2012 Range Rover Evoque

Photo Credit: netcarshow.com

Photo Credit: netcarshow.com

The Evoque is the latest Range Rover derivation that features a unique styling concept that deviates from the rest of the Range Rover model line. The Evoque is Land Rover’s most panache model, pitted to attract potential Audi Q5, BMW X3, and Mercedes GLK buyers. The main difference, Land Rover claims, is its off-road prowess. Range Rover loyalists won’t be impressed, but for its target market, the Evoque will leave its competitors in the dust…or high centered awaiting their roadside assistance. Over rolling hills and rugged terrain the Range Rover’s full-time four-wheel drive and 8.4 inches of ground clearance make quick work of all obstacles. Its aggressive approach and departures angles also bettered those of its competitors.

Photo Credit: netcarshow.com

Photo Credit: netcarshow.com

Photo Credit: netcarshow.com

Photo Credit: netcarshow.com

In respect to on-road performance the trendy Evoque features a new rack-and-pinion power-steering system that translates road characteristics clearly with only the slightest sense of disconnection. The engine is a turbo four-cylinder that produces 240hp and 251 ft-lbs of torque (an adapted version of Fords successful Ecoboost four). At 4000lbs the Evoque isn’t the most spirited model in its class, but the power is ample for its purpose. The four-cylinder may seem out of place in the Range Rover model line, a product line dominated by large-bore V8’s, but the four provides a much needed economical option for potential Range Rover buyers. The Evoque yields a respectable 19 mpg city and 28 mpg highway.

Photo Credit: netcarshow.com

Photo Credit: netcarshow.com

So what makes the Evoque more desirable than its competition? Its performance numbers are respectable but nothing to write home about, the off-road ability is best in class but doesn’t compete with its older brothers. So what makes the Evoque unique? To me, its its head-turning, neck-breaking good looks and plush interior. With a raking roofline, broad shoulders, and muscular stance the Evoque is the most attractive mid-size SUV on the market to date. Some of my readers know that I work at a Volvo dealership and can sometimes show my Volvo bias in my writing but this is an exception. Although the Volvo XC60 SUV is an incredible vehicle that offers an exceptional value with class leading safety, the Range Rover Evoque takes the cake for its super model good looks. This being said, the Evoque comes in at a whopping $43,995 and can creep its way up to $53,895 in its premier trim line. Its competitors tend to come in at a much lower price point which may encourage consumer sales to go elsewhere. This poses the question; will the stylistic beauty and perceived exclusivity be enough to make the Evoque a top seller for Land Rover? I think it will be, although other manufacturers may offer cheaper, faster, or more reliable models, the Evoque’s trendy skin and off-road prowess should drive sales well enough for Range Rover to post some decent gains on the Evoque’s muscular shoulders.

Photo Credit: netcarshow.com

Photo Credit: netcarshow.com

Specs:

Base Price: Pure Plus (5-door), $43,995; Pure Plus (3-door), $44,995; Pure Premium (5-door), $47,995; Pure Premium (3-door), $49,395; Dynamic Premium (5-door), $51,495; Dynamic Premium (3-door), $52,895; Prestige Premium, $52,395

Engine: turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection

Horsepower: 240 hp @ 5500 rpm

Torque: 251 lb-ft @ 1750 rpm

Performance:

0-60 mph: 6.9seconds

Standing ¼-mile: 15.5 seconds

Top speed (mfr’s claim): 135 mph

Fuel Economy: 19 city, 28 highway

Credits: Emmett Vick and CarandDriver.com

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