The Range Rover Evoque is quite young compared to the storied history of Land Rover. In existence since only 2011, the Evoque is, to me, the most attractive model in the lineup. It’s sleek, stylish and suave. Branded as a compact luxury crossover SUV, its direct aim is at the 20 to 30-somethings that are looking to enter the luxury car market. It blends off-road capability with daily driving smarts, respectable fuel economy and a wide array of bells and whistles.
With this segment being ultra-competitive and quite popular, Range Rover’s smaller offering nestles into a comfortable spot in the luxury market, even if they’re up against perennial powerhouses from the Germans, let alone the North American, Japanese and South Korean competitors.
As I write this in early December 2015, the Evoque convertible is getting ready for its spring of 2016 debut and that’ll only increase the existing appeal.
As a carryover model from 2015, the current Evoque still has that handsome styling that’s made it so appealing in the first place. Loaded with LED lights, a strong stance and subtle beauty, there’s really no mistaking the Evoque for any other vehicle on the road. The 18” alloy wheels add that finishing touch to frame the vehicle oh-so-nicely.
My one complaint is the thin rear window, which doesn’t give you a full scope of what’s going on behind you. But then again, the back-up camera will give you extra vision while reversing.
Keeping you in motion is a nine-speed automatic transmission mated to a 2.0L turbocharged motor producing 240 horsepower and 250 lb-ft. of torque. It’s not overly impressive on paper, some may say. But given that fuel economy comes in at 11.3 city, 7.9 highway and 9.7 combined for L/100km, those 240 British ponies won’t let you down, whether you’re getting onto a highway or cruising (slowly) on city streets or in rural settings. While it won’t win any track races, it will give you smooth power, excellent handling, solid steering feel and confidence when twisting the leather, heated steering wheel.
Paddle shifters are located behind the steering wheel but I suggest letting the engine do all the shifting while you enjoy the ride.
Also, there’s a Terrain Response system, which allows the driver to toggle between grass, gravel, snow/ sand/general driving/mud and ruts selections and illustrating that the Evoque is equipped for any road condition. There’s an argument to be made of not wanting to take your luxury crossover through less than ideal road conditions. But when it’s ready, willing and able, it’s a slight injustice to deprive it of off-road adventures.
Inside, the heated, 12 way power leather seats are elegantly comfortable, there’s a clean layout throughout and an upscale look and feel, which is just what you’d expect from the folks at Range Rover.
Brushed aluminum trim offers a classy touch and the eight-inch touchscreen is very user friendly.
To keep the cabin full of sounds, the Evoque comes with a 380-watt Meridian sound system with 11 speakers.
There’s plenty of standard features, including front and rear park aid, four wheel drive, hazard warning lights under heavy braking, hill descent control, roll stability assist, drag torque control, and electronic brake fore distribution, along with many others.
For young, adventurous urbaneers, the Evoque answers the question of “how do I combine luxury, performance, styling, handling, off-roading capabilities, towing and survive the daily asphalt grind in one vehicle?” With a decent amount of cargo space (575 L in the trunk and 1,445 L with the seats down), there’s functionality for couples and families. Starting an expensive Starbucks drink below $50K, the 2016 Evoque provides affordable luxury through a gorgeous looking vehicle that is ready for any Canadian terrain.
2016 Range Rover Evoque SE
As tested options
$700 In Control Connect Package
$1,950 SE Tech Package
$450 In Control Protect Package
$450 Sirius Satellite Radio
$1,300 Navigation System
$250 All Terrain Progress Control
$1,575 Destination and Delivery
$100 Green Tax
Total price as tested: $56,765
Yay: Styling, fit & finish, beautiful looks, ready for any terrain
Nay: Small rear window