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Range Rover Evoque 2012 review

The Evoque has the looks but can it survive off road?
EXPERT RATING
9
Stunning . . .  one word says it all.  Not advised for the introvert, the Range Rover Evoque Coupe was made to turn heads. But with an obvious focus on style, could this beauty come with any brawn? The Evoque looks high maintenance, impractical, and a bit needy, but despite our best attempts at aversion, we became

Stunning . . .  one word says it all.  Not advised for the introvert, the Range Rover Evoque Coupe was made to turn heads.

But with an obvious focus on style, could this beauty come with any brawn? The Evoque looks high maintenance, impractical, and a bit needy, but despite our best attempts at aversion, we became besotted.

Sure, many features seem frivolous and visibility out the back isn’t great, but we dare you to climb into the driver’s seat and not love it. And whether you want to make a statement in the city or take it off road, you’ll be surprised by what the Evoque SD4 can do.

Price and Equipment

A manual Range Rover Evoque Coupe SD4 Prestige comes at $74,395, though our test vehicle came with the optional, $2,480 Commandshift six-speed automatic option, pushing the price up to $76, 875.

The standard equipment is dizzying, with all the usual suspects and more:  leather everywhere, electric front seats, filtered climate-control aircon, high-res touchscreen, reverse auto-dipping door mirrors and a 380 watt Meridian Sound System with subwoofer – just in case you’re not already attracting enough attention.

But a glaring omission at this price is the rearview camera, which is an added extra.

Technology

The 4WD Evoque Coupe’s 140kW/420Nm four cylinder, 2.2-litre diesel engine has the strength you’d expect in a Range Rover. The six-speed automatic transmission with Drive Select shifts confidently, and paddleshifters are on the steering wheel if you’re keen to take more control.

Range Rover touts the Evoque as their most efficient vehicle at an official 6.4L/100km. And on the motorway we were logging a respectable 5.8L, but the diesel’s efficiency gets grumpy in the city – where we hit 11.9L – and our overall mixed drive finished at 8.7L.

Design

Sumptuous.  The Coupe’s exterior does a muscular pirouette over the traditional Range Rover mould. The self-obsessed automatic model thinks it’s so great it deserves a spotlight.  Sorry that’s a lie, it needs two. When unlocking the vehicle at night, puddle lamps shine down from the side mirrors, beaming a circle with the Range Rover icon onto the bitumen.

Practical? Not in the slightest, but if you want to get noticed, or signal Batman, you’ll enjoy this little feature. Otherwise you might be embarrassed by the Evoque’s sass, causing you to blush when a passerby stops, points at the light, and exclaims, ‘What the hell is that?’  As they did. Well sir, what that is – is attitude. 

A rising beltline, vents on the bonnet, grille in Atlas, prominent wheels, and a sharp roofline are just a few of the great touches completing this eye-catching SUV. Internally the Oxford leather, aluminium finishes, chrome tread plates, rising drive select rotary shifter (in automatic models), and the option of mood lighting welcome you to luxury. 

Storage is adequate, with the back seats folded we had enough room to slide our surfboards through (550 litres of loadspace with seats up, 1350 litres down). Our two-door Coupe had the four-seat configuration, and while the dual colored leather in back looked sharp, the additional seat at no extra cost is a sensible choice. Okay, maybe the Evoque can be practical sometimes.

Safety

Five star all the way, a strong safety cell with front driver and passenger, knee, side curtain, and thorax airbags, anti-skid brakes with electronic helpers, stability and traction controls, and a long string of acronym-blessed technology. Child seat ISOFIX anchor points allow you to make this a family vehicle, though we’d make the kids thoroughly wash their hands before entering so they don’t mar the pristine interior.

Driving

The Evoque has the looks, but the main question everyone asks, is whether this styled-up SUV can survive off road? Surprisingly, yes. Sharing similar stats with the Freelander 2, the Evoque has a 500mm wading depth, front axle clearance of 215mm, rear axle clearance of 240mm, and vehicle height of 1,605mm.

The main hindrance off road is the approach angle of 25,° preventing you from getting over steeper obstacles. That said, the Evoque comes with four Terrain Response modes (general, grass/gravel/snow, mud and ruts, and sand), and had no trouble handling the uneven and slippery terrain we threw at it.

Sure, parking the Evoque next to battered 4x4s at a remote campsite may get you laughed at, but that’s just because the other drivers are jealous. Though most buyers will be too concerned keeping their Evoque pristine to risk offroading, there’s plenty of ability for the weekend warrior.

Driving the Evoque is pure joy. The sports command driving position keeps you snug at the controls, guiding the springy, light, and responsive vehicle with ease. A low weight center keeps you from feeling any body roll, and the electronic power assisted steering helps it handle like a sports car on bends. 

This premium compact crossover is a stunning vehicle, designed for those looking for luxury and attention, but capable for those daring to leave the city.

Verdict

Sumptuous, capable, and sporty, the Evoque Coupe Prestige SD4 proves you can have beauty and brawn.

Pricing guides

$29,990
Based on 58 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$23,990
Highest Price
$39,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
eD4 Dynamic 2.2L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $24,100 – 32,670 2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque 2012 eD4 Dynamic Pricing and Specs
eD4 Prestige 2.2L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $25,400 – 33,660 2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque 2012 eD4 Prestige Pricing and Specs
eD4 Pure 2.2L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $18,000 – 25,080 2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque 2012 eD4 Pure Pricing and Specs
SD4 Dynamic 2.2L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $27,500 – 36,410 2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque 2012 SD4 Dynamic Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
9