Range Rover Evoque L538, the Ralph Lauren handbag of the automotive world. Range Rover Evoque L538, the Tommy Hilfiger of crossovers. Range Rover Evoque L538, the official car of the “PC operator” in the job description, even if they don’t type anything on the PC and are paid in tokens, not in money.
Designed by Mrs. Victoria Beckham herself, Range Rover Evoque L538 is the smallest, cheapest and best-selling model in the history of Range Rover. You could argue that the Range Rover Evoque L538 is the poor man’s Range Rover, but that’s like being the poorest member of the Rotary Club in your town.
I’m not going to write much about this fashion accessory on wheels because most owners don’t know and don’t want to know anything about mechanics. If the BMW X6 is the matron’s…I mean boss’ car…the Range Rover Evoque L538 is the car of the most productive and succesful employees. You never know what the driver of the Range Rover Evoque L538 is doing for a living, you only know that she is full of money and is so fashionable that it blends in perfectly when the car is parked somewhere on a posh boulevard, next to the terrace, with a wheel over a chair. Because walking is for people below your status.
Is the Range Rover Evoque a good car?
Strictly as a car, no. The boot is very small, the rear visibility is limited to put it gently, the rear seats are cramped, the performance is mediocre and the reliability is typical Land Rover. But if you are ok with replacing two turbos in 5000 miles (actual valid scenario for the Range Rover Evoque), then you can buy a car that reminds everyone exactly what car you drive and what social status you have.
Range Rover Evoque L538
- 2.0 SI EcoBoost and Ingenium of 240 horsepower – A supercharged 2.0 petrol supplied by Ford and modified by Land Rover. Yes, ladies, gentlemen, and everything in between, the Range Rover Evoque I uses the same 2.0 EcoBoost as the Ford Focus, only with slight modifications. By far the most reliable engine, this 2.0 “Ingenium” has only one fundamental problem: It cannot be driven in heavy rain. The water seeps through the radiator grille and reaches the engine. Nothing new, all cars suffer from this. It’s just that the insulation of the Range Rover Evoque engine is insufficient and water infiltrates the area of the coil packs and the spark plugs. They break down and the engine goes into limp mode. If this seems serious to you, wait and see the diesel engines. Personally I like this engine and it’s not THAT bad.
- 2.0d Ingenium of 150 and 180 horsepower – Coming as the eD4 version in 150 horsepower and TD4 in the 180 horsepower guise, this 2.0 “Ingenium” comes with the specific issues of the Range Rover Evoque L538 and as a bonus the EGR cooler cracks and floods your engine with coolant. Fortunately it is not fatal for the engine, but the repair will still cost you the equivalent of a VW Golf IV. What is fatal for the engine however is the crankshaft snapping, a well known Ingenium issue.
- 2.2d Ford Duratorq of 150 and 190 horsepower – Also collaboration from the PSA-Ford group, the 2.2 TwinTurbo engine debuted on the Mk4 Mondeo and was also used on the Citroen C5 II, Freelander II and many other cars. Unfortunately, on the Evoque it seems that the crankshaft wears out prematurely, but this is the only notable issue with this engine and by the time the crankshaft wears out, the car has been long sold. And no, this is not the Transit engine, this is a different engine but also a fairly solid unit altogether.
Range Rover Evoque L538 Common Issues
- The list is opened with a factory issue on the particle filtre. It sits too far behind the engine and has no way of receiving enough heat to start the regeneration process pasivelly. The only way to regenerate the particulate filtre is by force, so every 300-500 miles you must drive it spirited and you need to keep it revved for at least 35 minutes. If you do not do this and do not drive until the regeneration is complete, the filtre clogs quickly and the engine receives excessive diesel. For this reason, a diesel Range Rover Evoque L538 has a recommended service interval of 4,000 miles instead of the industry standard 6,000 miles. But atleast you can do several facebook reels while you are in the waiting room of the repair shop. Or you can have a peasant drive the car for the service for you. Or you can take on the platform, because the particulate filtre has a tendency to jump straight from yellow light to red warning light, requiring another particle filtre.
- The 9-speed ZF automatic transmission is more confused than a student going to an exam where he only knows the date and his name. The automatic transmission needs constant software updates, otherwise it fails to function properly. And the motherboard of the gearbox fries to a crisp and it will fry your wallet aswell. Unfortunately in this case you won’t have time to film too many facebook reels from the service waiting room because the servicing usually takes little time and you won’t have to wait for too long.
- Electrically assisted steering column which has a motor that has a habit of running away. Literally. In fact, when the motor realizes that it’s in a Land Rover, it breaks off and runs away. Thus you will have to wait for the platform to pick you up because you have electric steering because you have a Range Rover, obviously. Not like all the less fortunate.
- More electric adventures as the fuse box was glued in haste, using pieces of chewed gum found by the workers in the factory. Thus, the fuses have a chance to fall off and the electrics will no longer work. In the most fortunate cases something will short circuits and the car will spontaneously combust. Thus, you will be able to make a facebook reel where you thank the firefighters for what they do for society.
- Things like air conditioning, leather upholstery, reversing camera or bushings and control arms are other minor things that fail on the Range Rover Evoque L538. Indeed, the first generation of Evoque proudly carries the torch of Land Rover reliability.
Range Rover Evoque L538 Verdict
You would think that no one right in their mind would buy a car with such reliability issues. But Land Rover has always been like that and people are buying it like hot bread. And the Range Rover Evoque is the best-selling Range Rover in history. In the world of cross-over, the Range Rover Evoque sits high on the hill and admires the competition from below. Yes, there is the BMW X3, Audi Q5 or Mercedes GLC, but the Evoque remains king of the hill. Perhaps the only natural enemy is the Porsche Macan, but it doesn’t look as fashionable as the British automotive equivalent to Moschino.
Which engines do I recommend? For a stress-and-trouble-free life, I recommend the 2 litre 240 horsepower petrol. As for the gearbox, the manual is reliable but it doesn’t seem to find its place on a Range Rover, so I recommend the ZF 9-speed automatic. Yes, it is not reliable, but a Range Rover was not and will not be cheap to maintain. It’s a status symbol and a fashion statement on wheels, so get over the running costs. If you do care about the running costs however, then the 2.2 diesel is the best pick of the bunch, especially in manual configuration but a manual diesel is about as far from the Evoque as a concept as it gets.