Comparison Test: Luxury Compact SUVs luxury cars lincoln landrover car comparisons bmw
Comparison Test: Luxury Compact SUVs luxury cars lincoln landrover car comparisons bmw
Luxury Compact SUV Comparison. Click image to enlarge

Review by Jacob Black, photos by Jonathan Yarkony

When it comes to glamorous luxury compact SUVs, Range Rover and BMW seem to know their stuff. With style-focused offerings in the form of the coupe-like X4 and the ultra-sharp Evoque, Land Rover and BMW have tapped that rich vein of socialites and movers and shakers who know that first impressions matter.

So it was natural that we’d pit these two masters of modern design against each other. They have a similar mission. Look great, perform well, and provide some off-road capability – because winter. But here at Autos.ca, we don’t like anyone to have it too easy. Not even Land Rover or BMW. And it just so happens there is a similarly equipped and powered contender for the luxury compact SUV legitimacy – the 2015 Lincoln MKC. This new Lincoln is the company’s latest source of hope. It packs all the features of the other two, and aspires to provide the same luxury, refinement and pleasing driving experience.

As tested, it is also significantly cheaper. The fully loaded MKC comes in at $55,320 – 13K shy of the $68,490 X4 and $68,590 Evoque. So we have two within $100 of each other, and an interloper some $13,000 less expensive.

Are the continentals really that much better than their domestic counterpart?

Styling

There are few SUVs that evoke (ha!) the kind of lust this baby Range Rover elicits. The aggressive and futuristic character lines, the sloping roof, the well-proportioned front fenders and grille all come together to make onlookers drool. Even the comparatively boring wheels with high-profile tires on our tester couldn’t bring it down. The Evoque is a masterpiece of design.

The X4 ties neatly into the craze for coupe-like profiles. BMW has captured the sweeping roofline that almost every car fan has dreamily sketched onto a high-school textbook. The roofline swoops down to a stubby tail and stubby front – both of which only add to its visual charm. It looks big though, cumbersome even, and that’s its downfall. Besides, who paints a car brown? Yuck.

Comparison Test: Luxury Compact SUVs luxury cars lincoln landrover car comparisons bmw Comparison Test: Luxury Compact SUVs luxury cars lincoln landrover car comparisons bmw Comparison Test: Luxury Compact SUVs luxury cars lincoln landrover car comparisons bmw
2014 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Dynamic, 2015 BMW X4 xDrive35i, 2015 Lincoln MKC 2.3L AWD. Click image to enlarge

The MKC is pretty enough, but lacks the flair of the other two. Kudos to Lincoln designers, this was mistaken for a European car by more than a few, and seems to elegantly portray the upscale cachet that elevates it beyond the Ford Escape on which it’s based.

Inside, the Evoque’s simplicity is given a little visual oomph with red and black accenting, while the all-black Lincoln interior hides some of the more interesting leather sculpting in the door trims and seats. The BMW is classic BMW, but lacked any outstanding visual appeal in this company.

The Evoque wins the styling wars, unsurprising given its singular focus on aesthetics.

Comparison Test: Luxury Compact SUVs luxury cars lincoln landrover car comparisons bmw Comparison Test: Luxury Compact SUVs luxury cars lincoln landrover car comparisons bmw Comparison Test: Luxury Compact SUVs luxury cars lincoln landrover car comparisons bmw
2014 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Dynamic, 2015 BMW X4 xDrive35i, 2015 Lincoln MKC 2.3L AWD. Click image to enlarge
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