Range Rover is Land Rover's luxury label. If you haven't noticed, there's rarely a new Range Rover model. So, it's big news when a new Range Rover rolls into showrooms, and the 2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque is a news maker any way you slice it. This is a very hip SUV and it looks sleeker and sexier than any Range Rover that's come before it.
The Evoque comes in a choice of three trims: Pure, Prestige and Dynamic. There's also two different SUV body styles: more traditional 4-door and a rakish 2-door model.
The Evoque has already won over plenty of enthusiastic fans, which helped it earn the 2012 North American "Truck of the Year" Award.
If we had to sum up the interior of the Evoque in two words, we'd call it, "elegantly delicious." The soft-touch leather, brushed aluminum trim, and quality of the controls and cabin surfaces speak for themselves.
Interior space is surprisingly generous despite the fact the Evoque is not a massive, monstrous SUV. You'll find, however that the coupe version has a lower roofline and that does squeeze headroom a bit -- especially in the back seat.
If you like things to play with in your luxury SUV, the Evoque will keep you happy with its 8-inch touch screen infotainment system. Our test Evoque also had the optional 5-camera video system with 360-degree real time images of the surrounding area.
There's also hands-free Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming, along with an awesome Meridian sound system, and you can get a rear seat video system with wireless headphones, always appreciated by passengers on those long road trips.
The Evoque is quick -- some may find it a little too quick. The turbocharged, 2-liter 4-cylinder engine makes 240 horsepower and delivers lots of low-end torque. Just tapping the accelerator pedal snaps the Evoque into forward motion.
That hair-trigger response is helped by the Haldex all-wheel-drive layout and the 6-speed automatic transmission. We found the ride to be a little firm, but the upside is that the Evoque out handles just about any other luxury SUV on the road.
And since it has a 4-cylinder engine, the fuel economy isn't going to empty your pockets at the gas pump -- unlike other V8-equipped Range Rovers,
That's good because with all of this luxury and performance, the base sticker price runs to over $43,000 for the 5-door and $1,000 more for the 3-door. That's before you add any of the cool options like the satellite navigation system that we highly recommend.
If you want to compare the Evoque to similar models, look at the Volvo XC60, a very strong competitor based on price and specs, or the BMW X5, a bit larger inside and slightly more expensive. One other possibility is the Audi Q5, with less power but costing nearly $10,000 less.
The 2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque is a quick, classy, high-style SUV with an interior you won't want to climb out of.
Sure it has a pretty stiff sticker price, but we think that once you get behind the wheel, you'll agree that it's money well spent.