2012 Range Rover Evoque smaller SUV with more versatility

Range Rover Evoque is an all-new compact SUV available in unique coupe and five-door designs

By Ron Beasley….

Range Rover Evoque is an all-new compact SUV available in unique coupe and five-door designs

Range Rover has added a new model to its 2012 SUV lineup, a good looking sport utility vehicle that officials are calling the smallest, lightest and most fuel-efficient SUV the company has ever produced.

The all-new Range Rover Evoque — dubbed a premium compact — is a stylish vehicle with a sporting look, and true to the Range Rover standard of craftsmanship, luxury, performance and multi-terrain capability. There are two models, coupe and five-door, in three trim lines — Pure, Prestige and Dynamic.

As for styling, Evoque has a bold exterior with a sloping roofline, but with a compact footprint. Inside the cabin, there’s a lot of room in both models, and the five-door format offers even more rear-seat space and practicality.

Under the hood, there’s a smooth and responsive, four-cylinder gasoline engine for power. But, the optional new state-of-the-art 240 bhp, 2.0-liter Si4 turbocharged engine is worth the extra bucks. It’s a honey of a powerplant. With twin variable valve timing and direct injection technology, it has six-cylinder power and performance, but with four-cylinder fuel economy. With permanent all-wheel drive and an updated six-speed automatic transmission it delivers excellent performance, clocking 0-60 mph in 7.1 seconds.

On the road, Evoque handles with agility across any terrain, and with Adaptive Dynamics with MagneRide it has all-weather, multi-terrain capability. And there is generous ground clearance, aggressive breakover and departure angles to make off-road driving an enjoyable experience, enhanced by the latest version of the company’s signature Terrain Response system for steep hill climbs or descents.

On the inside, the roomy interior of the five-door Evoque was achieved without enlarging the footprint of the coupe; the overall length and width are the same. As for comfort, consumers may specify soft premium leather and tailored twin-needle stitching for a luxurious finish to every surface of the instrument panel, doors and seats. The five-door model offers greater headroom for all occupants and a glass panoramic roof is a delight for cruising.

The rear seats have seat belts and head restraints for three passengers, 60/40 folding rear seats and are equipped with ISOFIX child seat mounts. Luggage capacity can be expanded to a substantial 51 cubic feet.

Connectivity options include Bluetooth hands-free mobile phone and audio streaming, plus a range of USB and auxiliary inputs for iPod and other portable devices. Evoque is the first Range Rover model to offer high-end sound systems developed in partnership with audio specialist Meridian. The premium Meridian offering is an 825W, 17-speaker system that delivers the ultimate in surround-sound performance.

Pricing on the 2012 Range Rover Evoque starts at $45,000.

Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com.

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