Range Rover Evoque - Style and Substance
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The concept of downsizing isn’t just applied to engines, but also to vehicles. Manufacturers are introducing smaller and compact SUVs. After producing anywhere-go vehicles for decades, Land Rover introduced a compact SUV for the city driving— the Evoque. Such vehicle designs come once in a decade and achieve overnight success, all down to the styling. We get our hands on the Evoque. Dig deeper to read our review.
Designers at Land Rover have pulled out a rabbit from a hat with Evoque’s design. Not only does it look urbane and appealing, but also retains the Land Rover design DNA. Clamshell bonnet, floating roof, typical Land Rover styling front grille are all picked up from their design book. Down the Road Graphics (DRG) impresses us as the slim front grille melds well with the pulled back headlamps— giving it a distinctive night time personality.
Evoque carries a fashion-oriented image, especially the side profile with its dropping roofline and the rising shoulder-line. The floating roof makes it seem like the fully-grown sibling of the Mini. It feels like a hill trekker that is ready to get on to the job wearing an Armani suit and Louis Vuitton shoes. The fine detailing makes the Evoque striking without being loud.
Even if you have been driving a Range Rover, these interiors will be new to you as well. The designers went back to the design board to began things from scratch. They have crafted absolutely new instrument panel design on the Evoque. The colours and trim options on the Evoque, along with the modish exterior design make it a fashion element. Something missing on the German rivals.
The new steering wheel, new music system and the instrument cluster make it look genteel and the leather is perfectly stitched even for those who carry Hermes handbags. The large wraparound seats are comfortable and you sit high in a commanding position. The space is also sufficient in both the rows and the boot can easily gobble your Hi-Design travel bags. The thick D-pillar affects visibility, especially during parking.
Evoque gets the rising gear knob, like the other Jaguars, it gets a new touchscreen Meridian music system. This music system is now also seen on the Jaguar XF, XJ and the new Range Rover. All the quality of the materials is good and the leather is plush.
Engine and Transmission
Land Rover has plonked in the Evoque with a 2.2-litre oil burner and a 2.0-litre petrol mill. The diesel is available with 5 doors, while the petrol is sold only as a 3-door in India. This 2.2-litre common rail diesel engine produces a peak output of 190bhp at 3500rpm and 420Nm of maximum torque at a fairly low 1750rpm. Although the engine has the typical clatter melodrama on the start, none of this noise intrudes into the insulated cabin. The oil burner is responsive with no sign of turbo lag either. This makes the driving on the Evoque more indulging. We haven’t driven the petrol version, so we cannot comment on that.
This 2.2-litre oil burner comes mates to a six-speed self-shifting transmission. The only downside to this otherwise great powertrain package is the box as the shifts seem to be bit lethargic. And it can be rightly said that it blunts the engine’s performance to a certain existent.
Evoque’s suspension set-up is on the softer side and the ride quality is well composed even over broken surfaces, just like any luxury saloon. Most of the bumps are ironed out and absorbed with a high degree of competence. The handling is also decent and infact we sedan like. There isn’t much of body roll despite its massive size. The light steering wheel makes manoeuvring in the city and parking convenient and does weigh up adequately as speeds increase. Besides, feedback from the steering feels a tad artificial, which doesn’t really inspire a lot of confidence.
Evoque stands out in the crowd, not just for its looks but also its off-roading capability. Land Rover has put in quite a bit of money on its underpinnings that will further aid the vehicle’s ability to take off the roads. So, the Evoque remains true to its roots of go-anywhere vehicles. This ability goes missing in most of its competition.
Being a CBU, the Evoque costs about Rs 72lakh (on-road, Mumbai) for the range-topping model. This is a bit steep when compared to competition, but what you get is also very elite. And there is no concept of value for money, when you buy a luxury car. Hence, the Evoque makes a strong case for itself.