The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque -- Evoque for short -- is a new kind of Land Rover. Designed for the urban jungle rather than the actual jungle, the Evoque is a compact luxury crossover with a style all its own. Why buy a small sedan or hatchback when you could perch up high in one of these instead? Here are five reasons to try the Evoque on for size.
We know styling's subjective and all that, but just look at this thing. The Evoque's taut, edgy lines are tailor-made for 5th Avenue or Rodeo Drive. Although it's technically the entry-level Land Rover, the Evoque might be the best Land Rover for urbanites looking to make their mark. With its optional contrast-colored roof, big wheels and squat, futuristic stance, the Evoque is a rolling place to see and be seen in. It may be small in stature, but this little Land Rover has a big personality.
In the sea of compact luxury crossovers, the Evoque's impeccable interior really stands out. The leather looks and smells rich, and the color combinations are cutting-edge. Decked out with a floating central control panel and high-quality materials, the dashboard wouldn't look out of place at twice the price. The Evoque's cabin is a pretty cool place to hang out.
Frugal Fuel Economy
With a 240-horsepower engine up front, the Evoque has plenty of pep, but here's the surprising thing: It's also great on gas. Even though the Evoque comes standard with all-wheel drive, the Environmental Protection Agency rates it at an impressive 24 miles per gallon overall, including 30 mpg on the highway. That's partly due to the novel 9-speed automatic transmission, which makes sure you're always in the right gear.
Just the Right Size
A lot of so-called compact crossovers are actually midsize these days -- and growing -- but the Evoque is a genuinely compact vehicle. It's perfect for tight parking spaces. At the same time, it still gives you that commanding high driving position like a proper SUV. It reminds us a little of another small British runabout -- the next-generation MINI Clubman -- except the Evoque has exclusivity on its side.
Fun to Drive
Thanks to those compact dimensions and a sporty suspension, the Evoque is a blast from behind the wheel. The steering is responsive and there's not much body roll, so you can slice through tight corners or rush-hour traffic with ease. And thanks to excellent outward visibility, you have a leg up on lower, less dynamic vehicles.
The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque is nothing like traditional Land Rovers, but that's not a bad thing. If you want Land Rover luxury and cachet without the size and thirst, that's what the Evoque's all about.