Buyers cross shopping between the new Range Rover Evoque and BMW X2 are looking at two different answers to the same question: What is a rakish-looking, almost coupe-like crossover that is striking to behold, fun to drive and posh to sit in? They’re about the same size, even though the Evoque looks bigger because it is more squared off, but they actually provide a very different experience for driver and occupants.

Firstly, the X2 feels like a very well sorted hatchback to drive, and you can throw it into corners with a fair bit of confidence. On the other hand, it is pretty much useless off-road going over anything more severe than a potholed country road. The Range Rover Evoque is decent to drive on tarmac, but it’s only average in this respect, however, it wipes the floor with the X2 when it comes to any kind of tougher off-roading.

They look and feel different and also address different buyers with different needs, even though they will be cross shopped and compared against one another. The fact of the matter is, they’re so different, it’s quite possible that somebody who really likes one, will absolutely hate the other. It probably all boils down to where and how you want to use it, although realistically very few buyers will actually take advantage of the Evoque’s off-road qualities, and just potter around the city in it, an application where the X2 is probably better.

Exterior

Front

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Putting the two side by side, there’s clearly a difference in the styling philosophy - one is angular (the Range Rover Evoque, although more rounded off in its latest generation), while the other (the BMW X2) has a much more swooping look, with its teardrop-shaped headlight clusters and creases that make it look like a muscular hatchback, not a high-rider.

The Evoque looks like much more of an off-roader, although just based on the front fascia alone, I think it does look a bit more posh and expensive compared to the BMW.

The Evoque has less going on at the front compared to the X2, and one can definitely call it cleaner and less fussy to look at. It’s definitely more restrained, but alongside the BMW it just seems to strengthen the age-old “less is more” mantra - the X2’s face has a bit of a trying too hard (to stand out) vibe about it which, in the company of the baby Range, simply means it loses out.

Side

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If we view both from a lateral perspective, the BMW X2 looks nowhere near as busy as it did from the front. I think the side is one of the best angles to view it from as it just looks like a slightly tall but very sporty hatchback whose cherry on top is the C-pillar mounted BMW propeller badge that was just a stroke of genius on the BMW designers’ side. It just makes the entire car feel more special even if it’s one of the cheaper and not-so-special BMWs that you can buy; a small detail, but in my book, it makes all the difference. It harkens back to iconic models like the 3.0 CSL and 2000 CS.

The Range Rover Evoque’s side profile actually ties the two models together in the same segment, as it looks like less of an off-roader and more of an angry premium wedge that can also go off-road.

It’s certainly taller looking than the X2, but with its dramatic falling roofline that doesn’t taper at all but is simply slanted towards the back, it really makes an impression. Now as much as I love the BMW’s C-pillar badge, I have to concede that as far as side views go, the Evoque is more striking and prettier as well.

The Evoque isn’t as aggressive as the X2, but it definitely feels quietly more luxurious from the side.

Rear

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The three-quarter rear view makes both these vehicles look really good, although it’s the more squated and aggressive rear end of the X2 that I think looks best. The Evoque is still very good, and a joy to look at from the back, but it is perhaps a bit too simple and slab-sided for my taste. And, unlike the front, which looks clean and uncluttered, the rear, with those integrated exhausts is a bit fussier than it should be.

The X2 has a lot more of a sports car vibe about it from the rear.

If you look at it dead on, nobody would blame you if you thought BMW had made a hot hatchback, especially if the example you’re observing has the more aggressive rear bumper with the twin exhausts poking out. The difference in design approach is really very obvious, but the front and especially the rear fascias imbue the X2 with a very different energy compared to the Evoque.

Exterior Dimensions

2019 BMW X2 2020 Range Rover Evoque
Overall Length 172.2 inches 172.08 inches
Overall Width 71.8 inches 82.67 inches
Overall Height 60.1 inches 64.92 inches
Wheelbase 105.1 inches 105.55 inches

Interior

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There is no contest when it comes to how the interior of these two cars makes you feel. Inside the X2 you feel like you’re in a posh, but still ultimately affordable vehicle since some materials feel cheap and nasty and the whole dashboard design and layout look old fashioned and outdated. There is nothing really special in the X2, other than the fact that with the lowish driving position, you feel quite cocooned inside, and it feels quite sporty, but you don’t feel particularly special.

Hop aboard a well-specced Evoque, though, and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped 10 years into the future. Everything has a sculptural, architectural quality to it and it trumps the BMW in terms of ambiance and luxury feel. The layout and some of the kit are borrowed from the Velar (especially talking about the digital gauge cluster and adjustable-angle infotainment screen, as well as the touch-operated climate controls), which is one of the nicest vehicles of any price that I’ve ever sat in. And the Evoque is nine-tenths as nice - it only feels a tad smaller inside, but hardly any different aside from that.

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque vs 2019 BMW X2
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If you were choosing between these two based on what the interior looks like and especially how it makes you feel, then the Evoque will make you considerably happier. The BMW still feels like a good, quality product, but the Range Rover has a clear edge here as it feels even more premium, more modern, and it’s a bit more comfortable too.

There’s nothing in it when it comes to practicality, though, as both vehicles have plenty of stowage options dotted around their cabins. If, however, there is something more to point out here is the fact that BMW interiors are harder wearing and with some care will look pretty much as new many years after purchase, whereas Land Rover interiors are not renowned to stay looking as good as new for as long.

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque vs 2019 BMW X2
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In terms of trunk space, the Evoque is rated at 591 liters (some 10-percent more than the outgoing model), while the X2 only musters 470 liters. If, therefore, cargo capacity in the back is a key concern, the Range Rover does win out in this category.

Land Rover Evoque BMW X2
Headroom front/rear inches 38.9/38.3 39.8/37.1
Shoulderroom front/rear inches 56.61/55.39 55.6 / 53.9
Legroom front/rear inches 40/33.81 40.3 / 36.7
Luggage capacity cu ft 20.8-48.84 21.6–50.1

Drivetrain and Performance

2020 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
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Both vehicles have a wide array of 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines to choose from. Both are offered in base form with front-wheel drive, but in both cases these are not the ones you want because all-wheel drive thoroughly increases their capability (and also fun factor).

Believe it or not, the Range Rover has the most powerful engine to choose from out of the two, in the form of its 2.0-liter turbo gasoline unit that makes 300 metric horsepower thanks to a mild hybrid system.

The most powerful diesel on offer (also a 2.0-liter four) also uses mild-hybrid tech to reach a total output 240 metric horsepower.

The BMW doesn’t have any mild hybrid tech on offer, and its most powerful version is the 25d xDrive with 231 metric horsepower. The most powerful gasoline engine you can get in it is the 20i unit with 190 metric horsepower.

In both cases, though, only the most basic entry-level model has a manual gearbox (the model that’s also front wheel drive), so all other versions get a self-shifter. BMWs have the eight-speed unit from ZF, while the Range Rover has a ZF nine-speed.

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque vs 2019 BMW X2
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Out on the road, the BMW X2 is certainly more fun, with its sharp and direct steering, minimal body roll, and low center of gravity (for a crossover).

The Evoque, by contrast, feels a bit taller and it leans more in the bends, but it’s still adequate to drive quickly on a twisty road, even if it’s not class leading in this respect. Where it does win out over the X2 and other on-road-focused rivals is once tarmac runs out, or, better yet, when any kind of road runs out. In this instance, the Evoque has a much higher chance to keep going compared to the X2 thanks to its higher ground clearance and slew of electronic gadgets combined into what Land Rover calls “All-Terrain Progress Control.”

Land Rover Evoque 2.0L TC (gasoline) I4 Land Rover Evoque 2.0L TC (MHEV gasoline) I4 BMW X2 sDrive28i BMW X2 M35i
Engine Inline 4 Inline 4 Inline 4 Inline 4
Induction Turbocharged Turbocharged Turbo Turbo
Displacement (cc) 1,998 1,998 1,998 1,998
Max Power (hp) 246 @ 5,500rpm 296 @ 5,500rpm 228 @ 5,000–6,000 rpm 302 @ 5,000–6,250 rpm
Max Torque (lb ft) 269 @ 1,300-4,500rpm 295 @ 1,500-4,500rpm 258 @ 1,450–4,500 rpm 322 @ 1,750–,4500 rpm
Transmission Type ZF® 9-Speed Automatic ZF® 9-Speed Automatic 8-speed STEPTRONIC automatic 8-speed STEPTRONIC automatic

Options

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque vs 2019 BMW X2 Exterior Wallpaper quality
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There is nothing particularly special about the options you can get in an X2 - most notable for me have to be the two M Sport packs that improve its sporty characteristics - the more extreme one is called M Sport X, and it adds stiffer springs and bigger wheels riding on lower profile rubber.

Over in camp Evoque, there's definitely more to talk about, especially if you’re interested in going off-road.

Firstly, it comes with Terrain Response 2 with selectable modes to make the most of what traction there is in varying conditions, the cool ClearSight Ground View (which essentially renders the engine hood transparent) and again is especially useful off-road, or how about a sensor that detects wading depth to ensure you won’t drown your Evoque.

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque vs 2019 BMW X2
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But it’s not just about going off-road, as luxury is also a prime concern for the Range. You can get 16-way-adjustable seats in the Evoque, as well as available Kvadrat Wool upholstery - Not something you hear about often in the automotive industry. Automakers usually go for as much leather as possible to highlight a car’s luxury feel, but this unusual wool alternative still feels plush and is probably realistically even more comfortable (especially in extreme temperature scenarios).

Which is the Better Choice?

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque vs 2019 BMW X2
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Since I don’t do that much off-roading and have already tried out the X2 and found it especially nice to drive for a crossover, I’d probably go for that.

However, the choice would be very hard because, in every other way, I think the Evoque has more merit.

Plus in this most recent incarnation, it’s also better to drive on the road too.

The Evoque looks posher and feels more luxurious inside; it has the more powerful engines, and the off-road capability (that is sorely lacking in the X2) for when the going gets tough. It also looks better form the outside, in my view, and if you own it, there’s definitely a chance you will look back at it as you’re walking away which is something I never found myself doing once during the week I drove that X2.

As a driving enthusiast obsessed about flat cornering and feelsome steering, I’d go for the X2, but the fact of the matter is that the Evoque offers more overall and looks better too, so it has to be the winner in this comparison.

Further reading

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque vs 2019 BMW X2
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Read our full review on the 2020 Range Rover Evoque.

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque vs 2019 BMW X2 Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2019 BMW X2.

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