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.”
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|Climate Comfort package||$1,000||Heated front seats, steering wheel, windshield, and washer nozzles|
|SiriusXM satellite radio and HD radio||$750|