It’s gained a lot of weight – about 275 kilograms depending on the model to add the strength that used to be provided by the sold roof. For comments on the performance see Driving later in this road test.
The Evoque is visually attractive in open-top fashion, though the sides are very tall, reminding us it’s an SUV, not a sportscar. Roof up, it can be mistaken for a chop-top in street-machine parlance – meaning a standard roof that has been chopped and lowered. There was almost a gangsta look to our test car with its deep black paint and a lowset black roof. Love it!
Power for our test car came from a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel with 132 kW. There’s also a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol, with 177 kW of power.
Four-wheel drive is through a nine-speed automatic. There’s a Terrain Response system, Wade Sensing and All-Terrain Progress Control that makes the Evoque a convertible for all seasons and all reasons.
The windscreen frame has been strengthened for rollover protection. Aluminium bars behind the back seats pop up in just 90 milliseconds in an attempt to create a survival space for occupants. Obviously, what is underneath the vehicle when it’s upside down will affect the safety, but rest assures the engineers at Range Rover have done everything they can to protect you.
Evoque convertible gained a four-star rating from ANCAP.
Evoque’s fabric roof can be powered down in 21 seconds, and closed again in 18 seconds, both operations can be done at speeds up to 50 km/h. In other words you can open or close the top at a red ight if the weather looks likely to change.
Rear seat legroom is the same as in the Evoque three-door coupe, but reduced width in the back due to the roof mechanism means there are two seats not three.
Headroom with the top closed is the same as in the five-door wagon. Interestingly, the convertible has slightly more headroom than the three-door coupe, more because of the restyle than the thinner material.
Boot size is not impressive, with only 250 litres, that’s less than half the volume of the Evoque five-door wagon. The load area’s well shaped but can be a real struggle to squeeze bulky items into the letter-box-slit opening.
Smooth-road ride is good, but rougher surfaces did show up body flex, which comes as no surprise as the opening of the cockpit is huge when compared to other convertibles. Dirt road driving really sets up some tremor at times. Test for yourself on your private pre-purchase road test if you are likely to do that sort or running.
Performance is better than you might expect from a vehicle that has put on 275 kilograms when compared to its hardtop brothers. There’s the inevitable turbo lag, but once that has passed the diesel’s torque really kicks in and gets things happening in a satisfactory manner.
Having nine gears to choose from means the engine can always be getting solid grunt to the road even when tackling hilly roads.
Fuel consumption from the diesel was around 16 litres per hundred kilometres during our initial testing on many miles of sand on Fraser Island a few months back. That’s high. On normal roads, with a fair bit of motorway running during the current week this dropped to an impressive seven litres. Around town you’re unlikely to use more than about 10 litres per hundred.
Cornering on hilly roads isn’t the Evoque’s forte, with too much understeer for our tastes. On the other hand the lower centre of gravity than in the roofed Evoque – all that extra weight down low and the lightweight roof – gives it an anchored feel.
If you live on the Gold Coast as we do the Range Rover Evoque is a no-brainer. The combination of style and the ability to enjoy Queensland’s sunshine is irresistible. Not so irresistible, though is the price of $84,948 for the entry-level model.
AT A GLANCE
Evoque Si4 SE Dynamic: $84,948
Evoque Td4 SE Dynamic: $85,343
Evoque Si4 HSE Dynamic: $92,800
Evoque Td4 HSE Dynamic: $93,195
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Range Rover dealer for driveaway prices.
SPECIFICATIONS (Range Rover Evoque Si4 SE Dynamic)
Capacity: 1.999 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 177 kW
Maximum Torque: 340 Nm @ 1750 rpm
Fuel Type: Petrol 98ROM
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 8.6 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 181 g/km
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4370 mm
Wheelbase: 2660 mm
Width: 1980 mm
Height: 1609 mm
Turning Circle: 11.3 metres
Kerb Mass: 1658 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 68 litres
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid disc
Three years / 100,000 km