Firstly, I have to tell you that the new Range Rover Evoque is not Optimus Prime’s latest avatar or even a Transformer for that matter but there’s definitely more to it than meets the eye as I will explain.
Now I know what you’re thinking, how could the Evoque possibly be capable of anything other than city driving and the occasional multi-storey car park but believe me, looks can be deceiving and in this case they certainly are. As hard as it is to believe, the Evoque is a very capable off-roader. It’s Land Rover’s way of reminding us that they haven’t forgotten about their rugged roots.
It’s the ultimate city SUV
While it looks like I maybe contradicting what I just said and while that is true to an extent, give me a chance to explain! The new Evoque takes a lot of styling cues from the drop dead gorgeous Velar and that has certainly made it an even more striking car to look at. So street presence, check! But when other so called SUVs find the limits of their two wheeled drive system tested on damp grass, this Evoque go further than any other city car that calls itself an SUV. Though it doesn’t feel like an alien within city limits, it’ll comfortably cruise down the motorway and it’s nimble enough to overtake slow drivers and dart in and out of side streets in the city. This particular Evoque is powered by the JLR group’s revolutionary 2L turbo Ingenium engine which was tuned to put out 250hp in this model.
The interior is signature Range Rover
There are few things that are certain in life, say hotel and someone is sure to say Trivago in reply just like in the way you’d say Range Rover and someone would probably reply with luxury and that would be right because this cabin is ultra luxurious. Like a typical Range Rover, literally everything and I mean everything is covered in leather. The seats and steering wheel are made of a beautiful perforated leather that feels soft to touch. The dashboard is made of leather and so are the inserts in the door. It’s really almost as premium as an interior can get. While you lie back in the perforated leather seats, you can turn on the radio and let the excellent Meridian sound system do its thing. There’s two infotainment screens in the middle similar to what’s seen on the Range Rover Sport, Jaguar I-Pace and Land Rover Discovery.
The Evoque is not afraid to go above and beyond
From any angle, you’d look at the Evoque and state how it’s never going to see an off-road track of any sort or even a muddy field for that matter and while that maybe true, not that the Evoque can’t go off-road rather Evoque owners aren’t really the off-road type. I attended the Land Rover Above and Beyond Tour a few weeks ago and they had an Evoque available for us to thrash around in through a forest trail and my word, it did well! It really is incredible to see that the Evoque has retained the off-road DNA against all odds. While it can go off-road, the question is whether you really want to get that beautiful leather interior or those thick carpets dirty!
The new Evoque is a brilliant car basically. It’s extremely comfortable around town, the seats make you feel like you’re sitting on air though it doesn’t have air suspension and it isn’t fazed by much when you leave the city limits. I really don’t have a problem with the car but I have a bone to pick with people who give it stick for being a ‘City tractor’. While it is probably the ultimate city tractor, don’t forget about it’s off-road capability because it’s very much there.
Ultra luxurious and a properly capable off-roader. It’s a proper Range Rover
The Evoque gets a 4/5 star rating from me.
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Words and pictures by Matthew D’souza