Range Rover Evoque. A compact SUV but not as you expect.
For a long time I have been in awe of this vehicle, and not for the simple reasons you may expect. I remember ogling the Evoque back when it launched in 2011. From a design perspective it was something so different to what the competitors were offering, some might have even said it was a little bit weird. 6 years on and it’s still a striking beast. And after driving it, I can definitely understand why so many people are in love with it- my friends included.
Given the natural beauty of this car, and its capabilities, I thought what better way to test it than on a roadtrip to Tasmania. OF COURSE, this required us to board Spirit of Tasmania…and then the real roadtrip began (see here for travel article)!
After spending a week with this vehicle, imagining what a life could be like with the Evoque, I certainly didn’t want to let it go. Of course, I had always admired the car from the outside in, but being inside definitely has its perks.
It has been pointed out before, but the Evoque is more than just looks and that is certain. When you’re driving on secluded country roads, you really appreciate the tech that is at hand. Additionally our trip took us from the Coast to the Mountains, so we really got a good sense of what this car can handle (besides actual off-roading, which I feel I lack the experience to actually do that portion- and I’m okay with this).
The problem with being so passionate about cars is that I legitimately could talk for days about it, but for the sake of this article I’m going to try and keep it short.
For this review we will cover off Design & Customisation, Comfort, Tech, and Everyday Life & Appeal.
DESIGN & CUSTOMISATION
Range Rover Evoque is well known for its bold style, and curves.
Just like with any other JLR vehicle, you can add as many or as little options as you need to make the car truly your own. Of course, being a review vehicle some of these options were pre-selected for me, and with zero complaints might I add. Personally I absolutely loved the fixed panoramic sunroof, Firenze Red Metallic Paint & SE Tech Pack. For more on the specs, see here.
However this is merely scratching the surface, there are far more specs you can get, whether you want more sport, more tech or more comfort.
If you get a chance, I strongly recommend checking out the RANGE ROVER EVOQUE: BUILD YOUR VEHICLE site and having a bit of a play, you know you want to…
Just as a standard these seats are very comfortable. The British truly pride themselves on design and they certainly don’t disappoint. Lumbar support is a god send, especially when you’re driving for 2-3 hours. As someone who wants any excuse to get in the car, it’s a great feeling to know that no matter where I take the car, I will be extremely comfortable. No matter the terrain.
Technology is a major driving force in our lives today, we can’t live without it. It’s not just restricted to your mobile device. It’s in everything you interact with.
This is in my opinion, the most important piece of technology in any car. Safety was something that I definitely tested, without really intending to.
No matter where we took the car, we could rest easy knowing that this car has been tested to hell and back.
Suspension, Wind Speed, Hot and Cold Climate & Off-Road, you name it, LR have tested it all so you can rest easy knowing your car is built to perform while at the same time maintaining comfort and safety.
(See Everyday Life with the Evoque below for more on safety).
SE TECH (Headlights)
Although this is an option, I really enjoyed this feature and found it to be particularly handy, especially when roadtripping or trying to locate your car.
The SE Tech pack consists of the following:
- Xenon Headlights w/ LED Signature Lighting & Automatic Headlight Leveling
- Headlight Powerwash
- Front Fog Lights
- Headlights- Automatic High Beam Assist
I especially appreciated the automatic high beam assist…once I realised the car had it and figured out how to use it! It was very simple, I just need to have it on auto, but I hadn’t quite got to it yet. I had accidentally knocked it and then as I was go around corners I noticed high beams flicking on and off. It was an awesome feature because I often forget that high beams are on, so for me, this was a must have.
The Xenon lighting automatically adjusts high or low beam depending on road conditions/lighting and other cars. This means when you are driving around a corner, and another car comes into the vicinity, the beams will automatically adjust so as to not blind the other driver.
INFOTAINMENT (InControl Touch Pro)
The infotainment is simple and easy to use. By syncing up your smartphone, not only can you access messages and calls but other media and apps.
Much like the Jaguar XE, it is built off the same software with a similar look and feel. This car had plenty of tech options including Valet Mode & Eco Mode.
Eco Mode is pretty great because you can learn how your driving habits affect the ability of the vehicle as well as the fuel consumption. It will rate you based on a number of driving behaviours such as acceleration and speed.
Valet Mode is particularly handy if you are worried about other people driving your car. This is accessible through the Infotainment and enables you to set a pin, so a valet can park your car and lock it without having access to your loadspace.
EVERYDAY LIFE WITH THE EVOQUE
I remember on the day of having to return the vehicle I was wearing a Zara trench coat with my Celine bag in tow, in my mind I thought, “If anyone could see me right now… I look so badass.”
As I got into the car, coat still on, I felt a bit like a MI6 spy. AND THAT WAS THE DREAM, even if it was for a second.
I certainly could imagine owning this car, but really who couldn’t?
Taking it to Tasmania was an awesome experience. I basically lived and breathed this car every opportunity I could get. I also realised this car is incredibly photogenic…a good 2000 photos later…(but to be fair this is combined with 3 cameras, so reserve your judgement…heh).
Driving this car was a breeze, every km so incredibly comfortable, even on some of Tasmania’s more questionable roads.
Taking it to Cradle Mountain, I definitely tested a lot of things:
See the thing with driving on Country roads is that often they are winding, which is awesome fun but also, you need to be pretty quick on the brakes…especially with wildlife living freely.
There were a few times where I almost had a heart attack from crazy wallabies running across the road, but the brakes were so responsive so that was a plus. Additionally the adaptive high beams was an absolute God send, especially in this scenario.
Even though I drove for 2 hours straight- you wouldn’t even notice- that’s how comfortable the drive is. Also being slightly high up meant I had better visibility of the road ahead (that’s right Mr. Wallaby, I’m looking at you).
Mind you, our drives weren’t just rural. There were plenty of city drives, we drove in Launceston, Melbourne/St Kilda and this Evoque handled this all beautifully. When you’re sitting in bumper to bumper traffic, you really appreciate comfort more than ever. Additionally the car is ‘compact’ and nimble, so getting around wasn’t too much of hassle. There were certainly a few narrow roads where I definitely felt some SUVs would struggle at, but the Evoque had no issues.
Back to Design though, the car is essentially a work of art, but a very practical one. It’s the kind of car you could have in your driveway, and admire it from your couch…while convincing yourself of somewhere to go, anywhere, just so you could take it for another drive.
Plus I actually found the fuel economy to be comparable to sedans and hatchbacks I’ve owned in the past. For example, I used to own a European hatchback, and the Evoque was on par, if not better in some circumstances for the fuel economy (this blew my mind).
Whatever the day, whatever the season, this car doesn’t just handle it well, it kicks ass at it while looking good too.
SEX-APPEAL & A CONVERSATION STARTER
I don’t know what it is, but I’m going to say it’s got to be my child like appearance. Or the fact I’m not scary looking? WHO KNOWS. But this car was no exception to people using it as a way to chat to me about it.
What was interesting to note, in this case, the people that approached me were male and were asking questions on behalf of their significant others.
One gentleman asked me for the full run-down, even asking ‘Why do women like this car so much?’, and what a question to ask because that just triggered a whole bunch of word vomit and gushing from myself. I felt a bit like a car salesmen, taking him around and through the vehicle, showing off the boot space and the tech.
I always find it so fascinating to see what the public think about the cars I drive. I certainly have my own perception and ideas around it, but chatting to a complete stranger sometimes offers a perspective I hadn’t already thought of.
Safe to say though, the Firenze Red Metallic Paint definitely caught the attention of others, and I suppose perhaps maybe my loud and boisterous rap music as well?
People still want a piece of the Evoque, and that’s a great feeling!
What better way to prove the practicality of a car than to take it on a roadtrip…one that has no luggage limits. HELLO 3 handbags and 3 pairs of shoes, and enough outfits to last a whole season… I mean that is the beauty of taking a car, you could literally take everything…okay maybe besides the kitchen sink.
If you don’t believe me, see it for yourself.
The Land Rover Range Rover Evoque is a fantastic Compact SUV that doesn’t cut corners when it comes to tech, style and comfort. It combines raw beauty and design, with high tech and practicality -with RR, you really get what you pay for.
Starting from just over AU$68,000, you can really make what you want of it.
If you get a chance, head to your local Land Rover dealer, you’ll see exactly what I mean about this magnificent Compact SUV, or better yet head to Melbourne City JLR. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, the people here really know their stuff.
6 years on, and Range Rover Evoque has still got it!