As we pass by, we hear a pedestrian shriek “What the (expletive) is that?” at our 2016 Range Rover Evoque convertible. Only 30 seconds have elapsed since we got behind the wheel of Range Rover’s drop top SUV and it’s already provoked a strong reaction.
With the top down, the crossover looks as if someone lopped a fourth off the top of the crossover with a katana. Think late 1980s Volkswagen Cabriolet Rabbit on steroids or a tony 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible.
The 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 was built in Spain. It produces 240 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque. It’ll hit 0-60 mph in 7.8 seconds and has a top speed of 112 mph. The Evoque’s 9-speed transmission is made in the U.S. and the international vehicle is assembled in Halewood, U.K.
Weighing in at 4,268 pounds, it’s not quite a land yacht, but more of a street dinghy made for cruising the boulevard S-L-O-W-L-Y. There are paddle shifters on the steering column, but an electronic steering column adjuster would be more useful.
Like all Range Rovers, the Evoque convertible comes equipped with a Terrain Response System, with General, Snow, Mud, and Sand modes. It would be wrong to use this ragtop as a mud crawler, but you could if you wanted to. You could also ford streams up to three feet deep.
Range Rover should have added a fifth mode just for the convertible Evoque: Shop. It looks right at home rolling on 19-inch alloy wheels on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California, where it received lots of positive attention during, fittingly, a recent shopping spree.
You may want to keep your packages small, however. The four-seat four-wheeler’s cargo area is about the size of a breadbox. It offers a mere 8.9 cubic feet of space, yet still has room for a full sized spare. Go figure.
The five-layer, electric top comes down in 21 seconds at speeds up to 30 mph. If you skip hauling passengers, you can use the back seats for storage and then the sky is the limit.
Regardless of whether the top is up or down, rear visibility is a bit challenging. Blind spot monitor, closing vehicle sensing, and reverse traffic detection are highly recommended options for the Evoque. The backup camera is also extremely helpful.
Inside the Yulong White model with Ebony Oxford Seats and matching ebony interior makes a bright contrast with the snowy exterior. It gets 23 mpg combined city/highway and an optimistic 20 city and 28 highway, RR claims. We averaged around 16.5 in the city with heavy traffic. Still, it’s a great ride for local runs and weekend getaways. Just don’t be surprised by the occasional catcalls from the streets.
2016 Range Rover Evoque Convertible
|Price:||$57,275 (base), $58,270 (as tested)|
|Engine:||2.0L turbo DOHC I-4/240 hp @ 5,800 rpm, 250 lb-ft @ 1,750 rpm|
|Layout:||2-door, 4-passenger, front-engine, AWD convertible|
|EPA Mileage:||20/28 mpg (city/hwy)|
|L x W x H:||172.0 x 77.9 x 63.3 in|
|0-60 MPH:||7.8 sec|
|Top Speed:||112 mph|