2012 Range Rover Evoque

2012 Range Rover Evoque Review

We drive Range Rover's stylish compact SUV.

By: Tim Healey

Web2Carz Contributing Writer

Published: October 19th, 2012

Everything about Range Rover's Evoque seems to evoke a bit of British cheekiness. There's the misspelled name, the slammed roof line, and the shortened rear end, all of it standing in contrast to both boxy SUVs and curvy crossovers. It's not like any other current Range Rover on the market.

Like other Range Rovers, it offers power and sportiness belying its SUV roots. What the Evoque offers that the others don't is a stylish flair. Pull up to the valet in a Range Rover Sport, for example, and folks will know you have cash to spend. Pull up in the Evoque, and they'll know you have taste.

  • On the Road

    The Evoque does certain things very well. One of those things is acceleration. Step off the line with authority and the Evoque builds speed swiftly, thanks to the 240-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine under hood.

    The Evoque gets the ride/handling balance right as well. While cruising, the Evoque keeps most of the worst pavement at a distance, but it never gets soft. Body roll is limited, and the all-wheel-drive Evoque sets up well while cornering.

    Steering feel is a bit artificial--feedback from the tires doesn't filter through enough. On the other hand, it has a nice heft to it. We like the Evoque's overall performance . Like other Range Rovers, it seems to get the performance versus luxury balance just about right.

  • Exterior

    There's no doubt the Evoque's styling will be controversial. We like that Range Rover took a risk here, shying away from another boxy SUV, but we found the back end to be a little bit scrunched.

    Still, the overall look works, and it's sure to turn heads.

  • Interior

    Like other Range Rovers, the Evoque has a circular shift knob that pops up from the center console when the engine is fired, and it has a frustratingly confusing navigation/infotainment system that offers too many menu options.

    On the other hand, we dug the glass roof that spans the length of the vehicle, and the cabin materials are definitely upscale. Headroom and legroom are fine even for taller drivers up front, but the rear is less than adequate. Outside noise tends to stay outside.

  • Fuel Economy and Safety

    The Evoque offers the usual safety goodies, such as: ABS, traction control, an antiskid system, side-curtain airbags, and front side airbags.

    Fuel economy is listed at 18 mpg city and 28 mpg highway.

  • Final Thoughts

    Style sometimes requires sacrifice, even in luxury vehicles, but in the case of the Evoque, it doesn't require much. Yes, the rear seat might lose some room, but that will be a minor sacrifice for buyers who want to look good and feel good. And the Evoque does feel good behind the wheel.

    The issue here is one of value. Sure, Range Rover buyers don't quibble over a few grand----how else do we explain the $90K-and-up prices that some models command?--but it does make the Evoque a tough sell to folks who want to get their luxury without stretching their dollars too far. Sure, no one needs a V-8 muscle car, either, but those can be justified, based purely on performance. The Evoque's performance, solid as it is, might not be enough for justify the high sticker price.

    Our take? Go ahead and spoil yourself.

  • Specs, Features, and Prices

    Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder

    Transmission: Six-speed automatic

    Drive Wheels: All

    Base Price: $41,145

    As-Tested Price: $57,095

    Available Features: 20-inch wheels, leather seats, navigation system, surround camera system, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, power liftgate, satellite radio, tilt/telescope steering wheel, rearview camera, push-button start.

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