Range Rover Evoque Review
Car Tested: 2016 Range Rover Evoque Diesel; Road Test No. 677
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 59.54 – 64.63 lakhs
The new Range Rover Evoque comes with sportier styling making it pure eye candy
Anybody who loves SUVs is fond of the Land Rover brand and especially the Range Rover Evoque. Back then it was the most stylish product across the JLR portfolio and currently it has a big fan following solely for the way it looks. Heck! It looks even more stylish than the LRX concept car it is based on. To keep it looking fresh, the British carmaker has launched the facelifted Evoque in India which comes with some cosmetic changes inside out. There are minimal changes compared to the pre-facelift Evoque but lets explore what’s new in the latest update.
Motor Quest: The Range Rover Evoque came into production in 2011 and was launched in India later in the same year. It was available in both 5-door and 3-door coupe versions. Now the 3-door version has been discontinued in India due to less demand. The Evoque was updated with a new 9-speed transmission in 2014 and in late 2015 it got the much needed facelift. Land Rover will soon introduce the convertible Evoque in India this year.
Exteriors – For a layman it looks like a regular Evoque but the changes are clearly visible if you are aware of its styling. The front bumper is all-new getting large airdams which looks very sporty and it also gets black treatment on the lower half to cut the visual bulk. The front grille is new, treated in gloss black material which looks tastefully done. The headlights have also been redesigned that integrate brighter LED DRLs with a new pattern. On the side profile you would notice new 7-spoke alloy wheels, nothing else has changed apart from that. The rear gets updated tail lamps with clear LED detailing and slightly updated rear bumper with gloss black elements near the skid plate. The subtle yet significant changes makes the Evoque look brighter and up to date.
Interiors – There are no drastic visual changes inside the facelifted Range Rover Evoque. However, it gets new 14-way adjustable seats with massage function, soft-touch materials, new door pads and highly customisable colour options. Our test car came with orange and black upholstery matching the exteriors, which looks very cool and sporty. The new soft touch materials on the dashboard feels good and the overall quality, fit and finish is top notch. The chunky steering wheel feels good to hold, the instrument cluster is clearly readable while it also comes with heads-up display which is really useful while driving. All the controls are ergonomically placed and the layout is neat and tidy so there are not many buttons to fiddle with on the centre console.
The interiors look cool with matching colour scheme of the exteriors
Push the engine start/stop button and the rotary gear shifting knob pops out. There is a dual-zone climate control system which quickly cools the cabin and maintains the desired temperature. The large touch screen of the infotainment system is user friendly and pairing your smartphone with Bluetooth is an easy task. The screen offers good touch quality and also doubles up as a display for parking camera offering different views including front, kerb, bird’s eye and more. The Meridien audio system churns out excellent acoustics with fantastic audio quality.
There are decent amount of stowage spaces inside the cabin to keep the car clean and tidy. The front seats have good bolstering and back support which is electrically adjustable and comes with memory function. The rear seats however have limited legroom and headroom for tall passengers. It is best suited for two average sized Indian adults. The rear passengers also get individual headrest mounted screens for entertainment on long journeys. Boot space is quite accommodating as well having 575-litres of cargo space so you can keep all your luggage for those weekend getaways with ease.
Performance – Internationally, the updated Evoque got new 2.0-litre diesel Ingenium engine which is lighter and more efficient with lesser CO2 emissions. In India though, the Evoque continues to get the same 2.2-litre oil burner that churns out 190 PS of power and 420 Nm of torque. The Evoque pulls cleanly from the word go getting a nice shove of torque in the mid-range making it quite progressive. There is a hint of lag under 2000 RPM but usually it goes unnoticed thanks to the clever new 9-speed automatic transmission. The 4-cylinder motor feels quite refined and NVH levels are very low so you won’t hear the diesel rumble until you hit the redline just before 5000 RPM. The engine doesn’t have much power to deliver at the top-end but it is best enjoyed in the mid-range.
The 2.2-litre engine is quite refined and offers punchy mid-range grunt
The 9-speed auto box is mated well to the engine that offers fantastic cruising ability and relaxed driving. At 100 km/hr in the top gear, the engine is hovering around 1500-1750 RPM. Put the pedal to the metal and then it feels confused to downshift. There is slight lag while downshifting and here is when the steering mounted paddle shifts come to use. The gearbox is quite responsive to your manual inputs and the Evoque feels in full control while shifting manually and choosing your own cogs. There is the S mode as well that holds the gear longer for better acceleration and this comes to use while overtaking at high speeds. The fuel efficiency in real world conditions is around 10-11 km/l, which is not bad for this beast of an SUV.
Driving Dynamics – Usually people don’t expect much from an SUV in terms of dynamics but the Range Rover Evoque is an exception. The ride and handling balance is good and the baby Range Rover is quite versatile when it comes to different terrains. It has the famous terrain response system and it can indulge in hardcore off-road sessions without a sweat. However, most buyers won’t take this beauty off the road but don’t worry, it’s equally fun on the road as well. The body roll is very well controlled for SUV standards and it feels eager to push hard around the bends. It maintains its composure and doesn’t feel floaty while cornering. At the same time, the suspension does a good job of soaking bumps be it high speeds or crawling speeds. The high profile tyres cushion the ride very well and offer decent grip too at their limits. Stopping performance comes from all four ventilated discs and as expected the 2 tonne SUV comes to a halt without any drama.
Safety and After Sales Service – The Range Rover Evoque scores a healthy 5-star EURO NCAP crash test rating and there are unlimited safety features on offer. It comes with 7 airbags, ABS, Torque Vectoring by Braking, Hill Descent Control, Roll Stability Control, Dynamic Stability Control, Traction Control, Emergency Brake Assist, Engine Drag Torque Control, Trailer Stability Assist and more. JLR offers decent after sales service as compared to the German trios but their network is currently quite limited across the country. However, the British carmaker is offering 3 years/1 lakh kms warranty and a 3 year service plan as well with the new Range Rover Evoque.
Verdict – Land Rover initially launched the Range Rover Evoque as a CBU model but now they import CKD kits in India offering it in a desirable price range. The updated Evoque comes with a few changes but they make it look more appealing than ever. If you look at its rivals, most of them appear dated or not as jazzy as the Evoque looks. Whether you like to arrive in style at clubs or you enjoy driving on the highways, the Evoque would never disappoint. The only thing that would bother a few tall adults would be the rear seat space for an SUV. Otherwise the Evoque makes a lot of sense and even the lower trims at the affordable end are well kitted up for your whims and fancies.
* Cool new headlights and sporty bumpers adding to the funky styling
* Wide range of interior trim colours to choose from, can match exterior colour
* Infotainment system is engaging to use, audio quality is epic
* Punchy engine and sorted dynamics make it a fun SUV to drive
What’s Not So Cool
* Not the best rear seat experience in its class
* 9-speed auto box takes a while to downshift
Alternatives: Mercedes GLE, Audi Q5, BMW X3, Volvo XC60, Land Rover Discovery Sport
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