The Range Rover Evoque luxury compact SUV may be entering its 6th model year, but its concept-car rakish roofline, leering front end and butch stance still pack a visual wallop. The Evoque has been a commercial success too – finding over half a million buyers.
All Canadian models are powered by a punchy Ford-sourced 2.0L turbo four that sends its 240 hp and 250 lb.-ft. to all four wheels via a nine-speed ZF auto that can be shifted with steering wheel mounted paddles.
All-wheel-drive is standard, as are hill descent control and 5-setting Terrain Response.
The Evoque is one of the sharpest handling vehicles in the luxury compact crossover segment, but you’re paying for it with a busy ride. We advise the optional $1000 Adaptive Dynamics magnetically adaptive dampers.
The Evoque’s interior is well crafted, featuring the classic Range Rover wide centre console that rises over contrasting horizontal elements of the dash. Controls are large, logical and glove friendly, and optional for 2017 is JLR’s new InControl Touch Pro infotainment system with a 10.2-inch touchscreen.
Rear seat room is acceptable but ultimate cargo space and rearward visibility are sacrificed on the altar of style.
Evoque starts at $49,990 for the SE five-door hatchback. The three-door model has been dropped. Standard equipment includes 18-inch alloys, panoramic sunroof, front and rear parking aid, rain-sensing wipers, auto halogen headlights, leather, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, Bluetooth and 380-watt Meridian audio. Moving up to the $56,490 HSE nets Oxford leather, configurable interior mood lighting, 19-inch wheels, navigation, xenon headlights, rear view camera, powered tailgate, proximity key and Homelink.
The HSE Dynamic from $59,990 adds 20-inch wheels, hood louvres, illuminated tread plates plus numerous interior and exterior trim upgrades.
Top-line Autobiography starts at $63,900 and spoils with unique body styling, adaptive xenon headlights with LED accents, full Oxford leather interior with 14-way front seats, 825-watt Meridian, InControl Touch Plus interface and more.
Various safety and luxury upgrades such as head up display, lane keep assist, blind spot detection and ventilated/massaging seats are on the menu, but no adaptive cruise control.
Arriving the summer of 2016 is the Range Rover Evoque Convertible. From $64,900, this four-seat drop-top will surely elicit the stares. Aesthetically, the Evoque Convertible actually works, whether or not the concept holds water. However, it will ford water – up to 500 mm – and of course it brags the brand’s expected off-road prowess.
When up, the fabric top follows the silhouette of the hardtop, and tucks away in 18 seconds. The backs seats will accommodate two average sized humans, but the trunk is a tiny 151 litres. Lots of reinforcements have giving Evoque Convertible a mostly quiver-free structure, but the resulting 280 kg weight gain will likely mute performance.