It’s one of 2011’s most important new cars – and at last, we’ve been able to drive it! The new Range Rover Evoque is a model that sets out to rewrite the 4×4 rulebook – much like the original Range Rover did in 1970 – and Land Rover has high hopes for the model, predicting 100,000 sales a year.
Promising Ford Focus fuel economy and emissions, in a package that’s actually shorter than Ford’s new hatch, the Evoque is charged with turning the firm’s image. Land Rover expects up to 90 per cent of Evoque sales to be buyers that are new to the brand – tapping into a whole new market thanks to its head-turning looks and handling that promises to be more hot hatch than off-roader. So how does it shape up? We took a test drive in one of the pre-production prototypes at Land Rover’s Gaydon base in Warwickshire to find out.
As you settle into the drivers seat, it quickly becomes obvious that the most impressive thing about the new Range Rover Evoque is the fact that it feels every bit as robustly built, luxurious and classy as a full sized Range Rover. Of course, you sit a bit lower in the ****pit than in the larger car, but the luxurious and surprisingly spacious cabin doesn’t give you the sense that Evoque is the Range Rover experience made “lite”.