THE choice of Premiership footballers and pop starts, the smallest Range Rover still comes with a big price tag. Les Oliver tried out the new Evoque
FOR the first time in Halewood’s 50-year history, Jaguar Land Rover’s 4,500-strong Merseyside workforce is now working around the clock to meet global demand for the Range Rover Evoque.
Since its launch in July last year, the baby Rangie has achieved worldwide sales success in more than 170 markets.
It has won over 120 awards - the latest the 2012 Women’s World Car of the Year - and has a special edition with design input by Victoria Beckham.
So you can expect a posh interior and a designer price tag for a car driven and promoted by the former Spice Girl.
The smallest, lightest and greenest Range Rover ever costs from £28,695 for the two-wheel-drive diesel manual to £45,420 for the top coupé with six-speed auto and LUX pack.
But prices can go through the roof with a tempting array of trim, equipment and technology options.
The test car was the 2.2-litre diesel Prestige 5dr costing £39,000 but the £4,325 LUX pack includes:
Park assist, blind spot monitoring, surround camera system, power tailgate and panoramic glass roof with power blinds, surround sound system, 8in dual view touchscreen monitor, analogue/digital television and advanced climate control
With adaptive dynamics (£1,150) and bi-xenon headlamps (£305) this pushed the price up to £44,780.
The Evoque comes as a five-door SUV or three-door coupé powered by a choice of engines – a 2.2-litre 190PS turbodiesel with six-speed manual or auto transmissions or a 150PS with 133g/km CO2 from the 2WD manual and 149 from the thirstier 4WD.
here’s also a quick 240PS, two-litre petrol 4WD that clips a second off the 0-60 dash managing it in 7.1 and on to 135mph compared to the diesel’s 121.
The five-door, an inch higher and still with coupé looks, has a 60/40 split rear seat and 1440 litres of space with the seats folded.
There are three spec levels, Pure, Prestige and Dynamic.
Full-time intelligent four-wheel drive is standard, but for the first in a Range Rover
there’s an option of front-wheel drive-only.
The Evoque was, as expected, quiet, comfortable with little body roll and very classy.
It didn’t feel like a “small” Range Rover, though I felt the rear seat could have been more generous.
Otherwise it was hard to fault the 2.2-litre diesel Prestige 5dr but in the brief test drive I had I felt the letterbox-like visibility through the rear window could have been better and found the display dials hard to read in bright conditions.
Range Rover Evoque Prestige 5dr
Engine: 2.2-litre diesel
Top speed: 121mph
Price: £39.000 excl. options