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: ●●●●●Tweet