Having followed the story of the Range Rover Evoque from its unveil in Paris a year ago to the design and manufacturing facilities in the UK this past summer, I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of one to call my own for a little while. Finally, two weeks ago, that chapter of my role as a City Shaper began. While I rightfully had high expectations for this new little Rover, I'm pleased to report that after two weeks of driving those expectations have been exceeded. From the streets of NYC to the snow-covered dirt roads of Vermont, the Evoque delivers on its promise of peak performance, simple luxury, high technology and greater sustainability.
Beyond the overall great impression, it's the more subtle details of this fully loaded black-on-black "Dynamic" trim 5-door that have been keeping a smile on my face:
While the MagneRide suspension is impressive in all on- and off-road driving modes, setting it to Dynamic mode and switching the transmission to Sport shifting turns the otherwise polite car in to a taut little terrier.
Believe it or not, the interior of the Evoque feels quite a bit more spacious than the Range Rover Sport I was previously driving.
The 825-Watt, 17-speaker Meridian sound system is simply the best in-car hi-fi I've ever heard.
While using a standard iPod USB cable to connect to the sound system is convenient, pairing an iPhone over Bluetooth goes beyond standard calling to include streaming music playback that sounds just as good as the plugged-in version. Presumably this works with other smartphones as well.
The dome and map lights are touch-sensitive.
The rear window is a bit short but fortunately it only takes two taps on the touch screen to choose the rear view camera to fill the entire 8-inch display.
The rear wiper is neatly tucked under the spoiler so it's nicely out of view when not in use. Even better, when the window-wash button is pressed the wiper and sprayer execute a short sequence of sprays and wipes that get the job done without extra drips.
Puddle lights shining from underneath the side mirrors provide a welcomed nighttime convenience, but the subtle addition of an Evoque logo in the spotlight lends an appropriately Batman-like feel.