The Land Rover Range Rover Evoque may be into it fourth model year, but its concept-car rakish roofline, leering front end and butch stance still pack a visual wallop. Kudos to Land Rover design chief Gerry McGovern for bringing this compact luxury SUV to market as a near dead-ringer for the LRX concept that made its debut at the 2008 North American Auto Show in Detroit.
Has it been that long?
The Evoque sure has been good for Range Rover, finding over 160,000 buyers globally since the launch – and most of those new to the brand. Lots of women too, which is something Land Rover couldn’t brag about until this little cutie came along. Probably didn’t hurt to have Posh Spice (Victoria Beckham) aligned with the Evoque in the early days. “I’m hot, a pop star, married to the hunkiest hunk of a soccer superstar, and am so skinny I have to run around the shower three times just to get wet. Be like me. Buy an Evoque.”
Okay, that wasn’t the exact tag line, but it could have been. In 2012 the Range Rover Evoque was named 2012 Women’s Overall World Car of The Year and Women’s Top World Luxury Car of the Year. Yeah, me neither.
The 2015 Evoque is available in both three-door and five-door configuration. This tester is the 5-Door Dynamic, which starts at $60,895, and is number four (and the most sporting) of the available six trim levels that range from $47,495 (Pure) to $64,595 (Autobiography). A bounty of extras raised the sticker of this lovely Orkney Grey specimen to $73,850 before freight and taxes.
Would this have Mrs. Beckham squirming in her Christian Louboutins? Hardly. You want style, you gotta’ pay. And this tester is nothing if not rolling haute voiture.
Adding a hint of sinister here is the $3,300 Black Design Package that bestows 20-inch gloss black nine-spoke black alloys, darkened fog lights and headlights, black exterior trim, black lettering, black exhaust tips and black spoiler. It does make for striking visuals.
It’s been a few years since I’ve spent time with an Evoque, and this refresher week was certainly… refreshing. Granted, the Evoque has its quirks, as ultimate cargo space and rearward visibility are sacrificed on the altar of style, but you can’t argue against its eager performance and driver-oriented disposition. This thing really does relish a good fling down a back road.
The Dynamic’s perforated Oxford leather sport seats are terrific, offering up an expert blend of body-hugging support and long distance comfort. The heated steering wheel (oh yeah!) is connected to a well-weighted rack that telegraphs a decent amount of road feel back to the driver. New for 2014 was active torque vectoring. The Evoque is one of the sharpest handling vehicles in the luxury compact crossover segment, but you’re paying for it with a busy ride. Tempering the latter in this tester is the $1,000 Adaptive Dynamics, which uses magnetically adaptive dampers (same technology as used by Ferrari, Audi and Corvette) to calm the ride and flatten the cornering. Check this box – it’s well worth it.