If we take a luxury car, add bigger wheels for a good ground clearance and use sloping roof-line, what will be the outcome? Let’s try making one. Ohh wait, it should have a flat bonnet to look like SUV and sloping roof-line. The engineers in JLR Coventry designed an SUV that looked sleek, yet fast and it was also following things that should go under SUV category. One really needs to have out of box thinking to design something which is not available and create it from ground zero. Designer from Land Rover design Gerry McGovern first showcased it as a concept in NA auto show back in 2008 as LXR. Watch this video below from Gerry explaining why the Range Rover Evoque looks so good!
Team AutoColumn reviewed the MY16 Range Rover Evoque in terms of its capabilities, its urban and rural travelling abilities and some high-speed cornering around best roads of Maharashtra. Let’s start with the exterior that has been upgraded to 2016 Model from the previous one.
The 2016 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque breaks through with a more urban, street-smart style and tones down the off-road chops. A new front bumper articulated by a pair of larger, more-aggressive air intakes on the hood, integrated LED fog lamps leads the update, accompanied by two new grille designs. The standard unit has two horizontal bars and a fine mesh pattern, while Evoque Dynamic models get a hexagonal pattern. The turn indicators are now fully part of the LED running lamps.
Optional all-LED headlights, and a snazzy new LED running light shape, accompanied by fresh LED tail lights. The Evoque continues to make a strong design statement, yet Land Rover has given it a light refresh for 2016, with a new grille, some new finishes inside and out, and a few new features inside—including new infotainment systems.
In terms of engine, the car gets 2.2-liter turbo diesel mill blasting 225ps and 420Nm of peak power and torque numbers. This engine is beautifully mated to a 9-speed gearbox to have seamless power without compromising rpm chunks. These engine and gearbox numbers look so fancy and perfect but the car has its own drawbacks due to this same engine and gearbox. The ratios are perfect for highway cruising but when it comes to city moving the car feels over revving and always eager to punch in the torque available at wheels. Now, this same behaviour will be great for going off-roading and there it plays the perfect urban luxury crossover. Due to its compact chassis, 2016 Evoque gives a performance like its sleeker saloon siblings on the highway and one can easily touch 150kmph+ on a freeway. We did try reaching 200+ and it was with real ease.
While doing all of these this tiny SUV makes you remember every time that it has got a big mass floating a bit away from the ground zero and then the body roll is purely felt by the rear seat occupants. At some corners around when speedo clicking 60kmph once can feel a proper body roll and same gets neutralised when there is a tiny switch flicked to sports mode make the suspension stiffness on the harder side. While stopping this vehicle, the driver always feels that brakes are working on the overtime to stop this 1 tonne mass with the help of ABS and EBD.
Its very hard to find any niggles in this luxury SUV and really compare it with any other competition as there is only 1 in its segment. We are not counting GLA here as it doesn’t belong to off-roading capabilities. The only good competition for Evoque is Audi Q3 that comes with all time 4 wheel drive but it lacks in so many purpose built features that are available in Evoque. But the starting range of Audi Q3 is 30.5 lakhs compared to Evoque starts at 47 lakhs. Extra 17 lakhs include a brand image, exclusivity, all terrain performance built vehicle, eyes of everyone on the road on you and aggressive looks with a bit bigger engine. Do you want anything else?
Images: Arjun Dhavale