For this month’s motoring reviews, Sussex Business Times got behind the wheel of two SUV models, the Range Rover Evoque Auto and the Jaguar F-Pace 2.0d 180PS AWD. Here are our thoughts…

Range Rover Evoque

The Range Rover Evoque is without a doubt one of Land Rover’s most successful models, and it’s clear to see why. It’s not quite a cut-price model, but it does, on the other hand, carry inside a lot of tech, capability and style. The Evoque has been around since 2011 and has only seen minor updates since then, but it still remains smooth to drive, comfortable to sit in and has never been cheaper to run with thanks to the addition of JLR’s Ingenium diesel engines. Since being introduced in 2011, the Range Rover Evoque has racked up an impressive 170 awards and 6 years later, still has what it tales to turn heads on the street, continuing to make a bold style statement and other cars in the sector, such as the Audi Q5 or Volvo XC60 look somewhat desolate parked next to it.

While the Range Rover Evoque comes with the option of four-wheel drive, many owners who drive exclusively on the road will make do with the front-wheel drive, which improves both economy and emissions. There are diesel and petrol engine options, too, but the range is fairly limited.

Land Rover fits adaptive magnetic MagneRide dampers to the Range Rover Evoque as standard, and this helps it stay stable and composed in corners, with body roll kept to a minimum. It’s pretty relaxing on longer journeys. On the move, refinement is good and the ride is decent over most road surfaces, although the odd bump can upset the bigger 20-inch wheels. Also, despite boasting a 2.0L TD4 diesel engine, it’s surprisingly quiet. Overall, the Evoque provides an all-round smooth and comfortable drive.

When the Evoque was originally launched, it caused a major stir in the crossover class, and it’s still managing to turn heads now. The small windows means it appears sportier than Audi’s Q5 model – even though it’s taller – while the black window pillars and clamshell bonnet demonstrate modern updates to the traditional Range Rover look. Up front, the rounded nose features a slender grille and light clusters, while at the back, the tail-lights have a similar look to the front, while the high-set back bumper and low roof give a sporty stance.

As for the interior, the Evoque boasts a classy layout that comes close to matching the Audi Q3 for quality. While the cabin looks good, it’s also pretty well equipped. With it comes heated leather seats as standard, and two-zone climate control is also included. Plus, there are plenty of extras you can add. The dash comes completely in leather, matching well to the expense of the car. Controls on the dash are simple and easy to use, AV is outstanding with a 20-inch touchscreen and the panoramic roof made for a nice touch. Other features of this model include dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors, DAB radio, Hill Descent Control, Bluetooth telephone connection and rain-sensing windscreen wipers.

Jaguar F-Pace

The F-Pace is roughly the same size as sister company Land Rover’s Discovery Sport. However, it isn’t simply a rebadged Land Rover; its underpinnings actually have more in common with Jaguar’s XE and XF saloons. As a result, the body is super-stiff and there’s lots of aluminum and other lightweight materials to keep its weight down and improve agility. The F-Pace is very much a road-focused SUV, even though four-wheel-drive versions have some clever off-roading technology; cheaper models actually make do with rear-wheel drive.

It’s obvious to any car fanatic that these two models are made by the same people, as almost all features are very much the same in each car, although we would say that the price of the Jaguar F-Pace doesn’t quite match up to what it provides – you’re better off purchasing the more expensive Range Rover Evoque and getting what you paid for. The engines in both are pretty much identical, although the F-Pace did sound louder and seemed to have more of a kick.

If you want your SUV to scythe through bends then you’ll love the Jaguar F-Pace. It’s the way it flows through fast bends that impresses most; it may be lighter than most of its rivals, but this is still a 1.8-tonne SUV, and yet it genuinely feels as agile as many hatchbacks.

The Jaguar F-Pace doesn’t look quite as appealing as the Range Rover Evoque, although the lines are a lot smoother. The F-Pace is slightly bigger than the Evoque, and of course the interior is substantially more spacious. For the amount you’d be paying for this car, you’d want the dash to be slightly less plastic. The interior also boasted heated and electrically adjustable front seats, a soft grain leather steering wheel, mood lighting, Bluetooth telephone connectivity and iPod integration. Over-the-shoulder visibility is hampered by the rising window line and small rear screen, but all trims come with front and rear parking sensors to help counter this.  All F-Paces have an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system as standard, which Jaguar calls InControl Touch, which can sync with your smartphone to run a selection of apps. It’s just a shame the screen can sometimes be sluggish to respond.

Other specifications incorporated into this Jaguar model include Hill Launch Assist, Cruise Control with Automatic Speed Limiter, break pad wear indicator, Electric Power Assisted Steering and 3-flash lane change indicators, as well as Satellite Navigation and much more.

After a week with both cars, it was obvious that the Jaguar F-Pace didn’t have quite the same effect as the Evoque and definitely didn’t generate as many looks – could this be because Jaguar aim for an older clientele?

All in all, although both outstanding cars, Sussex Business Times would have to say that the Range Rover Evoque just about takes the title, simply because it provides more for the money and overall, has been completed to a higher standard.

 Jaguar F-PaceRange Rover Evoque
OTR Price£42,860£47,650
Engine capacity2.0L2.0L
Transmission8-speed automaticAutomatic 9-speed
0-60mph8.2 seconds8.5 seconds
Max speed129mph121mph