The new Range Rover Evoque is purchase-worthy. Every gushy comment online and in print is true. This SUV-crossover is visually appealing, turning heads, and in demand. Flying off the dealer lots is an understatement, they can’t keep them in inventory. Spied out of the corner of my eye hidden behind an outbuilding at The Quail during the Carmel/Monterey Car Week 2011, aka automotive Mecca. “Turn around” I quipped to my husband, “you’ve got to see this car.” Two days later we were test driving at Pebble Beach, the 3 door and 5 door versions. It moved, was zippy, had comfy seats and a luxurious interior interior. The Evoque handles like a finely tuned Italian sports car. Push the start button, grip the wheel, turn the gear selector to drive, press cautiously on the gas and it starts to growl – let off on the brake and it shoots out like a rocket. A Range Rover? Both of us were shocked. FINALLY they spent money on designing and engineering a car for the type of driving people do and relevant creature comforts of the normal public. For years we’d test driven various Land Rover offerings and the feeling was always the same:
- They spent too much on research, engineering, advertising for off-road capabilities utilized by very few people. Like most car buyers are going to drive up a rock covered hill or forage waist deep through the local pond?
- The cars could never get out of their own way! I recall driving a Discovery, had the pedal to the floor on an entrance ramp and a turtle could have accelerated faster.
Those days are over. The new Evoque helped Land Rover land the coveted UK Car Maker of The Year award. The accolades keep on coming in, even beyond the edgy good looks. Touch sensitive interior lights and navigation screen make control surfaces work like an extension of your thoughts. What is this? Think Batman. At night when one hits the button to unlock the car, these lovely lights illuminate from under the side mirrors on to the pavement to signal your arrival at your coach.
If you haven’t guessed it the Evoque one is now in the stable as my husband’s daily driver/work car. He racks up a generous portion of miles and generally likes his work cars for about two weeks before the groans of disenchantment start to weave into his comments. Not anymore, the honeymoon is over and he is still talking up its charms. It cures what ails you, “I’ve not had one ounce of sciatic pain since driving the Evoque,” he waxes on about the supportive seats. The Evoque moves in and out of traffic like a sportscar not an SUV, it is nimble and solid.
From a couple who are notoriously micro-sensitive to the otherwise imperceptible fault in a car, we’ve found none.
Talk about a massive turn around from a once design challenged company producing the same dumpy looking British boxes year after year which has been through owners like a hot-potato. Finally nestled in the arms of Tata Motors, India’s largest automobile company, a company who has the financial wherewithal and mental acumen to actually do something fresh with this once languishing brand. The Range Rover Evoque delivers.