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Land Rover's Evoque is here!

Land Rover has launched the all-new Evoque in India. This sports utility vehicle (SUV) has taken the company into a totally different direction, compared to its existing models.

autos Updated: Dec 23, 2011 14:33 IST
Shapur Kotwal
Land Rover

Land-Rover-Evoque

Land Rover has launched the all-new Evoque in India. This sports utility vehicle (SUV) has taken the company into a totally different direction, compared to its existing models. Looking stunning in the flesh, the modern lines and raked-back profile make it stand out in Mumbai’s day-to-day traffic. It is far removed from the traditional uprightness the company is known for and the show-car-like lines make it tough to look away from.

The detailing of both the front and rear lights is fantastic. The 18-inch wheels are large enough to give it a solid stance; and even though this SUV doesn’t have size on its side, it has massive road presence. Step inside and you’ll notice you sit lower too, but this apart, you’ll love the interiors – especially the soft-touch surfaces on the dashboard and the way everything feels properly expensive. Automatic Evoques get Jaguar’s rotary gear selector that rises from the centre console and, further down, there are switches for Land Rover’s Terrain Response off-road system that reconfigures the car’s software and hardware depending on the surface you’re driving on.

The cabin is a comfy place to be because the seats are widely adjustable, as is the steering. However, the huge wing mirrors do obstruct forward view and the short squab of the rear seats isn’t ideal. But apart from that, this is a great cabin to sit in. It’s a lot more accommodating than it looks from outside. There’s loads of legroom, good headroom and it’s nowhere near as claustrophobic as the tapering window line would suggest. This car also has a massive panoramic sunroof as well.

We drove the Evoque SD4, which with five-doors, is a compact SUV. Push the engine start button and you’ll be surprised by the lack of clatter from the 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel variant. The engine remains impressively refined even near its redline. The 2,179cc engine makes 187bhp and 42.8kgm of torque – and the motor delivers this power in a nice, linear manner. However, it doesn’t feel very quick and the six-speed paddle-shift auto could have been better.

Still, the Evoque shows remarkable composure and tight body control. There’s not the slightest squeal from the 18-inch tyres and it even changes direction eagerly. It’s just that the electric steering is a bit light and inconsistent off centre. As for the ride, we found that it dealt with most surfaces authoritatively, with only the sharper bumps kicking through.

Indian Evoques are slightly different from the European ones. The biggest change is that the air-intake for the engine is placed higher, but engineers have also tuned the suspension to work with smaller wheels and higher-profile tyres.

Land Rover Evoque
Price:
Rs 56.7 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai)
Fuel: Diesel
Installation: Front, transverse, AWD
Type: 4 cyls in-line, 2,179cc, common-rail turbo-diesel
Power: 187bhp at 3,500rpm
Torque: 187bhp at 3,500rpm
Gearbox: 6-speed automatic
Length: 4,355mm
Width: 1,965mm
Height: 1,605mm
Wheel base: 2,660mm
Weight: 1,715kg

Verdict
Prices for this stylish, compact SUV start from Rs 56.7 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai), with the sexier petrol two-door costing Rs 72 lakh. Yes, it is expensive, but it’s also unique. What you do get for the extra money though is a high-quality, stunning looking and deeply desirable compact SUV.