Written by: Calvin Chan
Photography by: Calvin Chan
Say hello to the baby Range Rover - the Range Rover Evoque. Based on the Land Rover LR2 design, this 3-door coupe version of the Evoque enters a rather unique market niche. With no other 3-door SUVs on the market, it's a bold and audacious move. Costing "merely" half of the flagship 2013 Range Rover, we were worried this newborn would lose all of its luxury appeal. How wrong we were. Gazing upon this masterpiece they call the Evoque, we discovered it to be beautifully styled and modernized while still retaining the heritage of the Range Rover luxury brand.
With two less doors and less headroom in the backseats, the coupe surprisingly costs $1100 more than its 5-door version. Compensating with style, the 3-door is more of an attention grabber with its deeper side curves and sports car appeal. Two different trims are available for the coupe; the Pure model starts at $48,905, the Dynamic model starts at $61,595 with cosmetic upgrades such as new bumpers, sills, grilles, tailpipes, contrasting roof and spoiler colours, and a $1400 Adaptive Dynamic mode for better performance.
Equipped with a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine derived from Ford's EcoBoost engine, it spews out 240 horsepower and 251 lb-ft of torque. As the first of the Range Rovers to have anything less than a V6, the Evoque is clearly not the fastest in the herd. Fitted with a 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and sport mode, it can still accelerate from 0-60 mph in 7.1 seconds. While there is a hint of turbo lag, this four thousand pound fashionista still feels swift and accelerates effortlessly on the tarmac. Having a smaller engine than its older Range Rover brothers, it returned an average gas mileage of 10.8 L/100km; not bad for a car this heavy.
Now don't underestimate the mini Range Rover, as it's still been suited with everything you would want for off-roading adventures. Tailored with 4WD (there is no 2WD offered in Canada), electric power steering, Hill Descent Control, and Land Rover's Terrain Response System, this voluptuous Evoque is not scared to get its tires dirty. The Terrain Response System gracefully maximizes traction on any surface you can find.
There are four settings you can choose from; General, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud-Ruts, and Sand. The general default mode is for everyday use with all on-and-off road conditions. The computers will react to road conditions and make adjustments to the suspension and tires accordingly. Selecting the Grass/Gravel/Snow setting gives you loads of grip on those firm but slippery surfaces. Huge amounts of torque are routed to the wheels at stand still while gear changes are also quickened, all to ensure the wheels spin as little as possible to overcome those sleek conditions. Mud-Ruts mode is for terrain where maximum grip and control is paramount. The system will optimize the traction control to give a perfect balance of performance. Sandy terrains is where you need the Evoque to morph into the Energizer Bunny; to just keep going on and on. Sand mode ensures the car revs to the red-line limit and that the gears are held on as long as possible to prevent getting bogged down in the dusty dunes.
But realistically, how many of us who purchase the Evoque will actually take it onto off-road terrain? Not many. Luckily, the Evoque handles just as well on everyday roads as it does on the outskirts of the wilderness.
As the common phrase goes, looks aren't everything. In this case we'll make an exception. Driving an off-road vehicle never felt more posh, alluring and equally appealing to both male and female genders. Narrow windows curve and match the contour of the bulky but stylish Land Rover body. Looks can also be deceiving. The Evoque is nearly the same length as a Ford Focus. This gives it a smaller and sharper turning radius, converting parking and 3-point turns into a delightful picnic.
The futuristic back spoiler is pulled straight from the LRX concept car, while the Orkney Grey Metallic paint makes the rear look like something out of a Michael Bay Transformers movie. You might notice from the pictures that our Evoque was outfitted with 19-inch alloy winter tires. One of its tires went flat before we picked it up, and there was nothing but winter tires to replace it in the short run. Nevertheless it still looks gorgeous. Stretch those necks, because this coupe turns heads wherever it goes, whether it's sitting in the garage or blazing through the streets of Toronto.
Opening one of the two gargantuan coupe doors exposes the meticulously designed interior of the new Evoque. Ebony grained leather embodies the seats, door panels, and dashboards, while stain brushed aluminum finishes up the rest. The front seats have acres of room, while the rear seats surprisingly produce lots of legroom and headroom as well (I'm 6'1 and I can still sit comfortably "behind myself" with my back straight against the seat). Rear riders won't feel claustrophobic at all thanks to the fixed panoramic sunroof which nearly spans the whole length of the roof. The only trouble is getting out of it. With no grab handles and a slow power-adjusting front seat, inconvenience can be a common occurrence with this two door Evoque. There is a wealth of storage areas in the front, including a Volvo-style free-floating compartment behind the center console. Though the rear trunk space doesn't impress, the lack of space can be remedied by folding down the two rear seats.
The new steering wheel feels nice and meaty with oodles of buttons to play with, including a heated steering wheel option. The 8-inch touch screen in the center console is ripped straight off a Jaguar and if you have read our previous reviews, our verdict on the media interface hasn't changed. The on-screen buttons are slow to respond and feels rather outdated. Despite not having the Jaguar XF's flashy array of opening fan covers, the Evoque does harbor Jaguar's gear selector knob, which elegantly rises up from its nest when the engine is turned on. A party trick that never gets old.
Our Range Rover has been fitted with the $4500 Pure Plus Package that includes the $2250 City Package. The City Package comes in handy for those daily road trips, with a power electric tailgate, front and rear parking aids with a rear view camera, 19-inch alloy wheels and chrome tread plates with the Range Rover logo. The Pure Plus Package bestows pure grained leather onto the seats and dashboard, with electric seat adjustments, lumbar support, power wash headlights, and a beautiful fixed panoramic sunroof that stretches miles wide, making the Evoque feel like a convertible. The only trade-off is that the sunroof cannot open, however it does make the two rear passenger seats feel more open and spacious.
The $9400 Pure Premium Package includes everything above plus adaptive headlights, surround five camera system, premium navigation system, 825W 17-speaker plus subwoofer Meridian surround sound system, blind spot mirrors, passive keyless entry, load-space storage rails, and also includes the $1730 Vision Assist Package. This gears up the Evoque with Automatic Adaptive Xenon LED headlights with auto headlamp levelling, and auto high-beam assist. A $2800 Rear Seat Entertainment Package furnishes 8-inch DVD touch-screens on the back of the front headrests. The plethora of options doesn't end there, with optional illuminated Union Jack tread plates, an upgraded silver finish to the rotary drive selector knob, and optional 20-inch rims.
So why spend an extra $1,100 towards a harbinger of inconvenience when you can have the cheaper 5-door Evoque alternative? The competitive BMW X3 xDrive28i starts off $6,105 cheaper and also offers identical performance figures. The BMW also handles better and feels quicker. The Audi Q5 3.0T Quattro on the other hand possesses even more horsepower and torque than the Evoque, costs $2,755 less, but can be found in almost any parking lot. Okay, what if you are demanding less German luxury and more off-road competency? Then why not the $39,900 Land Rover LR2? It's just as capable off-road as the Evoque and has two extra doors with a boot that's big enough to carry your pets and luggage.
Despite all that, there is one thing that sets the 3-door Evoque apart from all the rest; detail. That is what makes this Range Rover so enjoyable and pleasurable to drive. Everything from the ability to choose the interior light colour (ambient lighting) to a Evoque-silhouette shaped spotlight that shines underneath the door panel when you unlock the car. One buys the Evoque not for the practicality or performance numbers, but for style, status, and fashion statement. The Evoque is embellished with substance that helps it stands out from the crowd and evoke an unforgettable heart-pounding experience, no pun intended.
型号 Model: 2013 Range Rover Evoque Coupe
廠方建議售價 Base Price: $48,095 (Pure Package)
Price as Tested: $52,595 (Pure Package)
軸距 Wheelbase(mm): 2660
長闊 Length/Width/Height (mm): 4365/2125/1605
引擎 Engine: 2.0L DOHC 4-cylinder turbo (Si4)
最大馬力 Horsepower-HP: 240/5500rpm
最高扭力 Torque-LB-FT: 251/1750rpm
波箱 Transmission: 6-speed automatic
擺佈 Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, 4WD
前懸 Suspension-Front: MacPherson strut with lower control arm
後懸 Suspension-Rear: Multi-link
煞制-前 Brakes-Front: Vented disc
煞制-後 Brakes-Rear: Vented disc
循跡操控系统 ABS/Traction Control:Standard
油耗 Fuel Consumption (City/Highway/Combined)- L/100 km: 10.6/7.1/9.0
輪胎尺碼 Tires: 19-inch sparkle finish alloy wheel