2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Introduction

Land Rover's Range Rover Evoque delivers luxury, utility and reasonable fuel economy in a stylish, compact package. Evoque brings Land Rover's legendary off-road capability to a subcompact SUV. Its wide cabin means plenty of space for those in front with good space in the rear for two more. Its turbocharged engine delivers a good balance between responsiveness and fuel economy thanks to Evoque's relative light weight.

Evoque is similar in size to the BMW X1 and European-market Audi Q3 that comprise a new class of premium subcompact sport-utility vehicles. These subcompact SUVs are smaller than the compact SUVs such as the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLK, Audi Q5, and Acura RDX.

Evoque is wider than all of these, however, a substantial 3.3 inches wider than the BMW X3, for example. As a result, there's more elbow room inside. And it looks great: Evoque's width and low roofline, the lowest in the class, contributes to its athletic look and aggressive stance.

Though relatively small, Evoque delivers cargo versatility with a hatchback design. Fold the rear seatbacks forward and cargo capacity expands to a useful 51 cubic feet, allowing the Range Rover Evoque to carry more cargo than can be put in a BMW X1.

Interior appointments are luxurious, comparable to those from Mercedes, BMW, and Audi. Evoque's interior measures up well in terms of roominess for four passengers. All the compact and subcompact SUVs are rated for five passengers, but none of them provide anything approaching comfort for a center rear seat occupant and the Evoque is no exception.

The Range Rover Evoque comes in two body styles, a five-door and a three-door coupe. The original show car was the coupe, a body style not offered by any competitor. The four-door is the more practical and for that reason much more popular model, though both are essentially the same size.

Evoque employs a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine allied with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The engine is rated for 240 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. We found it works very well. It pulls smoothly and has very little throttle lag. The 6-speed automatic, which includes paddle shifters for manual operation, kicks down quickly for passing, and it delivers respectable acceleration performance. Land Rover quotes a 0 to 60 mph time of 7.1 seconds.

Evoque's small size and light weight (by class standards) adds up to a decent power-to-weight ratio and respectable fuel economy ratings: 20/28 mpg City/Highway.

Evoque stands out in its class for its off-road capability. With a sophisticated Terrain Response system, a full-time four-wheel drive system, good ground clearance, and a short wheelbase, the Evoque can tackle some pretty tough off-road terrain. Most of the others in this class have no off-road pretensions whatsoever, though they can handle primitive roads. Evoque's off-road capability sustains Land Rover's tradition of exceptional go-anywhere proficiency, an area of performance that its competitors lack.

Evoque was launched as a 2012 model. For 2013, Evoque adds a new base model called Pure. 2013 Range Rover Evoque models also offer a new Park Assist automated parking feature, off-road navigation information, and a new black Land Rover logo in the grille. The contrasting roof color can also be selected as a stand-alone option on 2013 Evoque models.

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