Range Rover Evoque TD4 2014 Review
Unlike other Range Rovers on the market the Evoque puts style and form ahead of practicality, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing and with its brash exterior the Evoque arrives with a unique presence wherever it goes.
The MY14 midlife update doesn’t change the appearance of the Evoque in any substantial way, but rather adds a new 9 Speed ZF transmission for greater fuel efficiency and whole range of technological advancements including Blind Spot Monitoring, Land Departure Warning, Automated Parking and Traffic Sign Recognition
Like all offerings from Jaguar Land Rover the Evoque comes with a whole swag of overpriced optional extras, starting at $55,000 drive away you might be forgiven for thinking this is a budget Range Rover. Once you start to throw on some essential accessories like Satnav ($3500), Reversing Camera ($690), Parking Aids ($620) and the ZF Automatic Transmission ($2,500) into the mix you’ll start to see just how costly this Range Rover can be.
The model tested for this review is the modest TD4 Pure Tech, including accessories this car comes to a neat total of $77,000 drive away.
Leave it up to the British to create a Tardis on wheels; don’t let the small outside appearance fool you because this Range Rover has a larger than expected interior that will happily sit four fully grown adults.
Some purists may argue that the Evoque isn’t a fully-fledged Range Rover but I cannot agree, from the Oxford Leather seats and dash* to the aluminium trims on the console this vehicle drives and feels like a Range Rover in every respect.
The centre console of the Evoque is not just the control HUB of the vehicle but a work of art, all buttons are easy to reach and intuitive to operate whilst driving. Push the ignition button and the vehicle comes to life with ambient lighting and a gear selector switch that rises up from the centre console.
The lack of storage space in the Evoque is probably its biggest downfall; the centre console’s storage compartment is only big enough to fit a single sunglasses case and the rear cup holders can barely hold anything of use.
When purchasing the Evoque it is almost essential to buy the panoramic roof as it adds to the vehicle appeal like no other accessory can, In my personal opinion it’s not an Evoque without the panoramic roof.
Another downside to the Evoque’s interior is that the aluminum trim that run’s along the outside of the centre console is prone to damage when buckling up.
A joint venture between Meridian Audio and Jaguar Land Rover has proven to be a winning combination for both of these British manufactures. The Evoque’s Meridian sound system is certainly class leading with its high fidelity audio quality and strategically located subwoofers under the seats providing your own personal amphitheatre wherever you go.
The touch screen interface is intuitive and easy to use, coupled with the satnav system the home screen provides easy access to what street the vehicle is on with a quick glance. Bluetooth connectivity is easy however BTA cannot be used when a phone is connected into the USB port in the centre console, this means one phone cannot be charged while another plays music.
The lack of DAB Radio as a standard feature in this vehicles price range is absurd to say the least coupled with the absence of a reversing camera as standard is appalling as rear visibility of this car is poor.
Most certainly the Evoque’s strongest attribute is its stunning exterior design that deserves to be in a modern art gallery rather than someone’s driveway. It’s hard to differentiate between the current Evoque and the Land Rover LRX concept vehicle unveiled back in 2011 due to its elegant design.
The design of the Evoque does also serve a practical use off-road with its high departure and approach angle, 500mm wading depth and use of Land Rovers Terrain Response System.
The standard halogens headlights on the Evoque are quite dull and don’t project as far as the competition, so it’s almost essential to upgrade to the signature headlights with xenon lamps.
There are three engine options for the Evoque; the first two engines are based on the Ford Diesel 2.2L Duratorq system producing 110kW (TD4) and 140kW (SD4), the last engine option is based on the Ford Petrol 2.0L Ecoboost system producing a convenient 177kW (Si4) of power.
Matched with a low RPM kW peak and a 9 Speed transmission the Evoque even in the 110kW form can accelerate rapidly and smoothly in city traffic. On the downside, if you’re planning on doing regular highway traveling it’s advised to keep clear of the TD4 engine and buy the Evoque in the SD4.
There is currently a jarring in the transmission felt between the 2nd and 3rd gears when moderately accelerating, this can be overcome by changing your accelerating style to suit.
The Range Rover Evoque is most certainly a stunning vehicle and compared to the competition its astonishing product to buy with sub $100k price tag.
If you were to buy this car, I’d advise you to pick up the Evoque Pure Tech SD4 with Reversing Camera and Panoramic Roof as a bare minimum.
*model tested not fitted with Oxford Leather*