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1304 2012 Range Rover Evoque April Update
four seasons long-term tests

2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque - Existential Questions

SPRING 2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque reviews to date

One of our readers recently emailed us the following question:

“I am very close to getting a four-door Evoque as my everyday small SUV. If I were to take four people, including myself, on a three- to four-day camping trip, would all our gear fit in the back? What about three kayaks on top, and three to four bikes on a hitch rack?”

The simple answer is, “No way.” But the fact that our reader would even ask how much he could haul points to something that we’ve been pondering all year: Is the Evoque a utility vehicle? And does it matter if it isn’t?

We have frequently tested the limits of the Evoque’s cargo capacity. Barbecue grills, hockey sticks, luggage, baby seats, tools, and even some tree branches have all been squeezed through the rear hatch. Despite all that, the nearly unanimous conclusion is that hauling isn’t the vehicle’s intended purpose.

“It doesn't drive much like the typical crossover. Not surprisingly, it doesn’t carry stuff like one, either,” says copy editor Rusty Blackwell. The most obvious limitation is the rakish roofline, but a rather small hatch opening hardly helps.

Editors have searched in vain for a more accurate categorization of the Evoque. “If I were blindfolded, I’d almost argue it’s a hot hatch,” stated associate web editor Evan McCausland. “It’s the perfect city car thanks to its tidy footprint,” offers associate web editor Donny Nordlicht. One editor even suggests a 1930s five-window Ford Coupe as a reference point.

The truth is, we’re still not sure into which category the Evoque fits. “Arguably, the Evoque is one of the few model introductions since the original Range Rover in 1970 that’s taken the brand into a new segment,” adds McCausland. More than that, it’s perhaps the first crossover that trades so heavily on its good looks. (Other vehicles, namely the Acura ZDX, have tried but, frankly, weren’t pretty enough to succeed).

For some editors, a crossover that can’t perform the core tasks we associate with crossovers is fatally flawed, no matter how attractive.

“Yes, the design is interesting, but why would I want to sit up high in a vehicle that can’t carry a lot and isn’t designed with extreme off-roading in mind?” asks executive editor Todd Lassa.

The truth is that after twelve months with the Evoque, we haven’t been able to come up with a logical answer to Lassa’s question, and yet, many of us don’t care what the Evoque isn’t or what it doesn’t do.

“This is one of the few Four Seasons cars we’ve had that continues to excite me even toward the end of its test,” says McCausland.

That’s justification enough for many people, as evidenced by the fact that the Evoque now outsells its more practical and less expensive cousin, the LR2, by more than a three-to-one margin. It very well might be justification enough for our dear reader, who wrote back, “I’ve had my heart set on the Evoque…perhaps I’ll use a light trailer for whatever doesn’t fit in the car.”

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
2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Specs
  • Overview
  • powertrain
  • chassis
  • measurements
  • equipment
  • options
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-lock2.45
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)
simbohm
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