PH Fleet: Range Rover Evoque
So, the element of surprise has passed - what about the delight bit?
First of these was some little sporting gathering called the Olympics. With Mr Wiggins and those chasing him for gold in the cycling time trial due to pass pretty much right past the office the choice was to stay at home and watch it on telly (sorry Stuart, work from home I meant to say...) or get up stupidly early to get into the office before the roads were closed. Being a bit of a cycling fan and keen to cheer Wiggins on I chose the latter and grabbed the opportunity to get a cheeky pic of the Evoque on the course minutes before the cordons went down.
Back up and running the Evoque's on-brand status meant I managed to sneak right up to the door of the launch for the 'proper' Range Rover taking place in nearby Richmond Park. A slightly startled security guy asked me how the hell I'd managed to get all the way up to the event rather than use the shuttle bus everyone else was on, the combination of vehicle pass and Range Rover badges obviously carrying more weight than they were meant to.
That feelgood factor just continues to, well, make me feel good too. The novelty of the looks hasn't waned a bit, the fun stuff like the Evoque outline in the puddle lights indicative of self confidence that just sweeps you along. People love it too, even those, myself included, who wouldn't have themselves down as the SUV type. "It's not my kind of thing but I like what they've done..." is a common sentiment. Maybe it's that post-Olympic national pride, or the news of 24-hour shifts to keep up with demand but I just feel immensely proud of the Evoque's contribution to UK PLC.
So life is generally good with the Evoque. But to test the theory of whether or not a Freelander offers a similar vibe but in a more honest, no-nonsense and practical package we're going to try one of those for a bit too. More on this in due course.
Car: 2012 Range Rover Evoque Si4 Coupe
Run by: Dan (and Garlick, on occasion!)
On fleet since: July 2012
List price new: £46,475 (Basic list of £40,995 plus £550 for Mauritius Blue metallic paint, £200 for leather, £305 for xenon lights and £4,425 for Lux Pack comprising powered tailgate, panoramic roof, Meridian audio, TV, surround camera system, blind spot monitor, keyless entry and Park Assist)
Last month at a glance: Going places it shouldn't, mainly. And getting an expensive puncture.
Love it or loathe it the Evoque is an interesting car
Secondly powered hatchbacks should only be allowed in the land of the feeble. I had one on an Infinity the other week and it was bloody embarrassing. When it was switched off it was still a PITA as you had to fight against the mechanism rather than mere gas struts.
We acquired the ed4 2WD version for two thirds of the price – bit less blingy but can’t really see the additional benefit in spending another £15k. The eD4 once moving seems plenty quick enough for a family wagon. Ours has leather, pano roof and 19” diamond turned wheels which in my opinion look classier that the ‘bit too blingy’ 20” you see on a lot of cars. Managing 45-50 on a motorway with 35-40 in urban conditions. The SI4 fuel consumption seems shocking.
Be interesting to see what you think after running a freelander. I’m sure it will perform a similar job (presume you’ll be given an SD4 model) I just doubt it will feel as special as the Evoque - might struggle to get into RR VIP areas in it too…
I point and laugh at everyone I see, I honestly think they are comical, and the people who get suckered into buying are clowns.
I'd like to be buried in one, that wat it would be one less that people would have to look at.
It looked very Liberace to me; we all sniggered at how effeminat it looked to us, and definately not my taste at all, have to agree as many have said £40k basic...ouch!!
However, my pal who does Tier 3 work for them says they're working 3 shifts to keep up building them with 80% of production going stateside.
So ignoring the tast issue; its a success story and if that means more stable jobs over at Landrover, well thats great news!