11:44 Thursday 21 February 2013

Why the Evoque is such a big success

Written byBY GARETH BUTTERFIELD

LAND Rover’s stunning new Range Rover Evoque has re-written the rule book for small SUVs. It’s as good to drive as it is to look at and it’s proving popular with style-conscious buyers that might not have looked twice at an off-roader before.

But beneath all the ‘bling’ and modern touches, there’s still the beating heart of a Land Rover waiting to get out - not that that’s a bad thing, of course.

Its interior feels every bit like a modern Range Rover should, apart from being a bit smaller. It’s solidly built, practical, and comfortable with a huge array of technology on offer if you tick all the right boxes.

It borrows heavily from its larger siblings, with a smattering of Jaguar parts but there’s still all the off road gadgetry you might hope for in the four-wheel-drive models, including the Terrain Response system and cameras showing every angle.

But while the Evoque hides its mud-plugging capabilities more than any other Range Rover model that has gone before it, it’s on the road that it really impresses.

Thanks to some very clever suspension technology, which comes as an inexpensive optional extra on most models, it handles like a properly sporty car. The suspension’s damping is better than any other SUV on the market.

Allied to a strong, 2.2 litre diesel engine, or a more powerful petrol engine if you so wish, and with a fine automatic gearbox on offer, it’s possible to drive the Evoque with the same spirited approach to corners you would in a half-decent hot hatch.

It’s available in five door or a three-door ‘coupe’ body style and has one of the biggest selections of colour and trim options, making this one of the most personalisable Range Rovers ever made.

So it’s got the capabilities to match its looks, but its starting cost of around £30,000 will only get you a very basic model. It’s best to budget around £40,000 for your ideal model.

But your £40,000 will put you in one of the best all-round cars on the road today. And you’ll quickly see why it’s proving to be such a popular for people from all walks of life.

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