A super duper Range Rover
16 August 2011 | MARK JONES
Range Rover have been promoting their all new premium compact Evoque Coupe SUV for quite some time now, so from that point of view we have all seen it in some or other format.
But the surprise when we flew to Wales to drive the vehicle, they sprung the equally stunning five-door version on us for good measure.
I don’t do styling comment much, but I can tell you this machine just blows everything else out the water when it comes to looks.
It will be shown at the Johannesburg International Motor Show in October, and will go on sale in Coupe and 5-Door form in South Africa from November.
They say it is the lightest, most fuel-efficient Range Rover ever produced with class-leading environmental sustainability.
It also boasts sub 130g/km carbopn emissions and outstanding fuel efficiency.
I can’t argue with that. We are only getting two engine derivatives and one six-speed auto box choice, and they both produce the numbers on paper – and seem to back it up on the road.
Our drive started in the comprehensively updated SD4 2.2 turbodiesel that produces 140 kW and 420 Nm. This derivative to me at first felt like the instant pick, and made short work of the twisty roads we were routed on for our drive.
Relaxed and civil driving was the order of the day, and the fuel gauge played along by hardly moving.
But it was when we got into the all new 2.0-litre SI4 petrol engine that combines direct fuel injection, turbocharging and twin variable valve timing, that I found myself really taking a liking to this 177 kW/ 340 Nm offering and changing my mind.
The drive from low down in the rev range was excellent, and it had that nice feeling of being able to rev a bit harder than the diesel when you wanted it to. Sure, fuel consumption is not going to be diesel good, but I am certain it is going to be better than you have ever got previously from a petrol powered Range Rover – by a substantial margin.
Of course being a ‘Landy’ of the highest order means that tackling the path less travelled is also no bother whatsoever. Fitted with its class-leading all-weather, all-surface capability of the now legendary Land Rover Terrain Response, the off-road stuff they threw at us was almost too simple for the Evoque.
Simply push the correct button and the vehicle does the rest in a safe and controlled manner.
You can be reassured that in addition to generous ground clearance, the vehicle has a significantly better break over angle, approach angle and departure angle than other premium compact SUVs.
As is the norm these days you can spec and colour your full house luxury Evoque in up to 12 exterior colours, three contrasting roof colours, eight alloy wheel designs, from 17-inch to 20-inch.
There are 16 tailored designer interiors to give you an idea of the choice in front of you.
Then you can start to look at a vast range of comfort and convenience technologies to choose from, such as the 825W Meridian surround sound system, the innovative Dual-View touchscreen display, TV, rear seat entertainment, an advanced Park Assist automated parking system and powered tailgate.
And if this still does not give you the individuality you seek, you can delve into a very broad selection of official Range Rover accessories.
These range from bright side protection sill tubes and sports pedals, to roof-mounted carrier systems and a full towing kit, including tow hitch mounted bicycle carriers.
Starting at an estimated price of around R582 000 and moving up to just over R600 000, that is before you go crazy on the options list, this practical family car is going to be the SUV to be seen in driveways in South Africa later this year.
And it won’t just be because of the styling that will turn heads.
This Evoque really does everything else really well!
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