Perhaps the biggest question entering our Four Seasons test of the Range Rover Evoque was whether its high style would prove a hindrance to everyday usability. So far, the answer seems to be no.
"At last, a vehicle with concept-car styling that doesn't force the user to sacrifice comfort or usability in one way or another," says associate web editor Evan McCausland. "It's roomy. It's practical. I can fit in it. I can use it. Heck, I want to keep using it."
The Evoque has also fared quite well in family testing. "In spite of the swoopy profile of the window line, it's no harder to load kids into the Evoque's back seats than it is in most sedans," notes copy editor Rusty Blackwell, who drove to Midland, Michigan, with his wife and two child-seat-age daughters. "Getting the bulky seats through the smallish door openings requires the utmost care, though," he admits.
The Evoque's rear hold isn't exactly cavernous -- the Honda Fit has more seat-down cargo room -- but it has done well with a few gentlemanly hauling chores: office furniture, a charcoal grill, photography equipment, and an old bicycle. The only complaint so far has been with the load floor. "It's not completely flat," says deputy editor Joe DeMatio. "I'd say there's about an 8- or 10-degree upward angle."
Longtime readers may be wondering how we can praise the utility of the Evoque after we whined about the compromises demanded by our two previous swoopy, sporty Four Seasons crossovers, the Infiniti EX35 and the Acura ZDX. One important reason is headroom -- the Evoque has more of it both front and rear than either the Infiniti or the Acura. Another is visibility. "I actually can see out of the Evoque, thanks to the helpful passenger-side rear quarter window," says McCausland.
And yet the biggest difference between the Range Rover and the oddball crossovers that have come before may be that it isn't just odd -- it's beautiful. How beautiful? "A shirtless Michael Fassbender nursing an injured puppy back to health while humming Harry Connick, Jr.'s entire discology wouldn't be as attractive to women as this vehicle," opines road test editor Christopher Nelson. "The Evoque looks otherworldly," adds the slightly less hyperbolic associate web editor Donny Nordlicht. "And anyone who makes it to the interior is wowed by the rotary shifter and the glass roof." The Evoque, like that stunning pair of stilettos your girlfriend insists don't hurt her feet, is stylish enough that we're happy to give up some of the usability we'd normally demand from a compact crossover.
|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|