This month motoring journalist Sue Cooke takes the stylish (and very clever) Range Rover Evoque for a test drive…
Facts at a Glance:
Model: Range Rover Evoque P250 First Edition FWD | Price: £50,400 our | Engine: 2 litre 4 cyl 249hp turbocharged petrol 9 speed automatic | Performance: 0-60mph in 7 seconds and on to a top speed of 143 mph | CO2 emissions: 180 g/km (combined NEDC equivalent) | Combined fuel consumption: 30.4 – 28.5 mpg (WLPT)
I am asked to do some strange things on launches, which in a very trusting way I agree to. Like who on earth would choose to drive around the grounds of a castle with a completely masked windscreen that prevented forward vision. The driver looks at a screen in the cabin, to see the way ahead using Ground View Technology.
The new Range Rover Evoque is the first vehicle in the world to use this feature, which makes the bonnet invisible and gives the driver a 180 degree view under the front of the SUV using camera imagery. I kept my eyes on the screen, checking the trajectory of the wheels and could see the position of the kerb and anything wandering in front. Land Rover says this technology will be useful when negotiating difficult parking spaces, navigating high city centre kerbs or tackling rough terrain.
For urban drivers there is likely to be fewer scuffed alloys I’m sure. But the new Range Rover Evoque is packed with features that are so useful. I used the ClearSight rear view mirror which spans the whole width of the road behind and is useful when the driver’s view is restricted by passengers delivering clearer visibility in low light conditions. Much of the technology can be found in other cars, but the Evoque has that little extra, like a protective lip to prevent mud and water soiling the camera lens and a hydrophobic coating that repels water spray.
Luxury and compact, this Range Rover is expected to attract younger family owners. 800,000 have already sold since launch and more than 217 international awards have been won. According to CAP, the Evoque will retain an excellent average value of 63% across the range after three years/36,000 miles, making it one of the least depreciating cars on sale today.
The new Evoque has a longer wheelbase giving 20mm extra knee room in the rear. The luggage space is 10 per cent larger at 591 litres and the boot, as well as being much wider will easily accommodate a folded pram or set of golf clubs. Practicality includes 5 doors and a bigger fuel tank.
There is little change to exterior looks and why change a good thing. This is the first Land Rover with Smart Settings using advanced artificial intelligence algorithms self learning technology, which learns the driver’s habits over time.
The advanced Ingenium engines have new technologies to make them quieter and more refined, while the ZF nine-speed automatic gearbox has been recalibrated to ensure a smoother, more progressive drive on all-terrains.
Going off road, enhanced technology provides traction on all surfaces and in every condition. Ground clearance is 212mm, while approach and departure angles are 25 degrees in the front and 30.6 degrees in the rear.
I had the wonderful opportunity to see where each Evoque is built at the Halewood factory in Merseyside. Each vehicle has 3,500 parts, placed on the body shell to personalise each order. There are actually 2.5 million variations of this car and even 64 different steering wheels!
To own a Range Rover is to be at the forefront of vehicle technology, capability and driver convenience. This new Evoque is one of the most technologically advanced vehicles I have ever driven.