Rover Evoque SD4 Prestige
might, on your shortlist for an
all-road capable Sports Utility Vehicle
with a desirable badge on its nose,
have all, or some, of the following:
Audi Q3/Q5, BMW X3/X5, VW Touareg.
All very commendable. But theres
another, and it wears a badge that,
for many, trumps any of the Germanic
trio Range Rovers
UNLIKE NEARLY EVERY OTHER CAR on the road, you don't even have to drive one
of these 'midi' Range Rovers to want one
if ever a car was likely to 'go platinum' on looks alone, it's the Evoque.
It has the visual pull of a Ferrari, proving that dramatic looks will win out
over price every time. The good news is that it costs only a quarter of what
the least expensive product from Maranello costs.
Run your eye over the Evoque's arresting and original haute couture cross-coupé
styling: the brazenly big 19-inch, 10-double-spoke alloys capped by pouting
wheel arches; and the rearward sloping glasshouse 'floating' dramatically above
the high flanks like a pillbox commanding vertical cliffs… I don't know about
the Devil wearing Prada; but one could definitely imagine him driving a gleaming
all-white Evoque. After all, isn't 'envy' one of the major sins?
Evoque is an all-new model, from the end of its clamshell nose to the tip of
its high-kicking tail. And it comes in two quite different bodystyles: a slinky
three-door coupe and, as tested here, an equally dramatic and just as eye-catching
five-door. As usual with high fashion, less costs more:
five-door versions cost £1,000 less than the three-door coupes.
I dont know about the
Devil wearing Prada;
but one could definitely
imagine him driving
a gleaming all-white
Evoque. After all,
one of the
this 'want one' Range Rover seriously delivers the 'style' in 'lifestyle', lifestyle
is not what the Evoque is all about. Because underpinning the iconic looks is
class-leading all-weather, all-surface capability with 4WD, the formidable off-road
potential enhanced by Land Rover's legendary Terrain Response system.
The Evoque's four-wheel drive is an innovative full-time intelligent system
which continuously varies the front:rear torque split using an electronically-controlled
Haldex centre coupling to deliver optimum grip and balance for the current driving
Climb aboard (it's an easy step-up into the cabin through the good-sized doors)
and you'll find yourself in an undeniably sumptuous pad. The first thing you're
aware of is that the sloping roof and the tapering side windows are deceptive
when seen from outside
inside, cabin headroom is good with not the least sense of having to duck your
Those in the front enjoy plenty of head and legroom and the seats are as superbly
comfortable and supportive as they look. And they do look pretty fine indeed.
The view out is also fine thanks to the commanding driving position. And, in
spite of the narrow back screen, visibility rearwards is pretty good.
Not that you need worry when parking because a reversing camera is on hand that
makes parking a doddle thanks to camera images with overlaid guidelines that
show your projected reversing path, the full width of the vehicle and even a
shaded area indicating the space required for accessing the tailgate. Can't
be bothered to DIY? Then let the Evoque's auto-park 'assistant' do it for you
it will park you in a very short space: just 1.2 times the length of the car.
and finish is absolutely first-rate and all the trim materials clearly upscale
with well laid-out switchgear, smart instruments and plenty of high-tech 'toys',
all tied together by a tasteful, well co-ordinated design theme. The panoramic
glass roof is brilliant, made more enjoyable by the one-shot-op sunblind to
stop you sizzlin' in the summer.
only that but it's quiet inside the Evoque
the smooth diesel unit is almost a whisper thanks to some highly effective soundproofing
and helped by 70mph in top needing just 1,800rpm. And overall
refinement is more than good enough for this level and this class.
Cant be bothered
to DIY park?
Then let the Evoques
do it for you
it will park you in
a very short space:
just 1.2 times the
length of the car...
may only cost half of what you'd pay for a full-size Rangie but the Evoque's
plush cabin (our stunning Fuji White test car came with Ebony Premium soft leather
upholstery enhanced by attractive twin-needle stitching, Grey Oak Wood and Brushed
Aluminium finishers to the centre console, switchgear, etc) is every bit as
appealing and as well-equipped and with as much hi-end kit as its larger Range
Rover and Range Rover Sport siblings.
Five-door models have ample space and versatility to serve as family cars (575-litre
boot / 1,445-litre loadbay) and the 60:40 split back seats fold virtually flat
when you need to haul some cargo. Six-foot adults can be happily accommodated
side-by-side in the rear cabin, sharing a well-padded central armrest and with
backrests set at a restful angle.
At the heart of the cabin are the shapely, supportive and extremely comfy leather-covered
seats, with effective but non-intrusive seat and backrest bolstering. And Range
Rover's much-acclaimed 8-inch, high-definition touchscreen: the primary control
and display system for a wide range of features via an intuitive menu structure.
Screen graphics give the impression of three-dimensional buttons, beautifully
lit with subtle chrome detailing complemented by foolproof hard keys on either
side of the display providing convenient shortcuts to the most commonly used
screens such as Home, Audio/Video, Nav and Phone.
The display can also be specified with innovative Dual-View technology that
enables the front passenger to watch a DVD, catch up on some TV (the digital
TV reception and the sound, through the wireless headphones, is first class)
or play with the Surround Camera system's five onboard cameras while the driver
simultaneously sees car- or navigation-related information or listens to the
Core vehicle-related information
such as fuel level and temperature (easy-to-read vertical bar graphs), digital
speed, Terrain Response mode, hill descent and cruise control information
is shown on a 5-inch TFT colour display sited between the two main dials.
Surround Camera System uses five digital cameras, discreetly placed around the
Evoque to serve up a 360-degree, real-time view of the surrounding area on the
performance from its
190bhp and 309lb ft
of torque (0-62mph
in 10 seconds)
and drive going to all
Over our weeks
The driver can 'pick 'n' mix' the camera images (independently or in combination)
depending on current driving requirements. For instance, the rear camera can
be used to assist with hitching and unhitching trailers; and the multi/combination
views are a blessing in dicey off-road situations where it could be dangerous
or even impossible to get out and take a look.
extra £4,425 buys you the Lux pack. Sounds a lot but not when you look at what
it gets you: powered tailgate, high-end 825W Meridian 17-speaker system with
full surround sound, 8-inch Dual-View touchscreen, analogue/digital TV, auto-dimming
rear-view mirror, Surround Camera system with Tow Assist, Blind Spot monitoring,
keyless entry, Park Assist system, and advanced climate control with air filtration,
air quality sensor and automatic recirculation.
That's on top of an already comprehensive standard kit list that includes leather
upholstery, power seats with electric lumbar adjustment and 3-stage heating
(they heat up virtually instantly!), climate control, mood lighting, cruise
control, auto lights 'n' wipes, electronic park brake (correctly sited next
to the selector lever; and it works superbly, as does the hill hold), drive-away
auto-locking, powerfold door mirrors (on demand and on locking 'n' leaving),
3-setting driver seat memory, four one-shot up/down electric windows, easy-exit
driver's seat (lowers on opening door to exit), push button start, and a full
set of airbags including one for the driver's knees, Hill Descent Control, Hill
Start Assist, Terrain Response, and, of course, four-wheel drive.
Luxurious it unquestionably is, but the Evoque can also take the rough with
the smooth without flinching. With its permanent all-wheel drive backed up by
the All Terrain Response system and Hill Descent Control (keeps your speed safely
in check on treacherous downhill slopes), reassuring off-road ability can be
taken for granted. And made good use of!
The designer bodywork reflects this: short front and rear overhangs aren't there
just to make suitable parking places on mean city streets easier to find; along
with generous ground clearance, a 500mm wading depth, 25-degree off-road approach
angle and 33-degree departure angle, they're also there for making it easy to
clamber over or across whatever obstructions you meet off-road.
few owners will be taking them into the wild; a shame almost that the worst
most Evoques will have to brave will be the treacherous British weather
but it will laugh (politely) in the face of swamped roads and snowdrifted lanes.
Admittedly few owners
will take their Evoques
into the wild;
a shame almost that
the worst most Evoques
will have to brave
will be the treacherous British weather but it
will laugh (politely)
in the face of swamped
roads and snowdrifted
the grunt in our SD4 test car was the four-cylinder 2.2-litre turbodiesel unit
in 190bhp guise. There's also a 150bhp version but this near-200bhp unit is
the most popular with Evoque customers and comes mated to a six-speed manual
more good news: the gearchange action is smooth and easy.
despite crisp performance from its 190bhp and 309lb ft of torque (0-62mph
in 10 seconds)
and drive going to all four wheels, the Evoque's no gas-guzzler. Over our week's
test it averaged 35.4mpg.
Drivers with a lighter right foot may get closer to the official 49.6mpg combined
cycle figure, but even if they don't, I'd stake my shirt they won't be whingeing
Tackling rush-hour traffic and all manner and description of roads, our Evoque
never once put a wheel wrong
it was always thoroughly enjoyable to drive; capable, comfortable and well mannered.
Quick and accurate response to the well-weighted wheel combined with spot-on
body control ensures it sticks to your chosen line round quick corners; notably
so if you use the Terrain Response's Dynamic mode (which modifies the damper
settings to deliver even tighter body control, with flatter handling and sharper
responses). At high-speeds, stability is excellent and the Evoque feels rock
solid. A fine handling machine, then.
Rolling on 19-inch alloys shod with 235/55 rubber the ride is impressive; over
speed humps and potholed urban blacktop it really is amazingly good. Spend another
£1,150 for the optional MagneRide system and you can improve it even more. The
MagneRide dampers use active dynamics and offer drivers a choice of suspension
The Evoque driving experience is amazingly feel-good
you just don't want to get out! Everybody who drove it or rode in it agreed
that its overall competence, high quality, sumptuous interior, all-terrain technologies
and huge wow-factor justify every penny of its not unreasonable price tag. The
day it went back we felt as though we'd lost a winning lottery ticket. Very,
very few cars can do that.
Range Rover Evoque SD4 Prestige | £38,295
Maximum speed: 124mph | 0-62mph: 10 seconds | Overall Test MPG: 35.4mpg
Power: 190bhp | Torque: 309lb ft | CO2 149g/km