerating and checking grass-side wheels don’t spin. Feel for lazy changes or shunting on the six-speed auto. If nine-speed auto thumps into Drive after a prolonged engine stop/start standstill, it could require a software update. If stop/start doesn’t function, battery level may be too low. 

■ Suspension: Listen for knocks and groans from tired bushes and dampers, and feel for looseness and knocking through the steering wheel. You may have to accept suspension clonks over speed humps. 

■ Warning lights: Ensure they all go out. Engine warning light could suggest problems with the emissions control systems, including the DPF. This is sensitive to repeated regeneration cycles, which can cause oil-in-fuel dilution, creating more soot.

■ Body: Any rust is probably accident related. Check underside for off-roading graunches. Failure of door latches to operate on remote control is common. 

a car parked on the side of a building © Provided by Haymarket Media Group

■ Interior: Make sure all comfort features, including the infotainment, work. Take a test drive over rough ground to check the integrity of trims and fittings. Don’t accept saggy leather seats. 

■ Recalls: Check all safety recalls have been actioned. 

How much to spend 

£8750-£10,999: Early diesels requiring a thorough inspection. 

£11,000-£13,499: Early (2011-12) manual diesels, two- and four-wheel drive, with 100k miles. 

£13,500-£15,999: Some 2013-reg cars and mileages down to around 75k. 

£16,000-£19,499: Lots more 2013 plus some 2014-15 cars with under 55k miles. 

£19,500-£22,499: Low-mileage 2015 2.2 diesels plus mid-mileage 2015-16 2.0 Ingenium diesels. 

£22,500-£25,499: The first 2017 and 2018 cars plus low-mileage 16-reg Ingeniums. 

£25,500-£27,999: More 2017-18 cars with 20k mileages. 

£28,000 and above: Dominated by low-mileage 2018 cars.

One we found 

a car parked in a parking lot © Provided by Haymarket Media Group

Range Rover Evoque 2.2 SD4 Pure Tech AWD 5dr, 2012/12-reg, 120K miles, £13,250: Specialists reckon a high-mileage Evoque is a good buy as any problems will have been sorted. This black with cream leather example is a one-owner car with full Land Rover service history. 

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