TEST DRIVE: Range Rover Evoque, do I have your attention?
There is something about the Range Rover Evoque that gets people's attention.
The car – the smallest Range Rover ever built – got admiring glances and compliments wherever I went, outside my villa, at the shops, at the office… everywhere.
You see, the Evoque is something that has never really been associated with its bigger siblings - it’s sporty.
Now, Range Rover produces ‘sport’ models, but they only bear the word and not really the ethos of the motoring term. They may be faster, more agile but there are still behemoths relative to, say, a VW Golf GTI or Mercedes-Benz SLK.
But all that has now changed with the Evoque, which was first unveiled at last year’s Geneva Motor Show.
And with this new car, Range Rover have also introduced a new segment into the market – the SUV coupe.
However, there is one slight snag with all of this, which is why exactly would you want an SUV coupe.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved the Evoque. The turbocharged 2.0l Si4 engine is pacy, producing 240bhp, the all-wheel drive and adaptive dynamics mean it holds the road really well and it has bells and whistles coming out of its ears, such as the 8ins touch screen with dual-view display and surround sound.
Fuel consumption is also pretty good at 8.7l per 100kph – the best of any Range Rover - and, as we have already established, it looks pretty cool.
It’s just that I’m still not sure of its purpose.
For example, the boot is small, so much so I could barely squeeze my, albeit rather large, golf bag in the back. The cabin too is a bit of a squeeze, and don’t even think about climbing in the backseat of the coupe model I took out. These are purely for show, or masochists. There may, of course, be a bit more room in the five-door model.
I didn’t get a chance to try it off-road, however as it comes with Land Rover Terrain Response and a healthy ground clearance, you have to assume it would be pretty handy.
It’s not, though, that sporty. For the price, starting at Dhs235,000, you could get something faster. After all the 7.6 secs it takes to hit 100kph and the top speed of 217kph are respectable but not earth-shattering.
So, the Evoque is an SUV that’s a bit small and a coupe that is not as sporty as it’s rivals.
So then, why would you want it. I return to where we came in, because it looks just so good.
This is a car for people that want something different and have the money to spend on it.
You wouldn’t buy one because it is practical, it’s sporty…etc, you buy one because you want one.
And with the huge array of colour and feature combinations available – such as contrasting roof and spoiler colours, 16 different interiors and a range of alloy wheels - you can be sure your Evoque will stand out.
TECH SPEC: Range Rover Evoque
0-100kph: 7.6 secs
Top speed: 217kph
Fuel consumption: 8.7l/100km
Price: From Dhs235,000