You know when Land Rover adds another selection to their lineup be assured it will possess more capabilities than most vehicles no matter if they are in the same category or not. The Range Rover Evoque may be smaller in stature than others in the Land Rover stables but it can handle more than its fair share of on-road or off-road situations.
Unlike other vehicles in the lineup, Evoque is available in either four door or two door models. Whatever you choose you will feel confident that your Evoque will get you to your destination from the local school or great heights of the highest ski slope.
Confident that all the power developed from the 2.0-liter, four cylinder engine will be available no matter the atmosphere, Land Rover engineers have attached a turbo charger. Not only does this give a smaller economical engine the power of larger V-8 engines it also combats the thin air found at higher elevations.
It was appropriate Land Rover introduced the Evoque in Vancouver, BC Canada, because just a short drive away is Whistler Winter Park. With the athletic abilities exhibited by the new Evoque it was able to easily maneuver over the rough terrain we found on the mountain.
Let me be clear here; the Evoque exhibits more of its abilities on the road. Though this Range Rover has the capabilities to negotiate off-road trails it is aimed more at the difficulties of traversing the paved trails between work and home.
Power train engineering has come a long way in a short time as we see plenty of four-cylinder engines equipped with horsepower inducing turbochargers. What once were numbers found solely in big thumping V-8 motors we now see in these fuel sipping four-bangers.
As we see here in the Evoque, this turbo-four produces 240 horsepower, and even more eye-opening torque. Impressing even more is the peak torque is available at a low 1,750 rpm. This means that you feel the power of this engine quickly and excitingly as you step on the throttle.
Though the Evoque is substantially built, weighing in at nearly two-tons, the vehicle is surprisingly light on its tires. Driving tight country roads and long stretches of highway were easily handled. The steering felt firm and solid yet light in hand. I did not have to muscle the steering, nor did I feel the Evoque would let me down while negotiating tight turns at higher than recommended speeds. This is a commanding improvement over an earlier stab at building a smaller SUV.
As expected the Evoque provides its inhabitants high quality materials throughout the cabin. While compact, the interior is surprisingly roomy. Front bucket styled seats are supportive though not confining as I have found some euro-designs. The center stack is full of buttons, switches and controls that are, after a bit of study, easy to locate and manipulate.
Increasing the Evoque’s capabilities substantially is the Land Rover Terrain Response. In the Evoque’s case the controls are designed quite differently than other models. The Evoque jettisons the large turn knob (partly because the shifter is now a Jaguar-like turn knob) for an double-arrow selection system that is flush with the console. A mere touch of the right or left arrow selects different settings for the four-wheel drive. We have seen a plethora of similar looking controls cropping up lately but it is Range Rover who has made this type of easy to understand and use controls.
My love, like, despair affair with Land Rover has been ongoing, however, for the most part I enjoy the luxury and capabilities these vehicles exhibit. Many Range Rover/Land Rover vehicles have taken me to the wilds of Belize, Argentina and farther. But more importantly they have gotten me home every time. And, there were a few times when I wondered if I would ever find civilization again.
Not that the Evoque will ever see the torture of those conditions, but then that is not what this vehicle was designed to do. Although, fit the right tires and perform some tweaking the Evoque just might surprise us. (Land Rover are you listening?) The Evoque does everything it was meant to do and quite well at that.
The Evoque is sexy in design, capable in engineering and will make a positive statement pulling into the ski lodge, county club or five-star hotel.