TEST DRIVE | Stylish New Range Rover Evoque

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The Range Rover Evoque was launched back in 2011 and is one of those rare cars which actually looks like the stunning concept shown years before. The Peugeot RCZ and Nissan GT-R were the same. 3 years on and it still looks radical and futuristic.

Although not to everyone’s taste, I think it looks beautiful and much nicer than its rivals: The Audi Q5, BMW Z3 and the recently released Porsche Macan which are all a bit predictable and middle of the road. The Evoque’s sloping roofline and short windows help give it a sporty and aggressive appearance which is emphasised even more in dark body colours. 804457_RR_EVQ_15MY_AB_Dynamic_Details_020314_14

It’s a stylish car. Excluding supercars, I think the only other car which has as much emphasis on styling as a selling point is the Citroen DS3.

It is very similar, but not identical, to the Freelander. They are made on the same production line using the same technology. 798958_74629lrover_001

Base price is £29,000 but you don’t get much in the way of toys and gadgets for that. It’s easy to reach a staggering £60,000 if you want the top-spec model with all the bells and whistles. For that, you could get a full-sized Range Rover!

The interior is similar to that of the big Range Rover’s – which is the most luxurious I have experienced in any car in the last few years. There’s lots of luxury materials wherever you look and feel. You can also sense some of the same driving characteristics as its bigger brother.

You can choose between auto and manual gearboxes and petrol or diesel engines. The most powerful being a 237 bhp turbocharged petrol engine but I’d choose the base 2.2-litre diesel. It’s more than adequate in the Evoque. But £40,000 or even the base £30,000 is still a lot of money to spend on a car which is as powerful as a Vauxhall Astra.

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Economy is quite poor. Claimed miles per gallon is 58 but I know one owner who has only managed to reach 38mpg.

The rotary gearlever as featured in most Jaguar Land Rover vehicles these days is a nice touch but takes some getting used to.

It doesn’t drive as well on the road as an Audi Q5 but off-road the Evoque is surprisingly impressive and can cope with rough terrain well thanks to the ‘Adaptive Dynamics’ option with 6 driving modes.

But the Evoque is bought by people whose idea of greenlaning is tackling a leafy side street in a London suberb. I can’t imagine many Evoques will ever see mud ruts or sand (which is has dedicated driving modes for).

Despite the potentially high price tag, it’s still a great car with modern looks and a luxurious cabin.

It gets 7/10 from me.

 

 

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