12 MONTH CAR REVIEWS: 2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque - Still a Landie

February 21, 2013
2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Front Left Side View
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Long-Term 2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Update - WINTER 2013 (2 OF 2)
Miles to date: 26,804 miles
Through nine months, our Range Rover Evoque has smashed the stereotypes that people associate with Land Rover. It doesn't look like an old-fashioned Land Rover, doesn't drive like an old-fashioned Land Rover, and doesn't suck gasoline like an old-fashioned Land Rover. Heck, it doesn't even spend lots of time in the shop. Although, as we've accumulated miles through this winter's dose of ice, snow, and wind, we've found one stereotype that still holds true: it'll go anywhere.
"The Evoque tracks through the worst snow like a guided missile," reports Jean Jennings. Our much-traveled editor-in-chief decided at the last minute to drive to New Hampshire for New Year's Eve. She admits to feeling a "twinge" of hesitation due to experiences with unreliable Land Rovers in the past, but a glance at the Evoque's unremarkable service history allayed her fears (a bum sensor and a squeaky door hinge have been its biggest issues in 25,000 miles). As she made her way through Pennsylvania, she encountered the snow -- "whiteout, snowing snowballs snow." She credits the Evoque's all-wheel drive and our Pirelli Scorpion winter tires with getting her through safely. Like other Land Rovers, the Evoque also has a Terrain Response system with a setting for snow. The system adjusts the engine, transmission, stability control, and center differential to maximize traction in the wet stuff.
2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Front Left View
Jennings avoided snow on the way back to Michigan but still had to get through strong winds. Not a problem for the squat, wide Evoque. "I never felt the gusts behind the wheel," she says, comparing it favorably to taller, narrower crossovers like the Audi Q5.
Closer to home, the Evoque has won praise for standard and optional features that make bitter cold mornings almost tolerable. The seats and the steering wheel have heating elements (part of a $1000 "climate comfort" package); large, physical dials below the touchscreen make it easy to crank up the temperature without removing one's gloves; and a heated front windshield and warm washer fluid (also part of the climate package) render the dreaded ice scraper nearly obsolete.
Earlier in the season, editors complained that the winter tires upset the Evoque's ride quality, which was already on the firm side. Those complaints have died down as the snow has piled up. "Having driven the Evoque in a little bit of powder and ice, I can say that I'll happily deal with the ride-quality trade-off," says associate web editor Donny Nordlicht. "This little Range Rover is nigh unstoppable." It helps that the Evoque's interior remains rattle-free despite the hard ride.
The toughest winter terrain around Ann Arbor is likely deputy editor Joe DeMatio's steep driveway. "The Evoque slithers up without a problem," he says. Backing down is a bit harder. We've become accustomed to relying on the rearview camera rather than the tiny (read: almost useless) rear window, but Old Man Winter constantly gums up said camera with salt, ice, and mud. "How about an automatic washer mechanism for the rearview camera lens?" suggests DeMatio. For now, he resorts to parking and wiping the camera lens clean. "Such poor visibility might be a deal-breaker for some buyers," he notes.
The Evoque is entering the final few months of its time with us. Stay tuned to find out how strong it finishes out its year.
Base price (with dest.)$41,995
Price as tested$49,635
Body Style 4-door crossover
Accommodation 5-passenger
Construction Steel unibody
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)
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
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)
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)
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

Long-Term 2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Reviews to Date:

2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque - Still a Landie
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