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The 2014 Land Rover Evoque is sure to evoke your stylish side

The 2014 Land Rover Evoque shown in Fuji White.
The 2014 Land Rover Evoque shown in Fuji White.
Steven Marks

2014 Land Rover Evoque


Challenging conventional brand ideas is always a risk for any automotive manufacturer. So when Land Rover Range Rover set out to create a new compact luxury crossover, they wandered away from the boring traditional box design of its definitive portfolio, and injected a modern, chic design that translated into an award-winning vehicle. Designed to appeal to urban buyers, this Land Rover additionally offers up plenty of its classic values to attract an ample array of buyers.

Staying true to traditional Range Rover philosophy, the Evoque although petite, is still quite a capable vehicle, offering a sophisticated off-road program, also known as Terrain Response, which can adapt to various terrain circumstances, typically found on its larger siblings. Further family traits that have been borrowed from the top of the brand portfolio including an optimized driving position, an effective approach and departure angles (8.5 inches of ground clearance), as well an advanced hill decent control system.

Power comes from a spirited 2.0 liter, 4-cylinder turbo engine that is sufficient to get the Evoque going on or off any pavement journey. Horsepower is rated an acceptable 240, while the torque unleashes 250 lb ft, all of which can sprint the fashionable model to 60 mph in less than 7 seconds. A new 9-speed automatic transmission also delivers smooth shifts along the way, and can also be done through the steering wheel paddle shifters. Fuel economy is rated at 20 city MPG and 28 highway MPG, which during the weeklong test drive was measured at a fair 26 MPG.

The test vehicle was optioned out with the available 20-inch wheels that when blended with the Fuji White exterior, gives the Evoque a classy disposition. The Evoque’s artistic composition also adds a level of tone and finesse that spawns a niche segment. As with other family related models, an extensive use of lightweight materials including aluminum has been executed to contribute to a higher level of performance and fuel economy. Since its introduction, the Evoque has also set the stage for the contemporary face of the brand that is starting to emerge on other models.

The interior conveys the haute couture design theme from the exterior with a high level of quality materials that surround all passengers comfortably, while still underlining the Evoque’s true off-road heritage. A complete glass roof drapes the top of the cabin, and although fixed, does include a dramatic power sunshade that lets in plenty of natural light when needed. An 8-inch combination navigation and information screen remains the prominent allure of the dashboard, and is able to display two different images for the driver and front passenger.

Other unique features of the interior include the navigation screen’s ability to display several different camera angles (at any speed) while driving. Customized mood lighting also runs through each nook and cranny of the Evoque’s interior including the doorsills and handles. Just as with any type of beauty, there is always a small level of pain involved-since after all, beauty is painful. So when driving the Evoque there is a slight level of limited visibility, partially due to the sleek, low-slung design theme.

The unique niche of the Evoque is best understood by an example to go off-road during the day through the most challenging terrain, then drive to the trendiest restaurant for dinner that same night, all of which promise head turns and stares. Since its introduction and launch, the Evoque has seen a steady stream of sales including many new buyers to the Land Rover Range Rover brand. The Evoque should definitely be added to a buying subset that includes any other compact luxury crossover, or wagons in the industry. Blending the best of all worlds, the Evoque is sure to be an excellent choice for the right buyer.

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