I’ve decided that life with an Evoque must be a little bit like dating a supermodel. Not that I’ve had the opportunity to step out with Kate Moss or one of her catwalk-coasting friends (dream on, Fowler), but the way you get stared at in the Evoque and snapped by passing motorists or sightseers makes you feel a bit like a celeb yourself.
As I’d want to with Ms Moss, I have to lavish gifts on my Range Rover – in this case expensive diesel. Economy in the low 30s seems to be the norm among Evoque owners, and frankly that isn’t good enough.
Beauty, of course, is more than skin deep and, fuel economy aside, the Evoque’s talents are huge. With the mileage fast approaching 10,000 miles in nearly five months of ownership, I’m really appreciating the power of the engine and the poise of the chassis.
Select the dynamic chassis mode to tighten up the body control (and turn the dials red), stick the auto gearbox selector into sport mode and flick down a gear using the paddles behind the steering wheel – all of a sudden the Evoque is more Jessica Ennis than Kate Moss. A great long-term test of a car, though, is whether you can rely on it when you really need it – and I’m not talking about whether it will break down, more about it being a comforting friend.
I recently covered over 1,200 miles in a week due to a family emergency and the Evoque helped me no end. In the many hours I’ve sat behind the wheel I’ve never once had a twinge of discomfort from my back – the seats are simply superb.
The navigation system has its foibles (too many commands before it sets its path), but it works well with reliable traffic updates. And then there’s the stereo…
Meridian has produced a wonder of a sound system – the connection with my iPhone works superbly and the DAB radio is simply brilliant, but what impresses most is the sound quality, at any volume. You can really, really turn it up and it just keeps on getting better – even with some of the questionable pop I stick through the speakers!
Most of my journeys have been made with just me on board, but no passenger has ever had anything but praise for the interior quality or style – the view is certainly as good inside the car as outside. But if I was dating a supermodel, I’d probably be single, which is just as well as the Evoque isn’t the greatest family car.
Space in the back is okay, but in the real world, with three teenage kids to cart around, the Evoque is just too small for comfort. Although short journeys are just about bearable, any trip over an hour long requires one of two things: the stereo turned up even louder to drown out the moans, or good old-fashioned bribery. The boot isn’t exactly massive, either. A week’s worth of shopping will often have to spill over on to the back seat.
Life, I’m told, is all about compromises and I’m sure if I was dating a supermodel, there’d be a fair few of them. Is the Evoque worth the compromises? There aren’t that many cars that can put a spring in your step every time you walk towards it, whatever your mood, but the Evoque certainly can.
“I love the look of the Evoque and its classy cabin is second to none. But my Audi Q3 feels sharper to drive and has a much smaller thirst for fuel.”
Pete Gibson, Staff photographer
“Well done Range Rover on producing a world class product made in the West Midlands. The company simply cannot build Evoques fast enough to keep up with demand”
IronChicken, via www.autoexpress.co.uk