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Range Rover Evoque road test

by Stephen Walker

8th March, 2012

Home > Road Tests > Land Rover

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Land Rover did a superb job in preparing the world for the Range Rover Evoque, last year, with a steady stream of advance news. The new small 'Rangie' became a highly anticipated model because of, amongst other reasons, its styling. In the design stage, the stylists ensured the new Evoque would be visually exciting. The designers can successfully claim "mission accomplished" in respect to the very trendy appearance!

The choice for an Evoque is a case of mix'n'match to a degree. You choose a trim level and the desired mechanical specifications. From there you can select from an extensive array of options to satisfy the your need for toys, many of which are no longer considered novelty items but almost imperative to today's trendsetters.

Our test car is the Range Rover Evoque Si4 Coupe. This two door model came with the 177 kW 4-cylinder petrol-fuelled engine matched to a 6-speed automatic transmission and 4WD. The trim level is known as "Prestige" and it was optioned with plenty of features that sure bumped up the price. The base price* for an Evoque Prestige Si4 Coupe Si4 auto is $75,895*. Options included Prestige Tech Pack ($5,900), 825W Meridian Surround Sound System ($2,385), Keyless entry ($1,495), Digital/analogue television ($1,450), Cold Climate Pack ($1,300), Metallic Paint - Ipanema Sand on this occasion ($1,300), Dual View Touch Screen ($1,270), Park Assist ($1,090), Surround Camera System with Tow Assist ($900) and Privacy Glass ($670). With these options, the price* of the test car went to $98,759*. By the way, the value of options effects the amount of luxury car tax that the 'feds' want you to cough up. Clearly, our test car was very well equipped. And, equally as clear, was the fact that we enjoyed it that way too!

With a big price tag for this particular Range Rover Evoque there is a need for some big expectations too. No need to worry though. The Evoque is an easy car to appreciate. We need to 'fess up though. On this road test we never went off-road. We were enjoying ourselves too much whilst on-road during our suburban driving experience of several hundred kilometres.

The interior is nicely appointed and we found it impossible to fault. Keyless entry and ignition is included, as is heated front seats and so much more. If ever you were going to be absorbed by a car brochure, surely the Range Rover Evoque will be amongst the most compelling read I could imagine. There is just so much on offer and you need to study it!

On the road the Evoque had a strong and secure feeling. The ride and handling dynamics were very good, whilst the comfort level upfront was praiseworthy. We had no backseat travellers during our drive time.

The powertrain for the test car was a 2-litre 4-cylinder engine with 177 kW of power 5,500 rpm at and 340 Nm of torque at 1,750 rpm. The automatic transmission is a six-speed unit with paddle shifters for those who desire them. Is it just me, or is everyone in the same position of never hearing of anyone who uses paddle shifters? Factory figures suggest 0-100 km/h can take as little as 7.6 seconds. Four-wheel drive is included with this model. However, a diesel powered, manual transmission two-wheel drive version of the Evoque will be available later this year.

If you think the wheels look big, you're right. This model has 19" alloy wheels as standard.

Economy comes in at 8.7 litres/100 kilometres on the 'combined cycle' in the standard testing procedure. The 'urban' figure is 11.9 litres/100 kms and the 'extra urban' is rated at 6.9 litres/100 kms. The CO2 emission rating is 199 grammes per kilometre (combined cycle). The fuel tank has a capacity of 70 litres.

Standard equipment on the test car includes electric parking brake (much better than manual labour!), Terrain Response (maximises traction in a variety of off-road conditions), Dynamic Stability Control, Hill Start Assist, Hill Descent Control, user-friendly cruise control, 4-way adjustable steering column and electric power steering.

The many options fitted to the test car made our motoring life easy. But the buyer may be overwhelmed by the wide variety of choices. As always, you just need to determine what is a must have and what can wait until next time.

The optional "Tech Pack" includes navigation system, hard disc drive audio server for 10 CD storage and DVD play, headlamp power wash, power tailgate (very useful), illuminated tread plates (nice), load space stowage rails, front parking aid, rear view camera (a particularly welcome inclusion) and advanced climate control. At $5,900 this is an expensive option pack, but it was appreciated during our time in the car.

Many people will see the optional in-car television as an unwelcome novelty. But if you must have TV whilst travelling then I expect the price of $1,450 will not put you off. The TV is viewed on a 'split' screen. Whilst mobile, the driver views the navigation system (as normal), whilst the front seat passenger views the television. Yes, it works and, in fact, it works very well with a clear picture during our test. The sound for the TV comes through headphones.

Safety aspects for the Range Rover Evoque are enhanced with the fitment of driver and front passenger airbags, knee airbags, side curtain and thorax airbags.

Warranty coverage is for three years or 100,000 kilometres (with conditions).

Sizing up the Range Rover Evoque Coupe: length 4,355 mm, width 2,125 mm, height 1,605 mm, wheelbase 2,660 mm, boot space 1,350 litres.

Towing capacity for the Range Rover Evoque (with appropriate towing equipment) is 750 kg for an unbraked trailer and 1,800 kg for a braked trailer.

With a good strong feeling, the Range Rover Evoque demonstrates the quality of its components with each kilometre driven. With stylish bodywork it arouses curiosity. And with all aspects considered, this new small Range Rover (as tested) evokes joy with city based motoring.

NOTE: * Manufacturer's List Price (MLP) excludes dealer delivery fees and the numerous statutory charges (commonly known as on-road costs). Additionally, please note that all prices, fees and charges are subject to change without notice, as are the specifications.

More Land Rover News ..... here.

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