2015 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque | Road Test
* Fresh, original exterior design.
* Phenomenal Terrain Select system.
* Great fun to drive once up to speed.
* Turbo lag and indecisive 9 speed transmission.
* Cramped rear seats.
Introduction & Summary
Predominantly a brand that has been associated with adventure seekers and those consumed by wanderlust, Land Rover has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 1948. From utilitarian rigs to luxurious SUVs, it has kept up with the times and even begun catering to the needs of Green Panthers and urban elitists.
The Evoque, in particular, revolutionised the Brit marque’s line-up in 2008 and went on to garner a fair amount of attention globally. Since then, it’s been nothing short of a resounding success. Rivalling offerings from Germany and Japan, the Evoque goes up against the likes of the practical Lexus NX and the pricier BMW X4.
Styling & Design
Carrying forward the artistic soul from sketches put together by Gerry McGovern, the production version of the Evoque retains the magnificence of the LRX Concept that it is based on. The raked roofline and broad stance lend it an athletic appearance; one that is complemented by flared arches and 20” wheels.
Inside the cabin, the Evoque is home to lightweight but durable interior panels that get swathed in leather and a variety of hues. Our tester’s charcoal and crimson combination lent it a rather aftermarket vibe, but matched the Firenze Red exterior quite nicely. The refinement of it all, however, is dampened by the familiarity of the cabin and the dated instrument cluster.
For all that the unimaginative cabin lacks in creativity, it makes up for with features. Contributing to an extensive list are: a panoramic roof that stretches the length of the vehicle, a Meridian Surround Sound System that treats the auditory senses to 825 watts through 17 speakers, an ambient lighting system and a Blind Spot Monitoring system.
Performance, Ride & Handling
Relinquishing the robust body-on-frame architecture in favour of a unibody construction, the Evoque’s inclination to offering improved on-road handling hasn’t diminished its capability off the beaten path. Equipped with the brand’s Terrain Select system, the central differential uses a combination of algorithms and some abracadabra to lock power at certain wheels and plough through sticky situations effortlessly.
Although the little Briton isn’t equipped with the air suspension setup of its pricier siblings, the given 215mm of ground clearance and approach and departure angles of 25° and 33° are sufficient to enjoy the rippling, perilous dunes around the Emirates.
On tarmac, it continues to delight with minimal amounts of body roll, a surprisingly nimble ride and an impressive hold of the road. Once up to speed, the paddle shifters enhance the overall experience with 237 horsepower and 340 Nm of toque making its way to all four corners.
However, it isn’t all praise. While the 9-speed autobox does its bit at keeping the revs lower down the rev range, it brutally massacres any hope of unplanned acceleration. Shifting down four to five cogs is an absolute necessity and a prerequisite to getting anything near a burst of acceleration when at highway speeds. Allow it to do its own thing in Drive and it falls into a lull while waltzing its way to a lower gear.
Comfort & Practicality
Available as a three or five door model, (the latter of which merely wears a façade of practicality) the Evoque offers its customers the opportunity to take customisation a step further. Regrettably, the addition of two extra doors don’t offer much in the way of added space or comfort, but simply easier access to the cramped rear row.
On the practicality front, the Evoque outshines its rivals where boot space is concerned by offering 575 litres in comparison to 501 litres in the BMW X4 and 475 litres in the Lexus NX, but falls short on fuel economy. Averaging 11.8 litres / 100 kilometres, our tester returned a significantly higher average than the claimed 8.3 litres / 100 kilometres – a fair bit for a two-point-oh!
Price & Verdict
Perceived as one for the brand’s female clientele, the Evoque is in all actuality a proper Land Rover – a roughie-toughie all the way through. Dimensionally the smallest and lightest Range Rover to date, it’s already paved its way to the history books and to the hearts of many individuals.
Priced at AED 199,000, the entry-level variant surpasses what its rivals from Japan and Germany offer at AED 160,000 and AED 279,000 respectively. Offering gripping performances both on and off the tarmac, it’s fair to say that the Brits walk away victorious this time around…
|Specifications||2015 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque|
|Engine/ Cylinders||2.0 litre turbocharged / 4 cyl|
|Max Power |
|237 hp @ 5,500 RPM|
|340 Nm @ 1,750 RPM|
|Tranmission||9 speed automatic|
|Drive||Four Wheel Drive|
|0-100 km/h||7.6 secs|
|Top speed||217 km/h|