According to my friend this makes me either the sort of person who does the morning school run - or the one that wallows around in mud for a living. I actually don’t know what category I fall into, but I assume I am now the typical school run dad who thinks that owning a 4x4 will make me look cool.
To be honest, I know nothing of what a Land Rover can actually do, and I have no concept of what Low or High Range means or what a diff lock is - and I certainly have no idea how any of this works. What I know about off-road, you could write on a match head. This is of course not uncommon, because I have one friend who has a Range Rover and the other who has a Discovery, and both have about the same knowledge as me. One thing we all do agree on though is that if you do buy a Range Rover or a Land Rover, it will be absolutely brilliant.
As I said earlier I have no idea what going off road actually entails, so when Land Rover offered me a Range Rover Evoque for a week, I could hardly contain myself.
You only have to look at it and it makes you go all weak at the knees. I have to say, that this is one of the smartest 4x4 currently on the market. I love the sweeping roof line, and the LED lighting all around. I also like the way is has presence on the road. There were also a number of occasions whilst I was out and about where people just stopped and looked.
So, what shall I do with my week with the Evoque then? Well, I decided to take a leisurely drive to The Cotswolds. This was just what I wanted- as it gave me time to play with that brilliant 190ps 2.2 litre diesel engine with 9-speed Transmission. Yes that’s right – 9 speed.
Remember what I said earlier? For some reason most people think that a Range Rover is only used for the school runs. Well this was all about to change - it was time to hit the off road button. Now, I am not going to bore you with a long drawn out off road review, I’m going to get straight to the point. There is nothing on earth that the Evoque would not get over, get up, go down or even swim in. I am sure if there had been a tree rope strong enough to hold it close by- it would have shimmed up that too.
So, in a nutshell, this car does off road brilliantly! No matter how rubbish you are on the muddy stuff; the Evoque just keeps going. It is just a matter of pressing a few buttons and off you go into the unknown.
Now we have cleared that up, let’s move on. For the 2014 model of Evoque, there are significantly enhanced features including: Park Exit (to automatically exit parallel parking bays), Perpendicular Park (to position the car centrally in parking bays), Closing Vehicle Sensing and Reverse Traffic Detection (to warn drivers of oncoming traffic), Lane Departure Warning, Traffic Sign Recognition and Wade Sensing.
As for the interior, you get nearly everything you’d expect from a Range Rover inside an Evoque – while the amount of space inside is actually really good considering its more compact dimensions. The seats are comfortable and luxurious, and the interior is made from quality materials that would put an Aston Martin to shame. The Evoque's cabin is also extremely quiet, making it excellent for long motorway journeys.
The Evoque’s bigger brother, the Range Rover is a proper 4x4 that does the job it was designed to do brilliantly - and like nothing else I have ever come across. But, so can the Evoque too. I have to take my hat off to the Land Rover engineers for doing a fantastic job of making not only the best, but the most stylish compact 4x4’s on the current market.
To sum up: Brilliant, just brilliant.
Range Rover Evoque SD4 2.2 litre diesel engine with 9-speedTransmission – £41,505 - on the road and including fitted options
Cubic Capacity: 2.2 litres
Power: 190@4000 ps/rpm
Urban Fuel: 40.9 mpg
Extra Urban: 54.3 mpg
Combined: 48.7 mpg
CO² Emissions: 153 g/km By Anthony Yates