Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class GLC250 coupe 2016 review: snapshot
The $80,100 GLC 250 Coupe marks the mid-point in the current range, sitting above the 220d and below the 250d in the line-up.
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When it came to hype and spectacle, Range Rover's Evoque certainly pushed a few buttons. From its interior being 'designed' by former Spice Girl, Victoria Beckham, to an elaborate London launch in 2011, the smallest ever Rangie was set on a fast track to success.
Fast-forward six years, and the range has been drastically trimmed – from 32 models in late 2015 to just 17 (including the new convertible) - and the three-door has also been benched. Sales are fair but softening in the face of renewed competition from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
Designed to bring Range Rover's entry price point down, the Evoque is based on a redesigned platform that underpinned the old Land Rover Freelander, but with up-to-date drivetrains incorporating the brand's new 'Ingenium' diesel and nine-speed autos. Does design and reputation trump ageing technology?
|Land Rover Range Rover Evoque 2017: Si4 SE|
|Engine Type||2.0L turbo|
|Fuel Type||Premium Unleaded Petrol|
From the front, the Evoque is a dead ringer for a larger Range Rover – albeit in scaled down form. The bluff, tall nose framed by a clamshell bonnet and pumped guards is easily recognisable as a Range Rover, as is the gently sloping roofline and blacked-out pillars (a $1230 option on our tester).
The blistered rear guards are framed by black sill panels and under bumpers, with lighter coloured scuff panels front and rear lending an off-road air to this city slicker.
The SE, somewhat disappointingly for a premium-priced SUV, comes standard with old-tech halogen headlights, but our tester is fitted with xenon versions, as well as LED daytime running lights – which is another $2680 on the bill.
Paint colours include Indus Silver, Corris Grey, Santorini Black, Baltoro Ice, Loire Blue, Aintree Green, Kaikoura Stone, Firenze Red, Scotia Grey, Phoenix Orange, Waitomo Grey, Silver and Farallon Black, but only white is included in the base price.
Out of the box, the $67,995 SE Si4 comes with a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, nine-speed auto, all-wheel drive (AWD), Land Rover's four-mode Terrain Response system, 18-inch alloys, leather trim, auto lights and wipers, electrically operated front seats, powered tailgate, and the company's new 'InControl Touch Pro' multimedia system – though it's only level one of three, with no satellite navigation.
New for the SE (as of 2016) are the powered seats, nine-speed auto and keyless entry system.
Our example came fitted with a host of options, including xenon/LED lights, black roof, 20-inch rims, advanced 'InControl Touch Pro' and more, bringing the total cost to more like $80,000.
The SE isn't even the base spec car, yet it misses out on gear that really should be standard fitment in 2017 for a premium brand. Halogen lighting? Really?
As well, the options list is long and expensive. For example, if you want a white car, you're in luck. If you want any other colour, it's an uptick of either $1870 for metallic paint, or an eye-watering $3750 for 'premium' metallic hues. Ouch.
As far as value goes, you'll need to be careful with the box ticking, or you'll easily add 15 to 20 per cent of the purchase price to the car.
The Evoque's interior is obviously a family affair, with a very similar layout in the cabin to, say, a Ranger Rover Sport. Smooth, flowing lines highlight a genuinely good looking cabin space that's free from button clutter.
The updated multimedia system is a delight to use, with crystal clear resolution and a logical interface, and the optional sound system is a pearler, too.
A small digital display between the two analogue dials is just as easy to view but isn't so easy to fly, with sub-menu after sub-menu to negotiate before you find what you need.
A sliding cover hides two cup holders in the centre console, while two more reside in the rear centre armrest. None of the door pockets, though, are designed to accommodate bottles at all.
Rear seat passengers have air vents but no USB ports to play with, while the centre seat is decidedly small. ISOFIX mounts are affixed to both outside rear seats.
Rear cargo space of 575 litres and 1445 litres with seats up and down respectively is actually a little misleading; the sloping roofline takes away valuable load estate, while the rear 60/40 split rear seats don't fold completely flat. A high sill makes life a little tough with awkward objects, too, but kudos for the powered tailgate.
The SE Si4's 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine has been a mainstay of the range for most of the Evoque's life, and it's still a decent little unit.
The 177kW/340Nm four potter is backed by a ZF nine-speed automatic transmission, which is controlled via a dial that rises from the centre console on start-up. It might be a bit old hat now, but it still looks and feels a bit special to watch the dial rise smoothly out of its recess.
The engine might not be as smooth and linear as some more modern 2.0-litre competitors, perhaps, but it still gets the job done thanks to its healthy torque figure.
The 'Terrain Response' system adjusts throttle, AWD system and gearbox outputs to allow the driver to pick from Sport, Eco, Grass, Gravel, Snow and Sand modes on the fly, which gives the Evoque a fighting chance when the going gets a little rough.
Range Rover says the Evoque SE Si4 should return 7.8L/100km. Over 535km of testing, we recorded a dash figure of 10.4L/100km, which correlated with a fuel fill of 50 litres (in a 54-litre tank) after just under 500km.
The Evoque's chassis hasn't been updated since its launch, and despite a thorough reworking, the underpinnings are more than a decade old now. Still, the Evoque shrugs off the notion of age, performing admirably well across a range of terrain.
The nine-speed auto and torque-rich turbo engine make for effortless propulsion across city and highway driving duties, while the firm yet yielding chassis tune isn't spoiled by the addition of the larger 20-inch wheels and lower profile tyres.
Well-executed electro-hydraulic steering also lends the Evoque a steady, feelsome helm.
The narrow rear glass sections hinder over-shoulder vision somewhat, but on the whole, the Evoque is a more than pleasant device to steer.
3 years / 100,000 km warranty
ANCAP Safety Rating
The Evoque comes standard with AEB, lane departure warning and six airbags (including curtain bags to the rear of the car), while items like a blind spot monitor with closing speed detection and radar cruise control are optional extras.
It's only rated a four out of a possible five ANCAP stars, though, which is a ranking carried over from its launch.
Range Rover recommends servicing the Evoque every 12 months or 16,000km, and offers a fixed price service plan, with the first six services over the first five years of the car's life costing a total of $1460. All filters and oils are included, as well.
It offers a three-year/100,00km warranty as standard, with free roadside assistance for the same period.
The Evoque has served Range Rover well, although its sales have dwindled slightly in the face of renewed competition, not only from its traditional German rivals, but from within its own ranks in the form of the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Jaguar F-Pace.
It's not what we'd call a good value purchase on the face of it, with a long and expensive options list propping up some pretty elementary basic specs. A good value servicing plan and the cachet of a handsome, comfortable vehicle go some way towards salving that particular wound, though.
|Sd4 (177kW) HSE||2.0L, Diesel, 9 SP AUTO||$68,200 – 78,430||2017 LAND ROVER RANGE ROVER EVOQUE 2017 Sd4 (177kW) HSE Pricing and Specs|
|Sd4 (177kW) HSE DYNAMIC||2.0L, Diesel, 9 SP AUTO||$79,990 – 109,554||2017 LAND ROVER RANGE ROVER EVOQUE 2017 Sd4 (177kW) HSE DYNAMIC Pricing and Specs|
|Sd4 (177kW) SE||2.0L, Diesel, 9 SP AUTO||$61,800 – 85,888||2017 LAND ROVER RANGE ROVER EVOQUE 2017 Sd4 (177kW) SE Pricing and Specs|
|Sd4 (177kW) SE DYNAMIC||2.0L, Diesel, 9 SP AUTO||$72,888 – 76,888||2017 LAND ROVER RANGE ROVER EVOQUE 2017 Sd4 (177kW) SE DYNAMIC Pricing and Specs|
|Price and features||7|
|Engine & trans||6|