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The petrol engine is a direct-injection type with variable valve timing, powerful enough to provide 7.1second 0-60mph getaway acceleration, efficient enough to return a reasonable 36mpg and a CO2 figure of 181g/km.

The turbodiesels are naturally more economical, though this is matched by lower performance.

Base versions with the 147-horse unit should return 50mph with emissions of 145g/km, the punchier SD4 offers better performance with similar economy.

Originally the transmission was a six-speed manual with a six-speed automatic available on SD4 and petrol models, from mid-2013 a nine-speed automatic became available, a technically advanced unit offering a lower first gear, for better off-road crawling and trailer-shifting capability, as well as slicker downshifts and smoother upshifts.

It’s better than it looks.” Our first opportunity to drive the car came in time for the September issue of that year, and one incident in particular during a drive over some difficult tracks in the Snowdonia National Park confirmed our feelings about the car’s credentials as a true off-roader as well as a superb luxury estate.

We wrote: “The route was steep and a number of uneven boulders poked through the damp sandy soil, just before a tight S bend through some trees.

Back this up with Land Rover’s superbly smooth-acting traction control systems and you have a car with unquestionably class-leading off-road agility.

The Evoque’s edgily modern styling is matched by the leading-edge technology it embraces, and that’s not only the Terrain Response and Hill Descent controls pioneered by Land Rover but now common on all other premium SUVs.

It borrows from the mainstream Range Rover such features as keyless entry, the touch-screen dual-view display and connectivity options including Bluetooth and USB, and auxiliary inputs for i Pods and MP3 players, and can be specified with surround camera systems, automated parking feature and rear seat entertainment using eight-inch video screens, wireless headphones and a touch-screen remote control.

so competent was this new Range Rover that you could sit back and enjoy the view.” For anyone who thinks it might just have been the shock of the ‘new’ that so excited us about the Evoque, crunch time came later in 2011 when we pitted the new Range Rover against six other premium SUVs in our 4×4 Of The Year contest.

The dated Mitsubishi Shogun, Toyota Land Cruiser and road-biased BMW X5 were quickly sidelined.

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