THE EVOQUE COMES ABOUT AS CLOSE AS YOU CAN GET TO THE PERFECT VEHICLE FOR CAR LIKE MANUVERABILITY ON CITY STREETS AND SPORT UTILITY VEHICLE TOUGHNESS IN THE WILD.
BY VINNIE RICHICHI PHOTOS BY VINNIE RICHICHI
After spending a week traipsing through the wet city streets and snow covered mountains of the Seattle area in the 2015 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque there is one thing that becomes evident...if you have a few bucks and are looking for a compact SUV that distinguishes itself from the rest of the crowd and has some muscle and brawn to it...including off road chutzpah this is the car for you.
From the outside the Evoque is striking...a unique design that is both functional and attractive...a bold roofline that starts high at the windshield and slopes back to the tailgate. The traditional wide LR front door openings allow even big folks to get in and out easily...rear doors are a bit more confining. Seats are extremely comfortable and supportive and driving position is high which is a nice trick in a vehicle that feels a bit more car than SUV. The dashboard and controls are a nice mix of traditional and future with the two round gauges in front of you but a dial shifter to control the 9 speed automatic and paddle shifters to move it through the gears and a push button bar on the console to put you into a myriad of all wheel drive settings that tailor the drive gear to what you need from ice to sand. Rear visibility does suffer a bit but the backup camera screen and nav is mounted in an excellent spot and easy to use. Some 2015 models also come with parking assist.
Where the Evoque shines though is in its driving. The 240 horsepower 4 Cylinder turbo moves the LR swiftly through city streets or on the open highway. Not once did I feel strain out of the engine even when jumping on it to enter the interstate. Independent magnetic suspension give it excellent handling on city streets and through mountain road curves. The Evoque was also very impressive on the highway with sheets of rain falling. It never lost its footing or felt unstable all the way up the Snoqualmie Pass or through Blewitt on a trip to Leavenworth.
It also felt quite confident in limited off road use with its hill descent system.
The Range Rover Evoque Pure Plus edition I drove stickered at $50,200 including Vision Assist and Navigation packages. There are several editions and two door and four door configurations available which means there is just about something for everybody out there who might feel that this is the car for them. Gas mileage has been improved due to an all wheel drive system that runs on just two wheels at speeds over 22 mph when conditions permit. Mileage now sits at 20 city 30 highway 24 combined. The Evoque has not been crash rated by either the IIHS or the Federal Government but comes with a myriad of airbags and safety features.
Whether you consider the Range Rover Land Rover Evoque a car, crossover, SUV or something that combines all of the above, it is an incredible vehicle that combines luxury, style, individualism and a little off road guts with an excellent urban/suburban transport machine. It's inside roominess defies it's outside shape while it's driving personality defies crossover thinking. It is the perfect compact vehicle to step away from the crowd with...far far away.