Just testing: Range Rover Evoque D180 First Edition

The baby Range Rover proves a slow burn for our motoring correspondent, but ultimately he’s smitten

By Tim Gibson

When my wife first met me, she thought I was insufferable. A loud, brash, over-confident jock with a penchant for deck shoes and a far too inflated ego.

    When it arrived, I was instantly unimpressed (oddly, my wife’s initial reaction was positive.  

Over time, I guess I must have grown on her. As she got to know me, perhaps she realised that some of that was a show: nervousness at meeting new people. A front that didn’t really express my true self.

Or maybe, after four years at university, she simply got bored of me repeatedly asking her on dates and decided to give in.

Either way, we ended up together, and nearly two decades later we’re still going strong.

Which is rather how I feel about the Range Rover Evoque. When it arrived, I was instantly unimpressed (oddly, my wife’s initial reaction was positive. She liked the colour, apparently). It seemed too flashy for my middle-aged taste. There were too many bells and whistles and I found the touch-screen controls for things like heating, the stereo and iPhone toggling to be all but incomprehensible.

This, I thought, is not going to be a happy week of motoring.

And then, oh so gradually, something clicked. By the fourth day, I relished every little detail about the Evoque. The seats are the finest I have sat in since my Mum and Dad splashed out on a Multiyork sofa in the late 1990s. They cosset you, offering instant comfort and long-term support. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever been this comfy in a car.

The 180bhp engine is another revelation. I didn’t expect it to feel fast, but there’s plenty of poke across the rev range. Driving in traffic is easy thanks to the smooth automatic transmission, while motorway hauls are made effortless by virtue of innovations like adaptive cruise control and lane keeper.

That said, the latter of these gadgets could be improved. On a car such as the Volvo XC60, the combination of adaptive cruise and lane-keeping tech functions as a sort of autopilot. Gently rest your hand on the steering wheel and it’ll keep you a constant distance from the car in front and on the straight and narrow with very little fuss.

    Everywhere I went, someone commented on my beautiful Range Rover,...  

In the Evoque, though, the lane-keeping felt more intrusive, as if the car was occasionally possessed by the ghost of some long-dead rally driver who liked nothing better than swinging a hard right on a forest track. I felt it worked against me, rather than with me.

That aside, once I’d sussed out the controls, the rest of the Evoque’s tech was very pleasing indeed. I confess to being permanently bamboozled by Apple Car Play, but that may be because I stream via Spotify, which doesn’t seem to work on the platform. But when I did finally get my choons to play, I was taken to a higher realm by the sound quality. Honestly, it’s like sitting in a concert hall where you can identify every nuance of every note. Faure’s Requiem has never sounded so good. Not on the M25, at any rate.

Something else that’s never happened to me before is the endless comments about my car. Bearing in mind that I drive a lot of press cars, you’d think I’d be accustomed to people remarking on my wheels. But I can’t think of a vehicle that’s prompted such a reaction as the Evoque. Everywhere I went, someone commented on my beautiful Range Rover, wondering if I’d come into money or embarked upon a life of crime.

And herein lies my sole reservation about the vehicle. In case I haven’t made it clear, I find it to be wonderful, in pretty much every respect. But, for me, it’s just a little too in-your-face. A bit too “Ha! I’ve got a load of cash and I want the world to know!”

The silly thing is, it’s not actually that expensive. You can have an entry-level D150 FWD model on your drive for about £259 per month on Personal Contract Purchase (PCP). A lower sum than you’ll pay for a much less glitzy Volkswagen Tiguan. But because it has the Range Rover badge on the imposing bonnet, people think it’s some kind of millionaire’s motor.

For me, that’s a reason not to buy one, no matter how much I came to adore it. For others, that’s probably precisely why they would choose an Evoque: Range Rover impact for Volkswagen money.

All I can say is this: I really didn’t want the Evoque to go back at the end of the week, which was quite a turnaround from my initial reaction.

And Mrs. Gibson? Well, let’s just say she’s grown accustomed to looking beyond first impressions.

On test

  • Range Rover Evoque D180 First Edition
  • 180bhp
  • 41.3mpg combined (official figures)
  • 0-62mph in 8.8 seconds
  • 150g/km CO2 emissions
  • Price: £49,950 on the road

Tim Gibson has written about cars for 25 years. His work regularly appears in The Daily Telegraph and other national media.

Published: 8 November 2019

© 2019 Just Recruitment Group Ltd

If you enjoyed this article, you may like: Ten of the best winter holiday destinations

You may also enjoy: Three things to love and hate about the new Defender

Jobs currently available

New job
Purchase Ledger Clerk
Sector: Accountancy, Banking and Finance
Salary: £22,000 per annum
Location: Braintree, Essex
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909619
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a permanent position on behalf of a company based in Braintree, Essex.

The main purpose of the role will be to provide a professional and timely accounting service in respect of all invoice and expense payments through the Purchase Ledger.


  • Ensure that the Purchase Ledger is accurately maintained and process deadlines (payment dates) are met
  • Maintain good internal control with regard to the Purchase Ledger function and in respect of purchase orders and invoices; ensuring that they are coded and signed by the appropriate signatories
  • Process and monitor all company Fuel cards and Barclaycards; ensuring that they are correctly calculated, approved and coded
  • Ensure suppliers are paid in accordance with agreed terms and conditions
  • Reconcile supplier statements to supplier purchase ledger accounts
  • Filing of supplier invoices in a prompt and timely manner
  • Investigate and resolve purchase ledger queries as required
  • Liaise with employees at all levels within the organisation regarding purchase ledger matters
  • Produce Suggested Payment Reports & BACS Reports for the Finance Manager, before processing payment to the Bank


  • Proven experience and knowledge in Purchase Ledger
  • A strong customer service focus and the ability to build effective working relationships with employees and external stakeholders/suppliers.
  • Knowledge of CIS (Construction Industry Scheme) desirable
  • Ability to prioritise work tasks effectively and work to a monthly deadline
  • High attention to detail and an orderly approach to processing
  • Competent in the use of computers, specifically Microsoft Excel and Access Dimensions packages
Read more
New job
Mortgage Administrator
Sector: Public Service and Administration
Salary: £19,000 - £20,000 per annum
Location: Chelmsford
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909621
About the role

Are you an experienced Mortgage Administrator looking for your next role?

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Mortgage Administrator on behalf of a leading Estate Agency based all over East Anglia.

You will have regular liaison with lenders to obtain updates on application status, progress mortgages through to offer stage and liaise with solicitors until completion.

You will also process incoming mail, handle telephone enquires and liaises with Financial Advisors and the Sales Team.

Due to the location of this role, you must have your own transport – you will also be expected to visit the branch network around the county!

This is a full-time, permanent position.

If you are interested then apply today!

Read more
New job
Credit Controller
Sector: Accountancy, Banking and Finance
Salary: £25,000 - £30,000 per annum
Location: Sudbury
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909620
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for an experienced Credit Controller on behalf of a company based on the outskirts of Sudbury.

The main purpose of this role is the ensure that the customer credit accounts are paid within the agreed terms. You will have the ability to demonstrate a high degree of competency in analytical thinking, troubleshooting and problem-solving.


  • Chasing debt
  • Issuing statements, invoices and credit notes
  • Running credit checks and reviewing credit limits
  • Dealing with customer queries
  • Reconciliation of payments and bank accounts
  • Managing the automated cash procedures
  • Vetting of new account applications
  • Preparation of aged debt reports
  • Managing returns and liaising with internal staff and customers regarding returns
  • Debt insurance administration
  • Establishing a good working relationship with internal staff, customers, financial institutions and suppliers

Competitive salary plus benefits.

Skills and experience:

  • Previous experience of working in a Credit Controller role is essential
  • Proactive, firm but customer-focused approach to the collection of money via telephone calls, letters and emails.
  • Knowledge of SAP
  • Knowledge of Sage Pay
  • Microsoft office
  • Flexible approach to work to manage, prioritise and work to deadlines
  • Ability to problem solve
  • Good verbal and written communication skills
  • Team player
  • Analytical skills
Read more
New job
Maintenance Engineer – Part Time
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: £20,000 - £25,000 per annum
Location: Halstead
Role: Part Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909618
About the role

*Please note this is a part-time role!

Just Recruitment is delighted to be recruiting for a Maintenance Engineer on a part-time basis, for a well-established business on the outskirts of Halstead.

You will be required to provide immediate support in the event of machinery breakdowns and maximise the plant availability on a range of process and packaging lines.

Proactively improving equipment operation to reduce machine downtime and increase production efficiency is certainly a key element of this role.

You will be carrying out tasks with minimal supervision and conducting work appropriately and safely - ensuring all machinery and services are in good working order, ready for production use, including servicing and repairs of all equipment on site.

Person specification:

  • Flexibility, honesty and team working.
  • Provide support to all departments.
  • Have the skills and knowledge required by an Engineer.
  • Willing to learn.
  • Excellent communicator.
  • Communicate with all departments across the site with any relevant issues or information.
  • Provide accurate statistical information to other departments where requested.
  • Ensure that you maintain safety in line with the company policy’s and strive to improve safety in all departments.
  • Positive attitude
  • Lead by example, behaving appropriately with a “Can Do” attitude at all times in line with the company values and work policy.
  • Committed.
  • An aspiration to bring the company forward.
  • Empowered.
  • Strong team skills.
  • Forward-thinking.
  • Part of a team.
  • Excellent timekeeper.

Working hours are flexible and can be revised - pay rate depends on experience and hours worked.

Excellent company benefits and free parking are on offer.

Read more
New job
Maintenance Electrician – Day Shift
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: discussed on application
Location: Braintree
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909038
About the role

Do you have an analytical or problem-solving mindset?

Are you looking for an exciting opportunity within a busy engineering/maintenance team?

Just Recruitment is recruiting for an ambitious Maintenance Electrician on behalf of a company based in Braintree, Essex.

You will interact with several departments to ensure that their manufacturing processes continue to deliver world-class products as efficiently as possible through efficient preventative maintenance, emergency breakdown response and continuous improvement initiatives within the manufacturing areas. You will deliver manufacturing targets by ensuring the process equipment is maintained to a world-class standard. The maintenance group will assist in projects to deliver quality, productivity, safety and cost reductions.

What will you do?

  • Ensure manufacturing process equipment is available and maintained to the correct standard.
  • Participate in multi-functional projects taking on and delivering specific actions and tasks.
  • Troubleshoot equipment and process issues, and repair equipment to ensure day to day manufacturing issues are resolved and actioned in a timely manner.
  • Complete essential preventative maintenance tasks and be willing to work shifts when required
  • Analyse daily equipment metrics and use data-driven decisions to improve processes and generate reports to document.
  • Work with other departments to develop and improve current process equipment and systems to deliver change and improve key metrics.

How will you get here?

  • Good Electro-Mechanical knowledge of process and equipment maintenance. (Will consider multi-skilled candidates.)
  • Working knowledge of control systems including Siemens. (Would be desirable but not essential.)
  • Hands-on experience of manufacturing equipment maintenance and troubleshooting issues within a fast-paced manufacturing environment.
  • Experience working within a precision engineering manufacturing environment would be desirable but not essential. (Will also consider candidates from FMCG, food processing or distillery.)
  • Previous experience of working within a team delivering projects is essential.
  • As a minimum an HNC, 18th Edition or Time – Served.

Hours of Work:

Monday – Thursday 07:30 – 16:00.

Friday – 07:30 – 15:00.

39 hours per week.

Please note that if you have not been contacted within 7 days, your application for this position has been unsuccessful. Just Recruitment Group Ltd, are only able to process applications from candidates who are currently resident and eligible to work in the UK.

Read more
New job
Financial Controller
Sector: Accountancy, Banking and Finance
Salary: £35,000 - £40,000 per annum
Location: Ipswich
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909613
About the role

Just Recruitment is looking for a Financial Controller on behalf of a company to join their team based on the outskirts of Ipswich.

In this role, you will need to provide high-quality financial support to the Director of Finance and Departmental Line Managers within the organisation. You will also be responsible for overseeing the accounting and financial activity within the department and be able to assess the performance of the finance team.


  • Monitor the day-to-day financial operations within the company, such as payroll, invoicing, bank reconciliations, and other transactions using Sage 50 as well as our industry-based business software system
  • Leading a small team of staff responsible for the production of the monthly management accounts
  • Producing weekly, monthly and quarterly management reports to senior management including reports to the Director of Finance in preparation for monthly board meetings
  • Analysing variances and investigating potential problems with line managers
  • Planning and leading on projects within the department and the company as a whole, identifying business needs and ensuring that resources and staff are available to execute the project
  • Train and oversee the finance team
  • Monitor the company's financial status and performance to identify areas for potential improvement
  • Seek out methods for minimising financial risk to the company
  • Provide insightful information and expectations to the Director of Finance to aid in long-term and short-term decision making
  • Stay up to date with technological advances and accounting software to be used for financial purposes
  • Establish and maintain financial policies and procedures for the company
  • Understand and adhere to financial regulations and legislation, including VAT, PAYE and Corporation Tax, and a thorough and practical understanding of management accounting principles and techniques


  • A recognised professional accounting qualification would be preferable

Skills required:

  • Previous experience of managing a finance team is essential as well as an intermediate level of experience and confidence with Sage Line 50, Microsoft Excel & Outlook
  • Hands-on approach to teamwork and ability to meet tight deadlines
  • Good understanding of new data privacy standards (GDPR)
  • Excellent customer-service and communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Familiarity with family business principles and practices an advantage but not essential
  • Good level of adaptability to unplanned changes in workload and deadlines
  • Superior attention to detail, good organisational and planning skills
  • Excellent problem-solving, mathematical, analytical as well as critical thinking skills

A competitive salary is on offer of £35,000 – £40,000 per annum, depending on experience.

Working 38.75 hours per week, Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5.15pm.

Holiday entitlement is 25 days per annum plus Bank Holidays.

Due to the location, you will need your own transport – free parking is provided.

Read more