The Evoque is a powerful sport utility vehicle with a capable mill that will have most impressed by its 2.0-litre turbocharged performance and surprisingly sporty handling.
Painted metallic Firenze Red, it should have been fitted with 19-inch wheels, but instead it had the optional 20-inch five-split spoke ‘Style 504’ alloy wheels with shadow chrome finish set on and wearing some grippy low-profile 245/45 Pirelli Scorpion rubbers.
The sheet metal provides it with sensual curves that are accented by long straight and slightly angled-down creases to give that impression of continuous forward motion.
It’s also a fast SUV from the British marque even though it comes weighing in slightly above its 1,655kg of kerb heft (due to the larger optional wheels).
With 1,999cc of displacement, the turbocharged four-cylinder Si4 engine will readily dish out 237hp at 5,800rpm and 340Nm of torque from 1,750rpm onwards while feeding from a 70-litre fuel tank.
That means it’ll get up to 100kph from standstill in around 7.6 seconds before topping out at 217kph thanks to the smooth operating 9-speed automatic gearbox that can be paddle-shifted. And for even greater engagement, Sport mode is just a twist of the wrist away.
The Evoque is sleek, albeit a tad impractical with its tall ride height that can inconvenience shorter owners, but does redeem itself with other conveniences such as keyless entry and push-start button, powered gesture tailgate as well as parking assist.
Critics have, at times, said the Evoque is essentially a Land Rover Defender that has been sandwiched to create its styling cues.
Regardless of what has been said, it has undoubtedly got some desirable lean curves that will turn heads, especially with those eye-catching automatic Xenon headlights with LED signature lighting and automatic headlamp levelling that ups the appeal.
With a sleek exterior, the Evoque is spacious inside. It’s wide and accommodating for the shoulders although leg-room can be lacking at the rear.
Driver and passengers sit in plush leathery comfort that has been extended to the firm yet accommodating suspension to take care of uneven road surfaces and undulations.
The handling shows meditated calmness, allowing the driver to easily engage in spirited driving sessions with great confidence while having a commanding view.
But the height of the interior’s sophistication is the gear selector knob that raises itself onto the “stage” of the centre tunnel and then disappears at the end of the “performance”.
This is what gives the RM430,000+ Evoque a truly unique cabin experience that comes with technological refinement.
Although the Evoque looks polished for the urbanite with its daytime running lights, panoramic roof, park assist, reverse camera or even the powered gesture tailgate, it would do good to not doubt its off-roading capabilities - not even for a moment.
As with all Land Rovers that roll off the production line, it’s off-roading heritage is baked in. It has a default road-going mode or snow, rocky or sandy terrain modes. Alternatively, let the Terrain Response system handle the challenges thrown at the vehicle.
Overall, the Evoque has many abilities that makes it an attractive buy, not least its stylish stance.
SPECIFICATIONS - Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
Engine 2.0-litre (1,999cc) Si4 turbocharged
Power: 240PS 5,800rpm
Torque: 340Nm at 1,750rpm
Transmission: 9-speed automatic with paddle shifters
Top speed: 217kph
Acceleration (0-100kph): 7.6sec
Kerb Weight: from 1,665kg
FEATURES: Seven airbags, anti-lock braking system, dynamic stability control, roll stability control, traction control, trailer stability assist, hill-start assist, hill descent control, enhanced understeer control, gradient release control, engine drag torque control, four-wheel driver with standard driveline, terrain response, torque vectoring by braking, automatic Xenon headlamps with automatic levelling, LED daytime running lights, front fog lamps, puddle lamps with projected Evoque graphics, automatic highbeam assist, keyless-entry with push-start button, cruise control, multi-function steering wheel, auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic climate controls with rear vents, leather upholstery, 12-way powered front seats, panoramic roof, powered gesture tailgate automatic wipers, 8-speaker sound system with 8.0-inch InControl Touch touchscreen, radio, CD, MP3/WMA playback via USB, AUX-IN jack, Bluetooth connectivity, and 20-inch five split-spoke 'Style 504' wheels in Shadow Chrome Finish with 245/45 Pirelli Scorpion Verde all-season tyres.
Price (OTR with GST w/out Ins): from RM430,000