The Range Rover Evoque was one of the most hotly anticipated new cars in recent years, as much for its performance as for its design. Nicknamed the Range Rover ‘Baby’, its interior was designed by none other than Victoria Beckham in the hope of attracting a younger driver.
The Evoque is Range Rover’s smallest, lightest and most fuel-efficient model ever and the Dynamic Coupé Si4 version is the sportiest of its models. Despite this it still has the meaty presence of the great British Range Rover and is a good-looking car that turned heads wherever I drove. Reaching 60mph in 7.0 seconds and a top speed of 135mph, there is no mistaking that this is an impressive and compact machine.
I was immediately struck by the Evoque’s innovative and new technology including keyless entry, meaning you can open the car and start it without having to take the key out of your pocket. At the heart of the control system is Range Rover’s much acclaimed gleaming, high-definition touch-screen display with crisp graphics and simple menu structure. The display’s dual-view technology is brilliant – the driver and passenger can look at completely different screens at the same time – Eastenders for my wife and sat-nav for me. A monitor flashes an orange light on your wing mirror when a car is in your blind spot, stopping you from pulling out into passing traffic.
Driving around the city I was aware that this was a far more agile offering than the other Range Rover models, but still offered all the same Range Rover comforts. Although there is plenty of room for luggage, don’t be fooled into thinking that this has the normal off-roader’s storage. Leaving London for the weekend was a tight squeeze with two adults, a baby and a dog, and getting into the back seat on the three door model is a very tight squeeze. However, once on the open road and picking up speed, the comfortable cabin and Evoque’s smooth delivery made me forget about having to repack the car three times.
The Dynamic Coupé Si4 is a sporty, compact and spirited car that retains the great Range Rover character. It is unlikely that we’ll see many Range Rover customers downsizing their Vogue and Sport to an Evoque, but this model will entice a whole new customer base of Ranger Rover devotees.