Roadshow Video Reviews
2012 Range Rover EvoqueThe Range Rover Evoque -- it certainly does.
Range Rovers are supposed to be big square broad-shouldered things. So what's that badge doing on this? Let's drive the 2012 Range Rover Evoque. Check the tech. the Evoque is one of those cars that made it of at concept show circuit in pre-intact form. This is the old LRX. We've shown you this in car show videos for a couple of years I think and it arrives looking a lot like that unattainable thing on the floor. It's an audacious move by Land Rover 'cause it's the lightest thing that they make, the most efficient thing they've ever made I think and it comes not just on the 4-door we have here but also in a coup. You better like attention to drive one of these 'cause people on the street will not leave you alone. The whole Range Rover Land Rover thing is a mess. just know that at 44K base, the Evoque is the sexiest thing the company makes and the second cheapest between the LR2 and the LR4 but it's a Range Rover and those other two are Land Rovers though they are all made by Land Rover whose parent is Tata and sister is Jaguar. The first thing you notice when you get in this guy is a lot of very nice, stylish really British modern luxury. Super soft materials that are really nicely done. Top, bottom, nice brush aluminum finisher. That may actually be aluminum which you almost never see in cars under about 8 grand. Now our Evoque has got the top package kind of the CNET package if you wanna roll that way. It's $4,000. They call it the premium package and that's gonna bring you a lot of technology including hard drive base GPS navigation. That is not standard on this car somewhat controversially. You do though get an 8-inch LCD touchscreen which is frustratingly inset in the dash. Why do that? I'm gonna put a finger on some of those buttons. It's almost too deep for me to get there without contorting and kind of intentionally digging in there. A novel and very useful home screen that is giving you media, navigation and phone status, almost like a Microsoft Windows metro look. You get a lot in a few amount of tiles. I like that. Here's a button called Mode that let's me toggle between my four basic categories of media sources. A whole bunch of button pressing, it's a whole lot better if i just go to audio-video and direct select what I want. Why would I ever roll through mode? It's just a waste of buttonage. If I go enter a destination, I start typing something in. Every time I type a letter it does a screen flash to black. Why would you do that? It's so noisy and it slows down the execution. Dumb. Now, once you get past all these stuff and your blood stops to boils and merely simmers, you've actually got a pretty good audio rig here. It's a Meridian Blend system. I find the sound is actually pretty good. The base rig is 380 watts, 10 speaker plus a sub. All the modern sources are here including optical disk, auxiliary, USB for a thumb drive or a iPod as well. if you want HD radio and satellite though, it's a separate add-on. Those two go together for 750 and that $4,000 premium package, it also brought us GPS brings a hard drive. Get this, the say the capacity is 10 CDs or DVDs. That is like saying the capacity is 10Ps or 10 (rudabags?) Completely different. In the premium package also brings you five surround cameras as well as DVD playback, 825 watts and 16 speakers plus a sub. Now, here's our selector for the transmission. This is not a knob to control the interface. A lot of folks might think that looking at it. Standard positions including sport which changes your throttle and transmission behavior. Then down here you've got your terrain response settings. With a kind of a bizarre use of icon graphics. I'd like these to be in English or whatever the market language is because these don't mean a lot to me. This one says car. This one says car driving in the snow with a lot of weeds. This one is apparently stuck in the mud next to a Christmas tree farm and over here is flat tire next to a cactus. Electronic parking brake control that tells me nothing about whether my parking break is on or off. How did that get by the feds? There's an indicator up there buried next to the word Range Rover but why can't I look at the button and say car is gonna roll away or car is not gonna roll away? This is controversial. Above me here, it's a big button. Huge, panoramic glass roof. I mean that thing goes from here down to the cape of good hope. The problem is you are gonna need lots of hope if you wanna get the ventilation out of there because it doesn't move and under the hood it's like a Martin and Lewis reunion. Land Rover and Ford back together again because this is Ford's 2-litter 4-cylinder EcoBoos motor. That means direct injection and turbo charging. Two red hot technologies to give this guy 240 horse, 251 foot-pound of torque. This vehicle weighs an amazingly light for Land Rover 3,900 pounds that gets up to 60 in 7.1 thanks to the nice torque curve on this guy and delivers 18 28 MPG, the greenest, lightest thing this company makes. Now, one thing a bunch of us on the CNET team notice is you can't drive this guy real smoothly. The power is real surgey. It has basically got a two-position accelerator, on and off. I hate that. That's not to say it doesn't have plenty of power, it does. That's almost part of the problem. An engine like this when it's picky having really good numbers is really picky. Steering is nice and tight and precise and the whole thing feels lighter on it's feet than just about anything else Land Rover makes or has made. That's because of the low weight and they got a lot of that done by using a lot of aluminum and composites in body panels and doors around the vehicle. Now, one thing that little engine cars can't get around is they make a little engine sound when you get into them and that can take away from the feeling of luxury, status or quality when you buy a car like this. You don't buy this thing just on it's attributes. You can get most of this in some kind of Toyota probably and this car probably should feel a little richer than it does at this price and brand point and also in fairness to the lightweight and some good suspension engineering, this vehicle handles really well. Very car-like. Luckily it comes with a back-up camera and the optional five cameras we saw because it's got the visibility of a coon-tosh at the back which is to say just about nothing