The Range Rover Evoque: Posh & Rough
More than just city SUV.
The moment the first Range Rover Evoque came out, it immediately became a hit. It touched the right spot at the right time with a very stylish design, and managed to keep first-class off-road capabilities. It quickly flooded the streets of our cities, and it has become Land Rover's absolute best-seller. Because you never change a winning team, the new Evoque had to stay true to what made the success of its predecessor. More stylish, more technologically-advanced, better off-road capabilities, the new baby Range Rover takes everything to the next level.
It's not a surprise, compact SUVs have been booming for the last decade, and Land Rover understood this pretty quickly. The British brand launched the Evoque in 2011, and thanks to its sharp design and its class-leading off-road abilities, Land Rover sold nearly 900'000 cars in only 8 years, and won many awards. Not too bad for a premium car that starts at over £40K in Switzerland. By the end of the year 2018, Land Rover introduced their newest version of the Evoque, and all I can say is that it seems that the success will keep going on.
And it starts with the design. Let's be honest, it looks pretty much like a shorten Velar, and that's not a bad thing because it is arguably one of the coolest looking SUVs out there at the moment. The design of the new Evoque is sleeker but not revolutionary, and even if the distinction between it and its bigger brother is harder to make, it still pretty much looks like an Evoque. And that's understandable, you don't want to mess to much around with your best-seller.
Do I like the design? I am sure that this question has been in everyone's mind. In my opinion, I think that it looks great. Overall, I really like Land Rover's current design language, and the new Evoque does not disappoint. Obviously, the colour helps a lot, and our press car was equipped with this First Edition pack that comprises of bronze detail elements and a very cool Nolita Grey exterior paint. It looks fashionable, cool, modern and it's definitely a car that I'd like to be seen in. The Evoque has a design that evokes (see what I did there) power and confidence, but it's also a design that attracts many female buyers. The first generation even won the Women's World Car of the Year award in 2012. Yet, I do not feel that it is a girl's car and men as much as women will like driving the Evoque. Some other important design elements I liked are the Tesla-like doorhandles that slide into the door when the car is locked, and the massive wheels that give it more presence on the road.
You jump inside and there is tech everywhere. The design is pretty simple with this center console which has these two superimposed massive screens that let you control every settings. The car feels more spacious, and there is definitely more room at the back than in the previous generation. Being a premium SUV, the materials are very nice, and everything feels expensive. In fact, the car is quite pricey, and our press car cost over £60K. But for this money you get loads of features like the Meridian sound system, leather seats, Apple CarPlay, electrically adjustable seats, adaptive speed limiter, LED headlights, panoramic roof, a secondary touchscreen which lets you adjust the climate control and heated seats, as well as a full digital front display for the driver. Another smart feature is the rear view mirror that can, with the flick of a switch, turn the mirror into a digital screen. And they did that because the back window is so small that you can hardly see anything.
So, how is it to drive? The new Evoque is one of the most comfortable cars in its segment, and it's a true Range Rover in this aspect. You have the possibility to choose between several driving modes that can help the car better adapt to the terrain you're driving on. We haven't done much off-roading, but I can assure you that the grip is phenomenal. Our press car was equipped with a 2.0-litres 4-cylinder turbo engine that makes 250 horsepower. A good engine that was paired to a 9-speed automatic gearbox. I was quite surprised by the high fuel consumption, which was around 24 mpg. I expected such a small engine to perform better, but it's not catastrophic considering the car's weight of 2'094 kg. There are other engine options such as three diesels (150bhp - 240bhp), and three petrols (200bhp - 300bhp). There is also a plug-in hybrid version that combines a 1.5-litres 3-cylinder engine with a 15kWh battery capable of running 41 miles on its own.
The new Evoque is a small SUV that knows how to play in the big leagues. Built on the success of its predecessor, the new car carries on what has made the concept so popular and makes it even better. It drives well, it can go off-road, it's extremely comfortable, it looks great, and it's stylish. The Evoque might just be one of the best small SUVs money can buy, and even if it's not perfect it feels like a true Range Rover and ticks all the right boxes.