Evoque diesel duo

We have driven some interesting cars at Motor Writer but one of the highest profile vehicles must be the Range Rover Evoque.  True to its LRX concept, the Evoque is a very handsome motor.  It was initially launched in its coupé variant, with clean lines and gently sloping roof.  Expected to bring in 75% of sales is the five-door which retains the coupé’s sleek front but has a slightly higher roof for greater occupant space and luggage capacity.

On test were the two power outputs from the 2.2 litre diesel engine: the 150 hp TD4 with five-door body and 190 hp SD4 three-door coupé.  I drove them the wrong way round, too – the more powerful one first.  Expecting disappointment when behind the wheel of the 150 hp model, I discovered there wasn’t actually a huge difference between them.  Looking at the important torque figures, it’s easy to see why: the 150 hp has 400 Nm; the 190 hp has 420 Nm.  In real terms, the more powerfully tuned engine shaves off a mere 0.8 of a second in the dash to 60 mph.  The TD4 and SD4 tested are both 4WD; a 2WD eD4 version of the 150 hp diesel is also available.

Of course, straight-line speed and motorway cruising are only part of the Evoque’s armoury.  I can also vouch for the very well-mannered cornering habits and ability to absorb the lumps and bumps of the Queen’s highway.  The electronically-powered steering is marginally on the light side but otherwise accurate and responsive.  Sampling the Evoque’s off-road capability will have to wait for a future outing.

The cabin is beautifully built.  It’s certainly not huge inside but the result feels more cosseting than cramped.  Seating front and rear is comfortable; switchgear and controls are straight-forward and pleasing to the touch.  The base Pure model still has a touch screen, so it doesn’t feel too poverty-stricken, even without the navigation option.  All models above the Pure have an attractive leather-topped dash.  The panoramic glass roof makes a huge difference to the feeling of space, and while not cramped in the rear of the coupé, it makes it a much more pleasant place to be.  Having the rear-facing camera is definitely recommended as the view through the slot-like rear window is quite poor.

Critically, these models come with CO2 levels comfortably under many companies’ 160 g/km threshold making them suitable for the fleet market.  And given the reaction when out and about plus the competitive pricing, I can guarantee that the Evoque will be an absolute hit.

In the mean time, with just a limited slot in which to review these Evoques, it seemed only fair to grab a quick photograph of the baby Range Rover in its natural habitat: parked outside a branch of John Lewis.



TD4: power: 150 hp, torque: 400 Nm, 0-60 mph 10.3 seconds, CO2: 149 g/km

SD4: power: 190 hp, torque: 420 Nm, 0-60 mph 9.5 seconds, CO2: 149 g/km

Motor Writer rating: ●●●●●

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