More than a pretty face
The Range Rover Evoque gets a dose of sexiness without losing the brand’s rugged off-roading underpinnings.
STYLISHLY competent is how fans have described Land Rover’s four-door Range Rover Evoque, with some going as far as internalising these traits as part of their personality.
Talk about “Evoque-ing” the sophistication from within - excuse the pun.
The Evoque is by all means a powerful sport utility vehicle with a capable mill thanks to its 2.0-litre turbocharged performance and surprisingly sporty handling.
While dressed in metallic Firenze Red, it should have been fitted with 19-inch wheels, but instead it had the optional 20-inch five-split spoke ‘Style 504’ alloy wheels with shadow chrome finish set on and wearing some grippy low-profile 245/45 Pirelli Scorpion rubbers.
The sheet metal provides it with sensual curves that’s accented by long straight and slightly angled-down creases to give that impression of continuous forward motion.
It’s also a fast SUV from the British marque even though it comes weighing in slightly above its 1,655kg of kerb heft (due to the larger optional wheels).
With 1,999cc of displacement, the turbocharged four-cylinder Si4 engine will readily dish out 240PS at 5,800rpm and 340Nm of torque from 1,750rpm onwards while feeding from a 70-litre fuel tank.
That means it’ll get up to 100kph from standstill in around 7.6 seconds before topping out at 217kph thanks to the smooth operating 9-speed automatic gearbox that can be paddle-shifted. And for even greater engagement, Sport mode is just a twist of the wrist away.
The Evoque is inherently sleek, albeit a tad impractical with its tall ride height that can inconvenience shorter owners, but does come back with other conveniences such as keyless entry and push-start button, powered gesture tailgate as well as parking assist.
Critics have, at times, quipped that the Evoque is essentially a Land Rover Defender that’s been sandwiched to create its styling cues.
Regardless of what’s been said, it’s undoubtedly got some desirable lean curves that will turn heads, especially with those eye-catching automatic Xenon headlights with LED signature lighting and automatic headlamp levelling that certainly ups the appeal.
With a sleek outlook, the Evoque is somewhat spacious inside. It’s wide and accommodating for the shoulders although leg-room can be found lacking at the rear.
But such cares dissipate quickly once seated in plush leathery comfort that’s been extended to the firm yet very accommodating suspension to take care of uneven road surfaces and undulations - as would a personal butler no?
The handling characteristics is one that embraces meditated calmness and in doing so, allows the driver to easily engage in spirited driving sessions with great confidence while having a rathe commanding view.
But the pinnacle of the or’s sophistication doesn’ from the plush leather no and finish of the materials being put together. No.
It really is from the gear selector knob that raises itself onto the “stage” of the centre tunnel and then disappears at the end of the “performance”.
This is what gives the Evoque a truly unique cabin experience that comes with the undoubtable notion that screams technological refinement.
In some strange incomprehensible way, it somehow manages to justify the more than RM430,000 price tag that this particular SUV demands.
Although the Evoque looks every bit polished for the urbanite with its daytime running lights, panoramic roof, park assist, reverse camera or even the powered gesture tailgate, it would do good to not doubt its off-roading capabilities - not even for a moment.
As with all Land Rovers that roll off the production line, its off-roading heritage has been embedded deep within itself only to resurface as a button in these modern times, ready to switch from its default road-going mode to snow, rocky or sandy terrain - or simply let the Terrain Response system handle it.
The Evoque has many abilities that makes its attractiveness ooze out from within and that certainly ups the desirability factor for