The new, award-winning 2012 Range Rover Evoque is the best small luxury SUV that Land Rover has ever introduced, but will its high sticker price scare off customers?
Would you pay a premium for a vehicle that turns heads wherever you go? Land Rover’s new Range Rover Evoque small luxury SUV has many fine qualities—including pep, top-of-class fuel economy, standard all-wheel drive, and excellent off-road capabilities—but the main thing that sets it apart from rivals such as the Audi Q5, the Mercedes GLK350, and the hot-selling BMW X3 is the way it looks. Unusually for an SUV, the Evoque is available as a two-door coupe as well as a four-door, and its sloping roofline, customizable interior, and distinctive color combinations (12 exterior colors with a choice of three contrasting roof colors) make it stand out from the crowd. However, its 44 grand starting price is thousands above those of its German rivals.
The cabin is stylish, surprisingly roomy, and can be customized in numerous ways. However, luggage space lags the competition, both with the rear seats up and down. There’s also an annoying lag time after you enter touchscreen commands.
The Evoque is powered by a 2.0-liter, 240-horsepower four-cylinder engine that generates 250 lb.-ft. of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive, and Land Rover’s Terrain Response off-road system are all standard.
Land Rover says the Evoque accelerates from zero to 60 in 7.1 seconds—the same as the Audi Q5 2.0T, quicker than the Acura ZDX (7.3 seconds, according to Edmunds.com), but slower than the BMW X3 xDrive28i (6.7 seconds) and Mercedes GLK350 (6.5 seconds).
Maximum towing capacity is 3,500 lb. Luggage space is a modest 20.3 cu. ft. with the rear seats up and 51.0 cu. ft. with the seats down, less than in the Audi Q5 (29.1/57.3), Acura ZDX (26.3/55.8), Mercedes GLK350 (23.3/54.7), and the BMW X3 (27.6/63.6).
The Evoque is rated to get 18 miles per gallon in the city, 28 on the highway, 22 average. The Audi Q5 2.0T (20/27/22) does about as well; the BMW X3 xDrive28i (19/25/21), Mercedes GLK350 4Matic (16/21/18), and Acura ZDX (16/23/19) lag behind.
The Evoque doesn’t yet have government crash-test ratings but comes standard with stability, traction, and trailer-sway control. Also standard are seven air bags, including front-side and head-protecting side curtain bags.
Starting price is $43,995 for the four-door Pure Plus model and $44,995 for the coupe, well above the Audi Q5 2.0T (starting price: $36,475), BMW X3 xDrive28i ($37,995), and Mercedes GLK350 4Matic ($38,775), but less than Acura’s ZDX ($46,905).