$53,395 – $77,395
Good: Unique Styling; On-road Presence; Interior refinement; High level of customisation.
Not so Good: Limited rear seat access on coupe body style
Design and Engineering
Good : The Range Rover Evoque hit Australian shores in November 2011. The stylish and ever-so-sexy Compact Luxury SUV comes with the choice of two body styles – four-door wagon and a three-door coupe, across three different grades. After a quick walk around, standing on one foot, down on one knee, closing one eye I was hard pressed to find a bad angle – the Evoque looks fantastic. The front end is beefy, the slightly raised bonnet with side air vents give the Evoque a masculine appeal. From the side the Evoque has a radical slopping roof line that looks like Land Rover has taken design cues from an old chop top hot rod with its narrow rear and side rear windows. The massive upsized 18-inch alloy wheels (added option) on our test vehicle looked awesome and almost filled the wheel arches, we reckon you could fit some 20-inch alloys no sweat.
Not so good : Will the Evoque’s uber-cool and ultra-modern styling stand the test of time or will it age quickly? There is also the question of brand loyalty. Will Range Rover customers embrace this new youthful appearance or stick to the brands previously more conservative styling.
Interior and Styling
Good : There are three trim levels in total on offer, the entry-level Pure, Prestige and Dynamic, each spec comes with its own unique exterior and interior theme. The 5-door Evoque features a versatile interior that can fit five adults in relative comfort. However, taller passengers might find it a bit of a squeeze in the rear because of the sharp slope of the roof-line. There are numerous interior colour options and variations on offer, the two models that we tested were polar opposites from one another. The first vehicle was quite understated, making use with dark and mid tones with brushed alloy highlights on the dash, doors, steering wheel and buttons. On the other side of the coin our second test subject used earthy tones. The top of the dash is finished in a dark brown, dividing the top of the dash from the bottom is a brushed alloy strip (can be optioned with numerous other colours and finishes) that continues through to the door trims, the bottom of the dash is finished in a light cream. The leather seats are finished in a crème caramel colour and to complete the look a set of chocolate floor mats. Fit and finish is top notch and the optioned up leather felt premium. The touch screen multimedia system is fast and very responsive. The interface is vibrant and easy to use; connecting your mobile phone via Bluetooth is a cinch.
Not so good : The 2-door coupe allowed for limited access to the rear seats. Rearward visibility isn’t the best but that’s the price you pay for unique styling.
Good : The Range Rover Evoque range comes with the choice of two turbocharged engines. The 2.2-litre In-line four-cylinder turbocharged diesel produces 140kW of power and 420Nm of torque. The 2.2-litre diesel is available with six-speed automatic or a six-speed manual. Both transmissions send power to all four wheels, there is a two wheel drive model that is due in July 2012. Meanwhile, the 2.0-litre In-line four-cylinder turbocharged petrol produces 177kW of power and 340Nm of torque. The 2.0-litre petrol is only available with six-speed automatic. Both power plants have plenty of oomph when taking off at the lights and when overtaking on the freeway.
Not so good : You have to really push the petrol engine to get the most out of it. The diesel engine could be more refined and is a little noisy when sitting idle at the lights, but it definitely is the pick of the bunch.
Ride and Handling
Good : The Range Rover Evoque feels solid on the road and steering feel is well weighted and direct. For a Compact SUV the Evoque handles quite well, there is minimal body roll when compared to a number of its competitors. Even with large alloy wheels the ride quality doesn’t seem to be effected at all.
Not so good : On road the Evoque feels more like a passenger car than a true off roader. The large alloy wheels with low profile rubber wouldn’t suit harsh terrain.
Buying and Owning
Good : The Range Rover Evoque certainly makes a statement with its sleek, aggressive and ultra-modern styling. Not only does the Evoque look good it’s also versatile (if you get the five door). There is plenty of boot space for shopping or taking the kids to footy practice, however, the three-door is a little cramped. High levels of customisation on offer as Range Rover offers an extensive options list that is competitively priced.
Not so good : We guess the base model would come with a bare minimum as almost everything on our test vehicle was an added option.
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