There are two wide groups of automobile enthusiasts who engage in friendly banter quite often — those who rave about the angular design of the Skoda and BMW, and the ones who are diehard fans of the flowing design of Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar. The two would, however, certainly form a bond over the new Range Rover Evoque.
The vehicle instantly strikes one for its design and panache, and concerns about the practicality, off-road performance, stance and interior space get pushed back to the recesses of the mind, for some time, at least.
We got our hand behind the wheel of the Evoque, which has been recently updated by Range Rover. Rather than a complete rework, refining the current design was a sensible decision, and Land Rover has done just what was required in the 2016 Evoque.
Design and Styling
If we haven't said that enough already, well, the USP of the Range Rover Evoque is its design. In the 2016 update, the team of designers at Land Rover has successfully added modern touches without messing up the already well-received look. The facelift features an all-new front bumper that houses large faux air intakes. The design of the headlamps remain the same, but now it also features W-shaped DRLs inside in place of the previous circular inlay. The gloss black honeycomb grille in the top-spec Dynamic variant, which we have driven, along with the pair of black bonnet vents lends a meaner look to the face of the Evoque. In fact, the overall design gives an idea of what one can expect if Range Rover decides to make an Evoque SVR.
The side profile remains the same, and yet features a new set of alloy wheels. Eighteen-inch seven-spoke alloys in the Dynamic variant, along with lower cladding, adds muscle on the sides. The rear of the SUV flaunts new LED tail lights and a new roof spoiler. The additions, along with the Phoenix Orange paint shade of our test SUV, gave a fresh feel.
Overall design gives an idea on what one can expect if Range Rover decides to make an Evoque SVR.
The interiors remains largely untouched. It is not a letdown because the SUV already features one of the finest cabin designs. The beige leather seats on the earlier model have made way for a combination of black and tan leather. The touchscreen infotainment system at the centre of the dashboard resembles JLR's new 'InControl' interface. The SUV is also loaded with a 360-degree camera, ambient lighting, heads-up display and 825-watt, 17-speaker Meridian sound system.
Engine and Transmission
The international spec 2016 Evoque comes with 2.0-litre engine from the Ingenium family. However, Indian specifications continue with the 2.2-litre SD4 diesel engine that develops 188bhp and 420Nm of torque mated to new nine-speed automatic transmission. Though the powertrain is not new, it is a refined unit. It's not a rev-happy motor, yet it packs enough punch when you accelerate. The nine-speed gearbox is smooth but shifts feel a bit slower for sudden inputs. The sport mode does resolve this issue but at the cost of fuel efficiency.
Drive and Performance
Step into the car, and the first thing you notice is the seating position that gives a better outside view. The front seats can be adjusted electrically and have three memory options. The visibility via the rear windshield is limited due to small glass section. The 360-degree camera comes handy here. It also helps to negotiate narrow roads. The rear seat comfort is a tad mediocre. The smaller side glass section may give a cramped feel to a six-feet tall person. The suspension of the Evoque has been tuned slightly stiff and that does hamper its ride quality. The setup handles smaller potholes and unevenness of the roads smoothly but when it comes to larger bumps, it hampers the comfort level inside. The tuning is spot on for highway driving and gives a lot of confident to push hard over the corners. The SUV does feel solid even on three-digit speeds and it just took eight to nine seconds to reach the 100kmph speed.
Range Rover Evoque is already one of the most good-looking SUVs in the market. With the new updates, Land Rover has further enhanced the desirability level.
The performance of the engine and transmission is leaner. The paddle shifter adds more fun in driving especially when overtaking. The use of the paddle shifter also helps one deal with the laziness of the transmission. The new gearbox also aids in better fuel efficiency. In the stint with us, the 2016 Evoque returned average fuel efficiency of over 11 kmpl.
Being an SUV, the Evoque also comes with a Terrain Response system that optimises the engine response and gearbox setup, according to the terrains such as mud ruts, gravel, grass, sand, etc. The system with hill descent control made our short off-road attempts stress-free.
Price and Verdict
The 2016 Range Rover Evoque comes in four trim levels — Pure, SE, HSE and HSE Dynamic — with prices ranging from Rs. 47.1 lakh to Rs. 63.2 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). Range Rover Evoque is already one of the good-looking SUVs in the market. With the new updates, Land Rover has enhanced further the desirability level. The 2016 Evoque looks sharper and fresh. In terms of performance, the 2016 Evoque might not live up to the competitors, but it continues to rank high in terms of flaunt value. Style is what differentiates the Evoque from its rivals. The 2016 model adds more style and if you want to stand out from the crowd, you should consider the 2016 Range Rover Evoque.
|Engine||in-line 4-cyl, 2179cc, diesel|
|Torque||420Nm @ 1750rpm|
|LxWxH||4355mm x 1985mm x 1635mm|
|Fuel Tank capacity||57 litres|