Evoquing An Emotional Response

BATD ON Jun 11, 2013 AT 8:32 am

by Liz Turner

The Range Rover Evoque is well named, it’s a car you buy with your heart not your head. Plenty of men hate it. Lots of women love its mean, toned looks. (It’s a shame the Americans pronounce it Evock and miss the point)

If you had any doubts that Land Rover knew its smaller, leaner Range Rover would tug at female heart strings, just remember that at the Evoque’s launch, the company teamed up with Victoria Beckham to create a special edition with soft tan leather interior, mohair mats and Rose Gold metal trim. (Price, a mere £79,995).

Range Rover Evoque Special Edition with Victoria Beckham

This year Zara Phillips launched the Range Rover Evoque WISE scholarship to provide a £9,000 bursary to three female students or apprentices who want to explore a career or further studies in engineering. (WISE = www.wisecampaign.org.uk)

The Evoque has also been seen hob-nobbing with the stars at parties and events around the world, including Wimbledon.

 

Driving the Evoke

Range Rover Evoque

Stepping up into the driving seat is like checking into a boutique hotel. The colours and materials are high-class, and the impression overall is modern and stylish. I love auto’s stubby metal gearlever, which rises from the centre console only when it is required, then vanishes again. (A feature shared with its Jaguar cousins)

You can hardly hear the diesel engine as it starts up, and it pulls the big vehicle away from standing with ease. The 2.2 190PS version I tried has plenty of oomph from low-speeds. It’s not the speediest once you’re on a fast road, but I was able to whoosh past a few dawdlers without drama.

I certainly got some envious looks. I found it easy and fun to drive, and felt very glamorous. As with other SUVs, its high driving position allows you to look down regally on lesser vehicles – although perhaps not as imperiously as you can from the full-size Range Rover.

The height inevitably means more ‘lean’ in corners, and the suspension lets quite a few bumps come through. I could live with that, though.

If you were taking adult friends along, the three-door, which Land Rover laughingly calls the Coupé, is a genuine five-seater, but the low roofline can make it dark and gloomy in the back. The fixed panoramic sunroof is a must, it costs £790 including power blinds, but will make the car easier to sell when the time comes.

Two-wheel drive SUVs are usually popular because they’re better on fuel and can be more comfortable in town, but most reviewers prefer the four-wheel drive Evoque. And it seems wrong to have a Range Rover that won’t scale rocks.

The 4WD is capable of some serious off-roading, it’ll take you to the piste (a ski and snowboard carrier is available at £163), or tow a small trailer (towing capacity is 750kg unbraked,1500kg braked). It seems a shame to get it dirty, though, like sending your little angel out to play in the mud in her party dress.

 

Options and Essentials

If you’re thinking about buying an Evoque, be sure to take some time off to study the brochure. The combinations of engines, two or four-wheel drive, manual or auto will set your mind spinning, then all the packs and options will give it a shove like the fairground lads on a Walzer.

As a taster, there are 12 exterior colours, three contrasting roof colours, seven alloy wheel designs, from 18-inch to 20-inch, 16 tailored designer interiors, four metal finishers and two contemporary wood veneers, three interior headliner colours, illuminated aluminium and chrome tread plates and black or chrome roof rails.

Range Rover Evoque Interior

The popular Evoque SD4 190PS Pure 4WD five-door costs £31,000, but the figure soon climbs as you begin to add the ‘must-have’ extras. The metallic paint is £550 extra, Automatic is £1,610; sat nav is £1,430 (get a Tom Tom).

If you fancy Park Assist, which helps you slot this big car into a city slot with inches to spare, it’s £460, plus you have to add front parking sensors at £270.

Range Rover Park Assist

At least the Evoque keeps its value well at an estimated 58% after three years. All those options won’t add much to its value, but buyers will always opt for the one with the most goodies.

 

2.2 SD4 190 Pure 4WD 5dr £31,000

42.2/54.3/49.6mpg

149g/km CO2

Insurance group 32

 

Read Liz Turner’s Woman Driver Blog on www.liz-turner.com

 

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