Not that it isn’t a thrill to drive, but the Evoque Coupé is so utterly different that not discussing its looks—especially in an urbanites’ publication like Daily XY—would be a sin.
It seems compact but is more than two metres wide and 4,365mm long, venturing into SUV territory. Yet it still performs a neat 11.3m turning circle, de rigeur for city life. Meanwhile, it’s 1,605mm tall, nearly offering soccer mom down-viewing. Remember its pedigree: you can safely take that height into up to half a metre of water—which is bound to get you noticed in the city.
With two doors and sloping rear, a la coupé, it doesn’t scream practicality but chances are its owners are hoping to be stared at. Nonetheless those features make it hard to get into the rear and see through the rear window.
Inside it’s as luxurious as you’d expect from Range Rover. Mind, this tester was well tricked out with $5,000 in upgrades. Some of the finest additions were the genuine leather seats and accents, concert hall Meridian stereo, and magnificent panoramic sunroof, whose blind slides majestically back revealing nearly the entire overhead to sunlight.
The Evoque’s peppy 2.0L four-cylinder engine, lefts forth 240-hp and 251 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy may not be your first reason for buying. Go lightly on the accelerator. (Testing week was mid-April and it was still riding on 19-inch Pirelli winter tires, which will reduce fuel efficiency, though.)
Instead of a traditional shift knob taking you from park to drive and reverse, Land Rover has the charming and unique ‘advanced rotary gearshift’. It’s a dial that floats up from a flat surface when you press the start button. Among other welcome distractions, you can dial into sport mode and paddle shift for a completely different feeling over the regular drive.
Best news? When you leave the city, you have a spread of terrain options allowing you to go pretty much anywhere off road. Remember its pedigree.
Pricing: 2013 Range Rover Evoque
Base price: $48,095
Pure Plus Package: $4,500
Includes: Pure City content, plus: PURE Grained Leather, Fixed Panoramic Roof Power Blinds, Headlight Power Wash, Homelink® Fog Lights – Front
Sirius Satellite radio: $450
Price as tested: $54,315
Though a co-owner and former editor of DailyXY, Steven Bochenek is actually an advertising writer who does some journalism on the side. In 2011 he was accepted into the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada. His other interests include playing music, long-distance running, skiing and writing in the third person.
Photo courtesy of Land Rover.