Nigel Donnelly

See other Blog articles filed in ‘Tow cars’ written by Nigel Donnelly
   
YOU MAY HAVE read that Victoria Beckham is working on a special edition of the new Range Rover Evoque. Mention this marketing puffery to one of Land Rover's engineers and they roll their eyes. The car doesn't need naff celebrity endorsement.

The Evoque breaks new ground for a Range Rover. It's far lighter than either the Range Rover or Range Rover Sport, with kerbweights starting from 1595kg. The Evoque is also the most fuel-efficient Range Rover, returning 57.6mpg on the combined cycle and emitting 129g/km of carbon dioxide if you choose the two-wheel-drive diesel Coupe.

That model won't be delivered to customers until early next year, but 4x4 Evoques are already rolling out of showrooms as fast as Land Rover can build them, with a waiting list of close to six months.

Range Rover Evoque

 

First impression of the Evoque

We've driven the higher powered 4x4 diesel with both manual and automatic gearboxes, as well as the 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol.

The petrol goes like stink and sounds much better than the diesel, but most buyers will be filling up at the black pump. The 187bhp 2.2-litre diesel may not be as swift as the petrol model, but it's no slouch. With 310lb.ft of torque and a kerbweight of at least 1670kg, depending on the exact specification, it should easily cope with any sensibly matched tourer. The manual gearbox has a short and precise action which keen drivers will enjoy, although the auto suits the urbane but sporty character of the car well.

To drive, the Evoque is almost as good as it looks. The ride isn't quite as supple as a big Range Rover's, but it copes with bumps better than rivals from the likes of Audi and BMW. The cars we drove were fitted with Adaptive Drive, which uses clever magnetic dampers to vary the behaviour of the suspension. Choosing the Dynamic setting firms things up nicely, with excellent body control over dips and crests.

For buyers who rarely use the rear seats, the three-door Coupe is even better looking than the five-door, and still has decent boot space. However, the shallow windows leave rear-seat passengers feeling rather hemmed in, even in the five-door.

Unfortunately, the cachet of the Range Rover name means the Evoque is very expensive. Prices start from £27,955, rising to £38,995. That's a lot to pay for a 4x4 of this size, designed with Victoria Beckham's help or not.

There'll be a more detailed review of the new Evoque in the December issue of Practical Caravan. For digital subscriptions go to Zineo

Share with friends

Follow us on

Most recent caravan reviews

The Practical Caravan Caravelair Antarès 476 review – 1 - The Caravelair Antarès 476's quirky, one 'eye' looks hint at the unusual layout inside – it has an MTPLM of 1200kg (© Phil Russell/Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Buccaneer Galera review – 1 - The silver sides are new and give the 2017-season Buccaneer caravans a distinctive, upmarket look (© Andy Jenkinson/Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Hymer Nova GL 470 review – 1 - Its external styling is a little boxy and retro, but there's no getting away from the Hymer Nova GL 470's £27,690 price and 1700kg MTPLM (© Practical Caravan)

Xplore 554

£15,599

The Practical Caravan Xplore 554 review – 1 - The new-for-2017 Xplore 554 is aimed at couples and has a 1335kg MTPLM (© Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Knaus StarClass 480 review – 1 - A Continental van with its door on the UK nearside, shows that Knaus is committed to wooing British caravanners – does it work with the StarClass 480? (© Peter Baber/Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Swift Basecamp review – 1 - This graphics package was a £795 option, and there are plenty others to choose from (© Phil Russell/Practical Caravan)