2012 Range Rover Evoque | road test

Posted on Jun 26, 2012 by

Quick Review

GoodGood Design, appeal, interiors
BadBadEngine performance, second row space
SpecsSpecs2-litre turbocharged inline-4; 240bhp, 340Nm
PricePriceAED 245,000 as tested
RatingEditors Rating Three Star

I have to admit, albeit a bit embarrassingly, that I’m a fashion disaster. I have been often reminded, at times even by my father, that I need to rethink my wardrobe. By the time I catch up with the trend, it’s already a few years old. A part of me is still holding on to the university days when I would wear the first thing I could lay my hands on. Till date nothing has persuaded me to let go of my faded jeans and t-shirts, but all that came to a screeching halt recently.

Last week I frantically sifted through my wardrobe in hope of finding something that is fit for a high society Friday brunch. I was so unsuccessful at finding something worthwhile that I made a quick dash to the mall and bought myself a nice linen shirt and khakis. All this mad frenzy ensued just because I was going to receive a car for the weekend that required its driver to be nothing less than a George Clooney clone. This car was nothing else but the 2012 in one of the hottest colours I have ever seen on a car.

Land Rover pegs this as the smallest, lightest, most fuel-efficient Range Rover ever produced but what the company doesn’t tell you is that it’s also the sexiest Range Rover ever to roll out of Gaydon. The 2012 Range Rover Evoque looks stunning from every angle and it literally turns heads no matter where you go. Its futuristic styling is unlike any other new car in the market and it gives you this unrivalled sense of satisfaction of being in the best looking Range Rover on the road. Based heavily on the LRX concept that was displayed at the Detroit Motor Show in 2009, Range Rover designers have made little changes to the concept’s overall design and that is truly remarkable. Side and rear visibility is a bit hampered because of the design but it’s not a deal breaker. You get used to this and for those who find it too difficult there are five cameras mounted around the car that provide an excellent all round view when required and this comes in extremely handy.

Together with its stylish exterior, Range Rover has also given the 2012 Evoque one of the best interiors found in any car today. It displays a perfect blend of style, features and contemporary design. Quality too is very impressive. You will find a lot of shared components from the Range Rover parts bin. Space for the rear passengers on the Coupe wasn’t that impressive and since wheelbase is the same between the two-door and the four-door variants, I wonder how much additional space does the four-door provide. Once inside, you can’t fail to notice the unique panoramic glass roof that is one of the biggest I’ve seen on any car, but the fact that the front part doesn’t slide open was a bit disappointing.

There is no denying that the 2012 Range Rover Evoque is meant to be more of a city car than a true off-roader. Owing to this, Land Rover has decided to build the 2012 Range Rover Evoque with one petrol engine as standard across all markets. It gets a 2.0-litre Si4 power plant that combines direct fuel injection, turbocharging and twin variable valve timing. Maximum power is rated at 240bhp at 5,500rpm and 340Nm at 1,750rpm. This engine is mated with a six-speed automatic transmission. Going by the looks and the positioning of the 2012 Range Rover Evoque, the petrol engine does feel a bit short on power and flooring the pedal doesn’t provide any serious thrill. The engine feels more like that of a budget sedan rather than that of a premium crossover. Accelerating from a standstill will result in a lot of engine noise before there is any serious forward movement.

In spite of its lack lecture performance the 2012 Range Rover Evoque handles really well. It has this sedan like handling characteristic and doesn’t roll or wallow like an SUV normally does. The smaller than usual size and a more road biased setup ensures that the 2012 Range Rover Evoque delivers good results when you push it unreasonably around corners. Range Rover is also adamant that this car will handle off-road situations with ease but I doubt they can say the same considering the sand dunes that make up most of our off-road adventures.  The 2012 Range Rover Evoque comes with a similar terrain response system that we saw on the Land Rover LR4 that we drove a few months ago. Even though I didn’t have an opportunity to try this system on the 2012 Range Rover Evoque, I doubt whether any Evoque owners will ever take this car off-road.

Range Rover will let their customers tailor their 2012 Evoque according to their choice with tempting array of design, trim and technology options. The choices range from designer exterior packs, contrasting colours on the roof and spoilers and immaculately trimmed designer interiors. The test car came laden with an 825W Meridian surround sound system, dual-view touchscreen display, TV, rear seat entertainment and powered tailgate. I also loved the contrasting bright red and black interior on our test car, very funky.

The 2012 Range Rover Evoque is available as a two-door and a four-door version. Each version comes with three different trim levels. Pricing begins at AED 235,000 for the Dynamic variant, AED 245,000 for the Prestige variant and goes up to AED 255,000 for the Dynamic Plus variant. Pricing remains the same for both two-door and four-door variants.

The 2012 Range Rover Evoque is not cheap and for those looking for a more powerful car will find the Evoque’s competitors to be a much better proposition. Even though engine performance is a drawback, the 2012 Range Rover Evoque scores over its rivals with its innovative and futuristic styling and it’s shock value; and then there is also the brand image associated with Range Rover. If you are looking for an ideal city car and need something out of the ordinary, the 2012 Range Rover Evoque will certainly not disappoint you.

Specifications

Price: AED 245,000 (as tested)

Price Range: AED 235,000 – AED 255,000

Drivetrain

Engine: 2-litre turbocharged inline-4
Layout: Front engine all wheel drive
Max power: 240bhp @ 5550rpm
Max torque: 340Nm @ 1750rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic, all-wheel-drive
Fuel tank capacity: 70
Seating capacity: 4+1

Dimensions (mm)

Length: 4355
Width: 1965
Height: 1635
Wheelbase: 2660
Curb Weight: 1640kg
Fuel tank capacity: 61 litres

Competitors

BMW X3, Infiniti FX, Audi Q5, Lexus RX,

3 Responses to 2012 Range Rover Evoque | road test

  1. WheelerDealer Reply

    August 12, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    how come the evoque is right-hand drive when you claim to have tested it in dubai with dubai plates on them?

    • automiddleeast Reply

      August 21, 2012 at 2:50 pm

      Well noted. The interior shot, where you see the steering on right side, has been taken from Range Rover media image library and not shot during the test drive. If you see the drive shots, you will see that the car being driven is a left hand drive car 🙂

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