Ride & Drive: 2015 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
All week long I’ve been asked the same question over and over: “What is the Evoque?”
At first I responded by saying it’s a compact Land Rover. Some folks nodded their head, mostly out of politeness, but more often than not I was received with the deer in the headlight look when someone doesn’t understand a word you just said.
Then I came up with this great response. I know it will likely tick off some folks at Land Rover, but everyone I’ve said this to has not only understood the explanation, they actually wanted to go for a test drive.
Now when someone asks that question, I tell them that if you take the performance of a Jaguar and combine it with the off road versatility of a Land Rover, the result is the Evoque. Think of it as a Land Rover with lots of spice. For the record (and to keep from getting nasty emails from my friends at Land Rover), the Evoque is all Land Rover — designed, engineered, manufactured and marketed by Land Rover.
But Land Rover and Jaguar are two divisions of the same company. And I will tell you, I noticed more than a few Jaguar fingerprints in the Evoque during my evaluation this week.
Available in five-door or coupe body styles, the five-passenger Land Rover Range Rover Evoque (that’s the vehicle’s official name) is absolutely my favorite Land Rover model — and one of my favorite sport utility vehicles.
On the highway, it really performs like a Jaguar. There were several times I glanced down at the speedometer and realized I wasn’t driving your average SUV.
Yet it features Land Rover’s Active Driveline 4WD with torque biasing and torque vectoring, making it one of the most capable SUVs on the road — and certainly one of the most capable in its class. It even features all-weather, multi-terrain capability with Land Rover’s Terrain Response system. With Terrain Response, you select the icon that matches your driving condition and the vehicle does all the work for you.
I can’t stress this point strongly enough, the Evoque is a great vehicle!
With a base price starting at $41,100, the Evoque is available in three trim lines — Pure, Prestige and Dynamic.
A 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 engine delivering 240 horsepower and 250 lbs.-ft. torque powers all Evoque models. Mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission, it has an EPA fuel economy rating of 21 mpg city, 30 mpg highway.
Now, back to the three trim lines.
The Evoque Pure combines the distinctive exterior design with a stylish, clean interior.
The Evoque Prestige provides a higher level of Range Rover luxury and exclusive design with 19-inch wheels and metallic trim details, as well as an interior that is almost entirely leather-wrapped in premium leather with twin-needle stitching, genuine wood and metal finishes.
The Evoque Dynamic provides a bold exterior with unique bumpers, grille, tailpipes and 20-inch wheels, with a more sporting interior.
Because it’s a Land Rover, all Evoque models are very luxurious, loaded with safety features and are extremely comfortable.
For those in the market for a luxury compact SUV, the Evoque is an absolute must for a test drive.
Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 20 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association.
THE NUTS AND BOLTS
2015 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
4- or 4-seat luxury 5-door or coupe SUV
Pure, Prestige, Dynamic
2.0L turbo I-4 (240 hp/250 torque)
EPA: 21 mpg city, 30 mpg highway
FUEL: Premium unleaded
Dynamic stability control with roll stability control
BRAKES: All-terrain ABS with cornering brake control, hill descent control, emergency brake assist, trailer stability assist and hill start assist.
LENGTH: 171.5 inches
WHEELBASE: 104.8 inches
WIDTH: 82.1 inches
HEIGHT: 64.6 inches
WEIGHT: 3,615-3,680 pounds
TIRES: 18, 19 or 20 inches
CARGO: 31.3/62.2 cubic feet (behind first/second row)
TOWING: 3,500 pounds