Not too long ago, people viewed cars simply as a mode of transport. Today, our four-wheeled friends have become akin with that snazzy watch which just launched that you can't wait to get your hands on (read: a style statement). In the mid-1970's, Land Rover put the first Range Rover on sale creating the now popular SUV sector. Ever since, Range Rovers have become an icon in the SUV segment and still thrives to this day.
Leading experts have even named the Range Rover among the Top 10 British Cars of All Time. So much so that even Pink Floyd's drummer and noted car collector Nick Mason upvoted the hugely popular and stylish Range Rover SUVs.
Let's digress for a moment - Driving far into a silent valley with a Range Rover and Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb streaming in the background could well be an unforgettable experience for many car enthusiasts. How many of you say aye?
Joy of joys, did this just happen? Let us allow the photos to speak for themselves. I freely admit, the Ranger Rover Evoque's design will wow crowds, and most will not bore from looking at the splendid Evoque.
The new Evoque is perhaps more compelling a package when compared to the earlier generation. The facelifted model has received subtle changes in the form of a redesigned bumper with slim LED fog lamps that are now positioned in the upper portion of the lower bumper, along with two massive faux air intakes, and a new rear roof spoiler and centre brake light.
In particular, the new signature W-shaped daytime running lights, glossy black honeycomb grille, and 18-inch seven-spoke alloys give the facelifted top-spec Dynamic variant model a more sophisticated character. The base variant, however, features the old 2-bar grille, halogen headlamps, and 17-inch ten-spoke alloys.
Inside, the new Evoque's dashboard features soft-touch and textured leather surfaces. The notable new features are the look-alike eight-inch 'InControl' JLR touchscreen infotainment system interface, door casings, and new 12 Way / 12 Way Electric front seats with driver and passenger memory.
The new seats give you a better command of the road; however, rear-seat comfort is a tad cramped, which is the case with most compact SUVs to begin with. If rear-seat comfort is a real struggle for you, consider the larger and pricier Range Rover or the Range Rover Sport instead.
Apart from these new features, the standard equipment such as head-up display, 360-degree camera, ambient lighting, and a well worth 825-watt, 17-speaker Meridian sound system maintain the overall sensation of luxury.
The most friendly and usable feature of the Evoque is the Terrain Response. The Terrain Response is a system which makes the driver's life easier while tackling a range of terrains, and enhances off-road capabilities as well. To set the Terrain Response mode, the driver must choose from a range of terrain options such as Mud Ruts, Grass-Gravel-Snow, and Sand. The system then automatically optimises the engine response, gearbox programme, and hill descent control, amongst others, to provide an ideal combination of traction, agility, and control which best suits the terrain.
The Hill Descent Control (HDC) is another useful feature that is automatically activated while choosing the Mud Rut Terrain Response mode. The HDC operates in conjunction with the anti-lock braking system and offers better control when descending severe gradients. The HDC functions by automatically operating the brakes to slow the vehicle and maintain a speed relative to the selected gear range and the accelerator pedal position.
For India, the facelifted Evoque is offered with a standard 188-horsepower diesel four-cylinder engine. The 2.2-litre engine mated to a 9-Speed Automatic transmission and assisted by All-Wheel Drive (AWD) returned a mileage of 8.5kmpl. The new 9-speed automatic gearbox and longer suspension travel offer increased cruising refinement and a higher driving position.
The new Evoque is stable, composed, and relaxed on highways; however, onto twisty roads and hairpin turns, there are limitations if you're cornering enthusiastically and can encounter understeer.
The Evoque's high centre of gravity and weight makes it a tad bit clumsy and can send it running wide during heavy-footed driving. Also, roads riddled with potholes can send a severe jolt up into the cabin.
The Evoque is Range Rover's best-selling model, because of its showy styling featuring an extremely high belt line, low-slung sports-car-like windows, and the fact that it is the most affordable one in the line-up.
The 2016 Evoque starts at Rs. 48 lakh ex-showroom, and soon, India will get the desirable and appealing Evoque convertible.
The Evoque is truly a Range Rover in a compact form. The new Evoque is most definitely more upscale when compared to its predecessor.
Jobo Kuruvilla Thinks!
Victoria Beckham was quite serious when she decided to be associated with the designing of an Evoque. She was in no mood for a "wannabe". Instead, she chose a more apt "spice up your life" variety. Posh, you say? I tend to agree.
Range Rover Evoque Plus Points:
+ Showy design (especially the clamshell-styled bonnet, low-slung sports-car-like windows, and the optional full glass fixed panoramic roof)
+ Smooth engine
+ Commanding driving position
+ Good off-road terrain-tackling ability
+ Gesture recognition boot opening (via specific leg motions)
Range Rover Evoque Shortcomings:
- Weighty steering at low speeds
- Small rear windows create a sense of claustrophobia
- Letterbox-like rear window leads to poor visibility (mid and top-spec variants have reversing camera)
- Jerky progress from the 9-speed automatic gearbox when negotiating stop-start traffic
- Low-slung roofline limits rear-seat headroom and legroom for a reasonable height adult
Range Rover Evoque Specifications
|Range Rover Evoque||SD4, Pure||SD4, SE||SD4, HSE||SD4, HSE DYNAMIC|
|Engine Capacity (cc)||2,179|
|Maximum Power (kW/rpm)||140/3,500|
|Maximum Torque (Nm/rpm)||420/1,750|
|Safety & Security|
|Airbags - Driver and Front Passenger||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Airbags - Side Curtain, Driver and Front Passenger and Row 2||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Airbags - Knee (Driver)||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|24x7 Road Side Assistance1||✓||✓||✓||✓|