Review: Range Rover Evoque
Revving up on stage left, please find a brand new Muddy car review. And the star of the show? The Range Rover Evoque. Encore! Encore!
I was an early adopter of the SUV – as a teen I rattled around the glamorous Cardiff suburbs revving my white Fiat Panda (classy) and sat shotgun to my glamorous friend Lucy in her (much cooler) Jeep. Mind you, I think that was white too. These days these SUV vehicles are a huge market, and the Range Rover Evoque is a one of the prettiest models. Cue Muddy squeals and a brand new review. Stilettos on, let’s push this pedal to the metal.
The Evoque has been around since July 2011, and is very much the baby of the Range Rover line up – compact, stylish, and looking well nippy. It comes in either the five door (the one I road-tested), a three door coupé or, for extroverts/ beach-lovers/ toupée free, a convertible.
Ooh, it’s nicccce! As someone who usually drives a tank – a 12 year old Volvo XE90 – the Epoque felt super speedy (though clearly I didn’t go above the limit at ANY POINT) and felt very responsive to the road – very ‘clingy’. Motorways were a doddle and the car definitely felt nimble and sporty on country roads and around town too. Definitely an all-rounder – I can see it working for the school run, work, weekends, the lot. Inside feels very roomy and has all the luxe trims you’d expect of a Range Rover (go for the ‘Oxford’ perforated leather trim, it’s delish).
Looks wise, it has the elegant style of the daddy Range Rover with its leather trim and SUV swagger. It’s actually spacious too. Look – big enough for superheroes in the back (er Darth Vader, you’re supposed to be in a galaxy far far away, or at least in a local cinema).
My oldest son (6ft, part child, mostly animal) communicated through grunts and sign language that it felt bigger than the XE90 in the front seats. You can take a look at my incredibly professional video here.
The boot is big enough for a couple of decent sized suitcases – the back seats will go forward to create more space too – but is more appealing with a weekender bag in mind. Shopping bags or kids paraphernalia will also work nicely thanks.
THE TECHY BITS
Technology you say (*stifles yawn*). Come on people, we can do this!
Pace: The Evoque goes 0-60mph in anything from 6.8 to 10.3 seconds – definitely, shall we say, alert to the accelerator though it’s not been designed to break any land speed records.
Emissions: Choose from petrol or diesel. Emissions manage a teacher’s tick without quite reaching gold star status. 109-173g/km. There’s a electric version in the pipeline if you’re super-environmentally minded.
Comes with: 12 way adjustable electric seats (seriously, that’s a lot of fun to be had right there); front and back parking sensors; cruise control; 4G wifi hotspot.
Pay more for: The Black Design Pack – darkened headlights, foglights, rear tail-lights and supersexy black alloy wheels. Purrrrrr cat girl, you’re looking good! If you’re planning to go off-road (no, driving past fields to Soho Farmhouse doesn’t count) there’s Terrain Response and Hill Descent Control. You can upgrade from a 10 speaker system to a whopper 16 speakers pumping out Childish Gambino or Skepta. Or, you know, Eighties Greatest Hits.
I’m very much liking the Dual View on the infotainment system – a split screen means the driver can see the sat nav while the passenger relaxes back with a movie. Note to self: Do not be tempted to try both at once.
The In Control system goes from an 8 inch screen in the entry level Evoque to a naughty but nice 12 inches in the more expensive versions (I’m not going to crack a joke, it’s just too easy). Even when I was driving around the one way system in Newbury it was easy to use, especially the SATNAV, and the bluetooth phone speaker sounds really clear. Also worth mentioning the ‘Driver Aids’ which sounds a bit OAP-ish but are designed to get you out of potential bother – Blind Spot Monitoring, for example, warns you of approaching vehicles.
THE MUDDY VERDICT:
Good for: Weekends away, stylish business use, child-collecting, shopping trips, a family run-around. Certainly you could drive the Evoque as a guy and not feel effete, but it has strong female creds – I’d really like one.
Not for: Family holidays – the boot won’t do it for you. The rear view mirror is very narrow so that might not suit a more nervous driver, and there is some noise when driving on the motorway.
£££: Evoque prices start at £30,805.
Marshall Jaguar-Land Rover, 77 Greenham Business Park, Newbury RG19 6HW. Tel: 01635 937070. marshall.co.uk