Turbo petrol Range Rover Evoque has a decidedly sporty flavour
When we tested the Range Rover Evoque diesel we were impressed by its distinctive styling, its refinement, its polished driving manners and diesel frugality.
The 2.0 litre turbo diesel engine itself was relatively hushed, and while performance was more than adequate and was generally a good match for the Evoque’s suave upmarket personality.
This time around, we’ve been thrown the keys to the 2017 Range Rover Evoque SE SI4, same spec car, this time powered by a 2.0 litre turbo intercooled petrol engine.
The engine in question produces 177kW @ 5500rpm and a healthy 340Nm across a broad 1750-4000rpm power band. The engine is mated to the same nine-speed automatic as the diesel, and power is sent to all four wheels, as you’d expect from a vehicle wearing the Land Rover badge.
Performance is actually rather rapid. Land Rover claims that the Evoque SE SI4 will launch from rest to 100km/h in 7.6 seconds. And although we didn’t put our car up against the stop clock, we believe Land Rover’s claims. That generous power band allows for swift and confident overtaking and the engine even makes a raspy and throaty noise. What a pleasant surprise!
We also noted that the petrol engine seemed to be a better match for the nine-speed automatic and start/stop system than the diesel power plant. Progress in the petrol was always smoother and more cohesive and the transmission was always able to keep the engine in its sweet spot.
The Range Rover Evoque is one of those cars people buy because they want to be seen trundling along the most fashionable of shopping strips in the most fashionable of suburbs. The words “Range” and “Rover” are worth their weight in prestige gold.
Yes, the Evoque SE SI4 has four-wheel drive and a multi-mode all road system – there are settings for mud and sand amongst other things – but the turbo engine makes you want your Evoque away from the pretentious high street and down a twisting country road. It still oozes class and sophistication make no mistake, but it also encourages you to have a little fun.
The ride and handling set up compliments the sporty and luxury facets of the car’s personality. Steering is well weighted and delivers excellent feedback, while the ride is firm without shaking your fillings.
Inside, the Evoque SE is standard Range Rover. Passengers are surrounded by cool, clean lines and high quality surfaces. The seats are plush and wonderfully comfortable, although we do wish they had a little more bolstering. Other interior drawbacks include a tiny centre console – so small in fact that it struggles to swallow a smart phone – and it can be incredibly fiddly plugging devices into one of the ports located in said storage compartment.
Another gripe is Land Rover’s reluctance to adopt the increasingly popular Android Auto and Apple Car Play software packages. Instead, you can get Land Rover’s own equivalent, a system they call InControl Apps. A $710 option, InControl Apps allows occupants to schedule appointments in their calendar, play music and access music apps, but it’s simply not as not as intuitive as the smartphone-based applications. And users must download an app to their mobile phone in order for InControl apps to function.
The Range Rover Evoque SE SI4 is priced from $68,788 plus on road costs. Not too bad for something with this much badge cache, style and luxury. Well, there are a whole raft of options, many of which a very expensive. Our test car was fitted with the following: 20″ Alloy – 5 split-spoke Style 504 with Sparkle finish – $3350,SE Tech Pack (xenon headlights with LED signature lighting & automatic headlight levelling, headlight powerwash, front fog lights, headlights – automatic high beam assist) – $2680, fixed panoramic roof with powered blind – $2410, Head-Up Display – $2370,Firenze Red metallic paint – $1870,black contrast roof with matching spoiler – $1230, Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB) Radio – $920 12X12 powered seats – $860, figured Macassar wood trim finisher – $830, privacy glass – $800, InControl Apps – $710, windscreen – solar attenuating – $670 and chrome treadplates – $420. All these options bring the total recommended retail price of our test car to $87,908, plus on road costs.
The options are pricey and there are plenty of them, but at least you’ll take comfort in knowing that your Evoque will be different to your neighbour’s.
Overall, the Range Rover Evoque SE SI4 is a quality luxury SUV that isn’t afraid to let its hair down. We’d buy one.