Car of the week: September 25th – Range Rover Evoque

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Beauty but a beast: Range Rover Evoque.

One of the great joys of buying a new car, apart from driving it for the first time, is speccing it up –choosing the exterior and interior colours. This is important because not only will it affect the resale value of your vehicle but it can also have a huge impact on the ‘wow’ factor of your pride and joy.

Different cars call for differ­ent approaches when it comes to specification. Take for example the Range Rover Evoque, a car born to be bold.

After test driving the Range Rov­er Evoque Dynamic I returned it to the showroom where my wife asked me about a car that caught her eye. It was, in fact, another Evoque, the car she had just stepped out of.

The reason she thought it was an entirely different model was down to its strong colour combination – white with a contrasting black roof and black wheels which only goes to prove that, while it is a matter of personal taste, the way a car is specced up can make the world of difference.

It is particularly the case with a car like the Evoque with its evoca­tive design which cries out for strong colour combos. Our test drive car was silver and although it was nice enough, it did not have the presence of the one in the show­room and it is no coincidence that the publicity shots of the latest Evoque feature the car in Zanzibar bronze and it really looks the busi­ness. You can’t judge a car on aes­thetics alone although I suspect the way the Evoque looks is the main reason people want to own one. Launched in 2011 it has become one of Land Rover’s most successful models and it took just 18 months to hit global sales well in excess of 170,000.

Its most striking feature is its design but the interior and the way it performs is also hugely impres­sive. Inside, our car had premium grain leather seats with perforated centre sections, leather door insets, nice trims and quality soft-touch materials. The instrument cluster is simple but nicely designed and the infotainment operates via a centre touch-screen.

The Evoque has a circular auto­matic gear selector which sits on the centre console just above the drive mode buttons which allows you to choose different settings depending on the terrain because although this car looks like it belongs in the city, it is a Land Rov­er at heart and as such deals with rougher off-road terrain with ease.

The main difference between this Evoque and its predecessor is that it now has a 9-speed auto­matic gearbox, better driver assists, improved fuel economy, design tweaks, and new alloy wheels.

Having nine gears makes the Evoque more efficient in all condi­tions and it delivers the power from a 2-litre turbo charged engine to the all-wheel-drive system quickly and very smoothly.

There are also paddle-shifts on the steering wheel for a more involved driving experience. Al­though not blindingly quick I found the Evoque to be fast enough, re­sponsive and impressively agile. I was a little worried about rear vis­ibility with the tapered roof and small back window but it didn’t present any real problem and there is good all-round vision.

The Evoque is extremely com­pact so there isn’t that much space for luggage or back seat passengers.It doesn’t have the authority of it larger stablemates like the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport but it is tremendous fun to drive and has a real quality feel to it.

It might be small but this baby SUV has a huge personal­ity and there are plenty of bespoke options to make sure you get the those specs spot on. Be bold.

Why buy it

Looks great,
Nice interior,
Fuel efficient
Its a Range Rover

Why not

This car will probably appeal more to women than men and there is limited space for rear passengers and luggage

Rating out of 10: 8.5

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