Rolling in a Range Rover

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    Courtesy for Rey Mena

      I have to get this off of my chest before writing a review of the Range Rover Evoque. We have a tendency to look at the past as an indicator of the future when it comes to buying (or reviewing) a new vehicle. That’s not a bad thing. It’s good to know reliability studies, resale charts and service reports. But there’s a point where “paralysis from analysis” comes in and you don’t look at the car for what it provides the driver.

      I was guilty of that when I first got in the Range Rover Evoque. My mind was filled with stories and talk about the brand. Guess what? It didn’t take very long to change my mind. This car is cool - we’re talking standing on the beach in Luddington on a fall morning kind of cool.

      The two liter turbocharged 4 cylinder motor generates 240hp and 250ft. pounds of torque. Smooth power band all the way through the gears (barely noticeable lag when you take off). All wheel drive with traction control and Terrain Response System (I couldn’t bring myself to take it off-road...just too pretty). Stable drive with no “SUV sway” that you feel in some of the larger models. It’s a solid drive mechanically. But that’s not where the Evoque shines.

      Can I tell you what caught my eye when I got inside? that dash panel - the Oxford leather dash panel. I know. Not your normal “oh wow” moment in a new car. But if you sit in a lot of new cars, you know what I’m talking about. How many companies spend all this time and energy on the interior experience, then go cheap on the dash panel. The Evoque has a wonderful interior (the Evoque leather seats and accents in the cabin are world class) and the stitched Oxford leather dash panel is something you’ll notice.

      The premium package features an 825 watt - 17 speaker HD radio sound system (that’s not a typo). Heated seats, heated steering wheel, dual climate control, cruise control, power adjust on both front seats, all the bells and whistles (although I think adaptive cruise control should be mandatory going forward for all cars).

      Mileage? 23 average (28 on the highway) - seemed very accurate in my one week test drive.

      Cost? list at $56,000 with the Prestige Premium Package.

      Bottom line? See earlier in my review. The Range Rover Evoque is cool. The “I want to be seen in this” cool. Fun to drive, responsive, comfortable, well appointed and refined. In my mind this what luxury is supposed to be about - well done Range Rover.

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