Reviews

2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque – The Niggles

Miles to date: 17,416

Long-Term Update: Fall 2012 Array Miles to date: 17,416

Simply put, it has character.

The niggles. Also known as the gripes. They’re the sort of small complaints that bubble to the surface at some point for every Four Seasons vehicle, even the ones we really like. That point seems to have arrived for our Land Rover Range Rover Evoque.
Associate web editor Jake Holmes kicks things off with the interior: “I absolutely love almost everything about the Evoque, but I’m not especially fond of the seating position. It’s awkward to begin with, and I can never get the steering wheel quite where I want it because the tilt mechanism has only a few detents.”


Other editors pick up the thread. “The interior looks great, but I’m not a fan of the angled center console,” notes managing editor of digital platforms Jennifer Misaros. “It’s too hard to reach some buttons, and the touchscreen can be difficult to see and use because of the distance from the driver’s seat.” Copy editor Rusty Blackwell adds a complaint about the aluminum dashboard trim: “It sometimes reflects an intense glare into your eyes.”
Editors are also questioning the consistency of the Evoque’s electric power steering, which impresses with its precision but can feel overboosted at certain speeds. “Overall it has good weight and feel,” says Holmes, “but I constantly feel the assist level changing, sending a twitchy and unnatural feeling through the wheel.”
Then there’s our most consistent yearlong gripe, the six-speed automatic transmission. “I still love the Evoque but am now starting to understand some of the complaints others have had about the transmission,” writes associate web editor Donny Nordlicht. “It’s often clunky on downshifts and harsh on upshifts.”
Our five-month itch was probably aggravated by the presence of a new-for-2013 BMW X1 in our short-term fleet. The Bimmer crossover visited our offices in xDrive28i form—that’s all-wheel drive with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, for those who (understandably) can’t decode BMW badges. Nordlicht, one of the Evoque’s biggest boosters, reluctantly points out the X1’s advantages:

“The X1’s silken eight-speed automatic puts the Evoque’s six-speed to shame, although I do much prefer Land Rover’s rotary shifter to BMW’s counterintuitive lever. Its seating position is lower and more sporting. And although the Evoque’s electrically assisted steering is quite good, the BMW’s hydraulic power steering is markedly better—more direct, better weighted, more communicative, and more organic feeling. Poor, poor Evoque.”
Don’t think, for all our nitpicking, that we’re ready to quit on the stylish Range Rover. Road test editor Christopher Nelson reminds us why. “Simply put, it has character. Most cars—especially crossovers—don’t have a personality. This one does. The interior is roomy, bright, sporty, and elegant. It handles well and has enjoyable steering. The turbo four-cylinder is mostly smooth and pulls hard.”
It also continues to attract a crowd. “People stare, people gawk, people chase you down to ask questions and talk your ear off about it,” reports associate web editor Evan McCausland, sharing the reaction of one particularly excited pizza-store cashier: “That’s a LAND ROVER?! Unbelievable; I mean, it looks as if it’s a concept car or something.”
Finally, it’s worth noting that the Evoque hasn’t shown any signs of quitting on us, either. It rolled through its first complimentary maintenance—scheduled at an unusually high 15,000 miles—requiring nothing aside from a routine oil-and-filter change. We did have to shell out $1115, though, after a rock cracked the Evoque’s heated front windshield. “Let’s not do that again,” groans Nelson.

Overview

  • Base price (with dest.) $41,995
  • Price as tested $49,635
  • Body Style 4-door crossover
  • Accommodation 5-passenger
  • Construction Steel unibody

Powertrain

  • Engine 16-valve DOHC turbocharged I-4
  • Displacement 2.0 liters (122 cu in)
  • Power 240 hp @ 5500 rpm
  • Torque 251 lb-ft @ 1750 rpm
  • Transmission 6-speed automatic
  • Drive Four-wheel
  • Fuel Economy 18/28/22 (city/hwy/combined)

Chassis

  • Steering Electrically assisted
  • Turns lock-to-lock 2.45
  • Turning circle 37.1 ft
  • Suspension, Front Control arm, coil spring
  • Suspension, Rear Control arm, coil spring
  • Brakes F/R 11.8″x1.1″ vented disc/11.9″x0.4″ solid disc
  • Wheels 19-inch aluminum
  • Tires Continental CrossContact
  • Tire Size 235/55VR-19

Measurements

  • Headroom F/R 40.3/39.7 in
  • Legroom F/R 40.1/36.4 in
  • Shoulder Room F/R 56.6/55.4 in
  • Wheelbase 104.8 in
  • Track F/R 63.9/64.1 in
  • L x W x H 171.5 x 83.7 x 64.4 in
  • Caro Capacity 20.3/51.0 cu ft
  • Weight 3902 lb
  • Weigh dist. F/R 61/39%
  • Fuel Capacity 18.5 gal
  • Est. Range 400 miles
  • Fuel Grade 91 octane (premium unleaded)

Equipment

  • standard equipment

    • Keyless ignition
    • 11-speaker Meridian audio system
    • Bluetooth audio and phone connectivity
    • USB port
    • iPod connectivity
    • Auxiliary audio jack
    • Power tailgate
    • Adjustable ambient interior lights
    • Cruise control
    • Automatic dual-zone climate control
    • Power front seats w/seat belt pre-tensioners
    • Front and rear parking assist
    • Rearview camera
    • Automatic halogen headlights
    • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
    • Stability and traction control
    • Hill start assist and hill descent control
    • Trailer stability assist
    • Paddle shifters
    • Terrain Response System (Normal/Snow/Mud/Sand)

Options

  • Pure Premium Xenon package
  • $5,890
  • Keyless entry
  • Surround camera system
  • HDD navigation w/voice control
  • 17-speaker Meridian audio system
  • 10-disc CD hard drive
  • Adaptive Xenon headlights
  • LED signature lights
  • Cargo storage rails
  • Climate Comfort package
  • $1,000
  • Heated front seats, steering wheel, windshield, and washer nozzles
  • SiriusXM satellite radio and HD radio $750

 

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