Having just recently been announced as the Continental Irish Executive/Luxury Car of the Year 2012, the Range Rover Evoque has received the credit it truly deserves. It’s without doubt one of, if not, the most stylish SUV’s on sale today.
The Evoque’s fashionable exterior is matched by an equally elegant interior, having Victoria Beckham as a style consultant when designing the car’s interior has certainly been of benefit. The materials used to construct the dashboard provide colour and luxury to the Evoque experience, whilst the two-tone leather seats provide support and comfort for both driver and passengers. There’s a choice of three trim grades on offer, Pure, Dynamic and Prestige, with the entry-level five-door TD4 Pure commencing at a respectable €40,975. I would envisage the Dynamic model I drove to account for the majority of sales, features including xenon headlamps, 19” alloys, electric leather seats and an 8” high resolution touch-screen are all included. The Evoque is available as a Coupé and a five-door model, the later better suited for those who’ll regularly carry passengers.
The 2.2 litre TD4 diesel engine in my test car produces 150hp, which was mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. Normally I’d always opt for an automatic transmission in an executive SUV, however the manual gearbox in the Evoque was excellent, providing a good feel and a short gear-change. The engine is responsive and capable of propelling the car and its occupants at motorway speeds with minimal effort. It’s enjoyable to drive on twisty country roads too, with a competent chassis beneath you, you’ve also got the reassurance of Land Rover’s always-on intelligent four wheel drive system should conditions necessitate.
Land Rover Ireland aim to sell 300 Evoque’s in 2012, a figure they shouldn’t have any trouble in achieving, there only issue may be getting the supply to meet the demand.[table “45” not found /]