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Monday 8th October 2012

PH Fleet: Range Rover Evoque

So, the element of surprise has passed - what about the delight bit?



We've been writing a lot about grown-up Range Rovers recently on PH. We've said farewell to the outgoing L322. Hello to the new L405. Even celebrated a classic one as Shed Of The Week. And apparently ignored the one we've actually been running. Er, sorry about that.

The Evoque gatecrashes the Olympic time trial...
The Evoque gatecrashes the Olympic time trial...
There are mitigating factors for the lack of coverage that I won't bore you with now but the Evoque has been plenty busy and forging something of a reputation for itself as a gatecrasher of large international events that happen to have been staged close to PH towers.

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.

...and the new Range Rover launch too
...and the new Range Rover launch too
As well as joining me to cheer Wiggins on (complete with a PH flag) Mr Garlick has been enjoying the Evoque's charms too, or at least was until a deflating experience with the nearside rear tyre. The can of goo and compressor in the boot got him home but didn't endear him to the guys at KwikFit, who explained the stuff makes it hard to repair tyres. They didn't have the necessary 245/45R20 Continental in stock at the Kingston branch either, the last in the company thankfully just down the road in Surbiton and fitted, done and dusted for a not inconsiderable £320. That'll be the Bling tax right there.

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.

New tyre cost a hearty £320
New tyre cost a hearty £320
But what of the Evoque itself? The thirst (high 20s for my motorway run, high teens for Garlick's urban one) is an ongoing concern, offset by the surprising sprightliness for a car of such heft and apparently unfavourable weight distribution. True, it's hardly what you'd call flickable or light on its feet but the JLR chassis boys sure know a thing or two about control weighting and feel and if you're of the mindset that making progress is about maintaining speed rather than constantly trying to scrub it off and then build it back up again the Evoque is happy to play your game. So long as you avoid the 'Dynamic' setting on the suspension. Which is just bone shakingly awful.

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.

On-message shopping, off-message swearing
On-message shopping, off-message swearing
It's not without niggles, mind. Chief among them the powered tailgate. I know it's a popular feature for SUVs and, ah, the target audience who often can't reach the bootlid to pull it shut. But it takes an age to open and shut and unless all your stuff is at least a foot away from the sill has a big huff, almost shuts, bleeps in alarm and then grindingly starts opening again. Last time I argued with this process on a Range Rover Sport the angry shove to force it shut ended up ripping the strut off the bootlid. So I'm keeping my hands to myself and resorting to verbal violence instead, which doesn't go down very well in polite society, AKA Waitrose car park.

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.


FACT SHEET
Car:
2012 Range Rover Evoque Si4 Coupe
Run by: Dan (and Garlick, on occasion!)
On fleet since: July 2012
Mileage: 4,725
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.

Previous reports:
Love it or loathe it the Evoque is an interesting car

 

Dan Trent
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Author Discussion

Ashley1987

Original Poster:

286 posts

25 months

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Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
I'm sure its a great car, I love a well designed interior and a quality feel however it just looks really bad IMO. I would stick to a more traditional RR.

Greg 172

179 posts

87 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
£320? For a single tyre?

Digga

13,579 posts

169 months

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Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
On the odd occasion I get the chance to drive Mrs Digga's without here in the passenger seat (tutting about fuel consumption and tyre wear etc.) I'd concur that the Evoke really does know how to conserve momentum and is deceptively sure-footed when making progress.

yonex

4,904 posts

54 months

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Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Greg 172 said:
£320? For a single tyre?
Just what I thought, the world's gone mad!!!

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.

MrHooky

32 posts

28 months

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Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Enjoyed reading this. Really like that blue. Saw a 5 door in similar spec and it looked good.

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…

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Sexual Chocolate

1,583 posts

30 months

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Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
I was looking at these yesterrday from a company car perspective. Surprising amount of headroom considering the way they look and the cabin is done out alright. Not as bad as I thought it would be. Boot space looks a bit non existent though.

Allblackdup

3,308 posts

94 months

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Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
I really like them and that's a stunning colour but that seems an awful lot of money on one.

Is there a big model range and thus a wide price bracket?

What other cars would you compare this against?

F1GTRUeno

2,500 posts

104 months

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Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
40 grand basic.

Silly.

NGK210

671 posts

31 months

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Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
So, strip away all the hype and opinions re the Evoque's appearance and lifestyle twaddle and you're left with a thirsty SUV that doesn't handle particularly well. Plus ça change.rolleyes

WillBrumBrum

594 posts

84 months

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Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Tarts handbag. However, I do look forward to the convertable version coming out... in a perverse kid of way.

GranCab

531 posts

32 months

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Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Proof of the pudding is in the eating and there are plenty of consumers of these. I love the looks and the stance.

I'm guessing target market includes those trading up from a MINI of some description looking for more space etc.

Ex Boy Racer

553 posts

78 months

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Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
I don't know which sums up modern society best - the success of the Evoque or the success of X Factor.

ewenm

27,006 posts

131 months

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Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Ex Boy Racer said:
I don't know which sums up modern society best - the success of the Evoque or the success of X Factor.
At least the success of the Evoque has real positive implications for jobs and income for a few thousand people in the UK, unlike the X-Factor.

Edited by ewenm on Monday 8th October 14:21

Bill

32,051 posts

141 months

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Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
And there's more talent in an Evoque. hehe

rtz62

620 posts

41 months

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Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
A triumph of style over substance. A bit like the 'lady' who had some input into it, Victoria Beckham.
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.

turboman786

684 posts

73 months

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Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Greg 172 said:
£320? For a single tyre?
I paid £380 for a tyre last week for my BMW 740d..the curse of having runflats....never again.

edo

14,529 posts

151 months

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Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
I quite like it, but for the money I'd like to see a 6cyl derv.

dingocooke

582 posts

106 months

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Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Hmmm I had a good look round one at the last Ashby Folville meet; it was a dealers promo display car (hats off to the dealer's initiative)
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!

JSE993

30 posts

47 months

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Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Very small glass area for the side windows = poor visibility = potentially dangerous, plus not very easy to thread though urban areas.

Cotic

248 posts

38 months

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Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
It's a 240BHP, 4wd petrol SUV. I'm guessing that the 'high 20's' MPG wasn't too much of a surprise?
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