Range Rover Evoque Si4 Review

By: Andrew Maclean

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Range Rover Evoque Range Rover Evoque Range Rover Evoque
Range Rover Evoque Range Rover Evoque Range Rover Evoque
Range Rover Evoque Range Rover Evoque Range Rover Evoque

Range Rover Evoque . Show stopping compact SUV is a high-fashion action car.

Range Rover Evoque Si4 Review
Range Rover Evoque

 

Range Rover Evoque Si4 

Concept cars are like supermodels. Both are generally dressed-up to the nines to captivate you with a combination of fantasy and lust, but in reality, they are more style than substance. Occasionally, however, a stunner bucks that trend. Range Rover's LRX concept strutted its way down the 2008 Detroit Motor Show catwalk, creating gaping jaws among the world's motoring critics before gracing the covers of European car mags as the new 'It' car.

Three years later, it has been transformed from haute couture fantasy into virtually unspoiled reality as the Range Rover Evoque - potentially a game-changer for the compact SUV segment, like the reborn Mini was to the small-car field.

It brings swathes of style to the 'yummy mummy' carpark, plus loads of brand cachet and - not that it'll be important for tackling ritzy-suburb café strips - genuine Range Rover off-road ability.

Like its smaller British cousin, the Evoque attracts plenty of attention for the sense of fun and adventure its style exudes. And it's the right size too. Based on the Freelander 2 platform, it has a 20mm wider track and 12mm more ground clearance, despite sitting 20mm lower, and is available as a conventional five-door or a stunning three-door Coupe (pictured).

Traditional Rangie empty nesters will opt for the tried and proven 2.2-litre turbodiesel four with either 110kW (TD4) or 140kW (SD4), but the pick of the bunch is the Si4 with Ford's 177kW/340Nm Ecoboost turbo-petrol 2.0-litre four that makes the Evoque even more multi-dimensional than its Transformer-like styling suggests.

Okay, weighing in at 1640kg and with a 0-100km/h claim of 7.6sec, it's never going to match the likes of the VW Golf R or Renaultsport Megane in the hot-hatch stakes, but nor is it a slouch. The engine is energetic enough to disguise its heft and has a rorty exhaust note when you dig deep.

Choose the optional Dynamic Pack (which adds magnetic dampers) and the Evoque is surprisingly capable in the twisty stuff. Ride comfort is relatively stiff against its SUV competitors and the electric steering doesn't offer a lot of feedback, but chassis balance is remarkably neutral, thanks mostly to an array of electronic aids.

While the three-door looks sensational, its sloping roof and high waistline compromise rear vision and the Dumbo-sized wing mirrors (which compensate for that) also mean picking an apex or kerb isn't as easy as it should be. And it's not cheap, with prices starting at $53,935 for the base five-door AWD diesel and rising to $75,895 for the range-topping Si4 (another $1500 for the three-door body) with options that can make it a six-figure spend. It's probably still cheaper than dating a supermodel though!

 

SPECIFICATIONS

Range Rover Evoque Si4

ENGINE:  1999cc 4cyl, DOHC, 16v, turbocharger

POWER:  177kW @ 5500rpm

TORQUE:  340Nm @ 1750rpm

WEIGHT:  1640kg

GEARBOX:  6-speed automatic

0-100km/h:  7.6sec (claimed)

TOP SPEED:  217km/h (claimed)

PRICE:  $75,895

 

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