'Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder', they say. And the beholder just got spoilt as the already stunning subject has gotten better still with the facelift. We are talking about the Range Rover Evoque. You can buy the Land Rover Discovery Sport for similar money which is mechanically identical and gets more space and even has seven seats. But, it lacks the pizzazz of its sportier looking sibling. Time now to find out how good the new Land Rover Evoque really is…
All sexes can be caught unaware, gazing relentlessly at the curves of the Evoque. The spectacular look kind of captivates you in a time warp to unveil a design from the future that has travelled back in time. The detailing is superb. Simple things like the dimple on either sides of the front bumper ahead of the wheel takes the monotony away. The scoops for the fog lamps and the pair of angry headlamps with DRLs lend the SUV an aggressive stance, especially when someone looks at it in their rear view mirror.
Every single thing about the Evoque is built around style. The raked blacked-out pillars, the audaciously raised shoulder line, the tapering roof line and the accentuated wheel arches spell style icon than utility. The only gripe we had with the exteriors was that the chrome angular exhaust tips could have been better designed to suppress those silly looking exhaust ends. All said, the facelifted Evoque is an object of desire.
Interiors are nice as well. There’s soft touch leather draped over most of the dash and door pads; there’s more than a hint of sophistication to its interior design; and the quality levels are good too. It also gets a meaty steering and aluminium pedals with rubber inserts that leave a sporty impression.
Thanks to the overall design the front windscreen is smaller than in most cars, and though it doesn’t hamper visibility over the hood in any big way, it does propagate the feeling of driving a smaller car. Visibility from the rear glass though is poor. And even though the Evoque has large, useable mirrors, we are especially happy about its rear view camera; without which things would have been quite challenging.
The Evoque has comfy front seats. And they look good with their dual tone colours that match the door pads. Seats are functional too with the levels of adjustment on offer: these are adjustable for leg and head room and for lumbar and thigh support as well. Our view on the rear seats however is quite the opposite. Designers could have done better with more seat length for better thigh support. But, it’s the occupant in the middle who will be the most uncomfortable courtesy limited elbow room and the bulging seat back.
What makes the rear more claustrophobic, even with the abundance of headroom, is that the front seats have been designed in such a way that it comes up real high and wide. And then it’s got the headrest with the screens that’s towering over the whole front end which blocks the front view. To top it the extremely small rear windows and the tall shoulder line does not help matters. Nevertheless, the long quarter glass and the crater large panorama sunroof (when open) tries to shove in some more glass room and lend it a feeling of space that is really not there.
Under the hood is a 2.2-litre diesel motor that kicks up 190bhp and 420Nm of torque and is mated to a nine-speed auto box with paddle shifts. 0-100kmph is despatched in a swift 10.4s but what we really liked about this motor is the stress free, smooth and linear nature of its flexible power delivery. It is equally at home at low speed urban traffic and at high speeds. Also, in D mode, the transmission hunts for opportunities to upshift and settle down to an even lower rpm to save fuel. It’s also quiet inside the cabin and the Evoque masks speed superbly; even at 120kmph you feel like you’re doing a lazy 60kmph. The Evoque isn’t very efficient though. It returned 9.70kpl in the city and 13.76kpl out on the highway.
The Evoque isn’t just a sporty looking SUV, it drives like one too. The steering feedback is good (for an SUV), it despatches tight bends with urgency and ease and even around long, fast corners it remains planted and confident. The ride over tarmac is mostly flat and settled, even over broken patches. However, if you hit concrete undulations at low speeds it kind of throws you about uncomfortably.
If you keep a track of the ‘Experience’ drives that JLR conduct on and off, you’ll know that the Evoque’s 4WD and highly acclaimed terrain response system means business. These cars are capable of doing serious off-roading. Another aspect that caught our attention is the braking and though it is adequate for regular instances, you will need to learn how to brake hard when the situation calls for it. For the first three fourth of the play there’s hardly any serious bite and then towards the end of the travel it starts biting hard. Even though the bite is progressive, the wait for the job to get done especially whilst panic braking takes forever. Lesser travel coupled with more response earlier on, is the need of the hour.
|Max. Power (bhp@rpm)||190 @ 3500|
|Max. torque (Nm@rpm)||420 @ 1750|
|Fuel Capacity (in litres)||57|
|Tyre size||235 / 60 R18|
|Hill Descent Control||Yes|
|9-Speed automatic with Drive Select, Paddle Shift & Sport Mode||Yes|
|Roll Stability Control||Yes|
|Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Traction Control System (TCS)||Yes|
|Oxford Leather with Perforated Mid-Section||Yes|
|Surround Camera System||Yes|
|Fixed Panorama sunroof||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Variant||HSE Dynamic||HSE Luxury|
|Max. Power (bhp@rpm)||190 @ 3500||190 @ 3500|
|Max. torque (Nm@rpm)||420 @ 1750||420 @ 1750|
|Gears||Nine-speed Auto||Nine-speed Auto|
|Fuel Capacity (in litres)||57||57|
|Tyre size||235 / 60 R18||235 / 60 R18|
Reality check! In all probability, you are reading this review since you’re thinking from your heart, else you’d have just decided on the LR Discovery Sport and bragged about the similar price, extra space and seven seats. But deep down inside you know that the Evoque has made a special place for itself. Now let’s dive straight to the point and ask you what this vehicle has that you just cannot live without and the answer is unanimous. Nothing in this segment can fetch you as many head turns and the resultant pleasure of possession for the same amount of bread. Besides, none of the concerns we mentioned are real deal breakers. So, would you splash on a vehicle that costs Rs 47.10 to Rs 63.20 lakh (ex-Delhi) just for its edge on looks? Well of course you would, isn’t that why we see so many being driven around…the world over.
Photo Courtesy By: Kapil Angane