By Phume Mkhungo
I recently had the luxury of driving the new Range Rover Evoque otherwise known as the Baby Range for a few days and these are our impressions.
In terms of looks, this car is stylish and literally turns heads and is pretty hard to miss on the road. I know that this may be a weird description for a car but that’s exactly it. The test vehicle we had was the diesel D180s, which did an average fuel consumption of 5.8-litres/100km and has a claimed acceleration of 0-100km/h in 9.3 seconds.
As far as the interior is concerned, Land Rover has made significant improvements in this arena. The interior is more aligned with higher models in the range. That said, expected a bit more from what is offered. We have found that the competition offers better user experience and ergonomics from the infotainment and general layout. The infotainment is a dual touchscreen system which can be a handful to operate due to its lack of haptic feedback. The leather is simple and sophisticated and it gives a minimalistic but classy look. There is definitely ample space and four adults could fit comfortably in the cabin with adequate leg room.
The rear view mirror does not have great visibility due to the high window line but thanks to the new Range Rover’s smart rear-view mirror which transforms into an HD video screen at the touch of a button gives the driver additional view of the road and surroundings. Lane Keep Assist as well as Driver Condition Monitor come standard to ensure the drivers and other road user’s safety. The vehicle also has reverse traffic sensors.
The exterior of the vehicle has the most notable difference. The ground clearance is now 212mm however the weight of the vehicle is pretty much the same as its predecessor. The model we were testing came standard with a sunroof, privacy glass, rain-sensing wipers, xenon lights, powered boot and a navigation system which was pretty useful on our bush break where there was low signal. We also cannot forget the flush door handle function which also enhances the vehicles classiness and unique style.
The rear view mirror does not have great visibility due to the high window line but that is ni cause for concern thanks to the new Evoque’s smart rear-view mirror which transforms the rear-view mirror into a HD video screen at the touch of a button thereby giving the driver additional view of the road and surroundings. Lane Keep Assist as well as Driver Condition Monitor come standard to improve safety. The vehicle also has reverse traffic sensors.
The Evoque now has Terrain Response 2 which is available as standard for the first time on all new Evoque’s with all-wheel drive. The new Auto mode allows the system to select the most appropriate mode for the conditions and automatically adjusts its torque delivery to suit the terrain. Adding to the off-road capability are al- terrain technologies such as Hill Descent Control, Gradient Release Control, All-Terrain Progress Control and Clear Sight Ground View are available. The systems came in handy in my bush getaway. Although no serious off-roading was attempted, it was great to see the vehicle adapting to the off-road conditions all by itself.
Overall, Land Rover has managed to make the Evoque an even more premium. The only snag is that a lot of extras the items that afford driver a truly luxurious experience are optional extras and that may make the Evoque quite pricey.
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