January 21, 2018




We drive Range Rover’s 2017 Evoque Convertible

 

This is one of my favourite cars, ever.

There are 3 models, Dynamic, SE Dynamic, and our range topping HSE Dynamic. We are driving the range tipping HSE Dynamic, with extras.

It doesn’t have Range Rover’s adjustable floaty air suspension, but it does have an adjustable roof. It folds completely away in just 18seconds, and looks like a Tonka Toy we used to play with as kids.

We’ve given it the once over before. Read about it HERE.

Outside, it gets huge matte graphite coloured 20” alloys, and includes heated washer jets, and a heated windscreen to keep the snow off, for an extra $5,890. There are dark finishes on the bonnet, exhaust, and head, and tail lights, that option pack costs an additional $1090.

The profile looks masculine.

The chucky body, muscular wheel arches, and stubby tail, work together to give an impression of a very cute topless Sherman Tank, with AWD of course.

The smart entry/start system folds the side mirrors. Just as well, as the Evoque is 2.085m wide. As the mirrors unfold, they project an outline of the Evoque onto the ground at your feet.

Your key can stay secreted about your person, and you lock by caressing a small indentation on the door handle. Gripping the handle unlocks the system for easy entry.

Our Rangie also has a $13,060 Lux Pack which includes:

(Fixed Panoramic Roof with Powered Blind on roofed models), Park Assist – Parallel Park / Parking Exit / Perpendicular Park, Surround Camera System with Towing Assist, Blind Spot Monitor with Closing Vehicle Sensing and Reverse Traffic Detection, InControl Touch Pro – Level 3 – 17 Speaker inc. Subwoofer, 825W Meridian Surround Sound System with radio and single slot CD player, MP3 disc, natural voice control and 2x USBs, Touch Screen – 10.2″ High Resolution with Dual-View (Includes WhiteFire Headphones x 1), Digital TV, Lane Keeping Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Autonomous Emergency Braking and Driver Condition Monitor)

 

When you start the car, the seat, radio, air conditioning, and mirrors, move to the position you left them in. The auto gear selector dial rises from the console, and the LCD screen comes to life. You have to press the screen for further interaction or it takes ages to start..

A single button touch lowers the windows and roof, at up to 48kph. That’s handy in traffic when it starts to sprinkle. There is nothing worse than a ruined hair do.

There is DAB for $920, but no CarPlay/Android Auto. The sound is spectacular with bass that feels to be coming from deep inside your chest.

The interior is beautifully fitted. All Range Rovers have an air of elegance and understated luxury, but this one adds open air ambience.

The heated/cooled front seats are covered in soft leather, and the fabric covering the dash and doors feels remarkably like a diver’s wet suit. It’s rather sexy, or is that just me being silly?

The control centre includes the afore mentioned TV screen. The passenger can watch his favourite programme with sound via the wireless headphones, while the driver sees Satnav or whatever would normally be displayed.

The clever two-way system means the driver isn’t distracted by the latest Dynasty instalment. You can’t see both displays unless your head is directly in front of the monitor. It really is genius. We showed you this on the Range Rover previously and you can see the video here.

On the road, the deployable wind deflector really is the business. You fit it as needed, but unless its cold, is probably is too much trouble. Our video will show how it works if you can be bothered trying.

The 8 speed auto is incredibly smooth, but can feel a bit dim-witted. In order to get near the claimed 8.2 L/100k, it changes up as quickly as it can. As the revs drop, the turbo looses its oomph. When you put your foot down, the gears quickly drop.

The turbo takes a little while to spool up again, and acceleration to the 217kph maximum feels leisurely. Putting the auto in to Sports mode does 0-100 in 8.1 seconds, but Evoque weighs 2,013kg, and you notice this bulk in the corners.

Clever electronics keep the wheels pointing where they should, but there is no hiding from the fact that Evoque is not a sports car. In that vein, I’d consider the convertible to be more of a GT than a hot-hatch-inspired barn stormer.

It was at home cruising down Oxford St, through Centennial Park, then down to the beach. I parked under the trees and ate my lunch, and the world was right.

Boot space is tight, and the opening fairly small, but certainly spacious enough for a picnic basket, some chairs, and a blanket.

The ride is excellent, with a slightly ethereal detachment to the road. No doubt that’s handy off-road, but no one is ever going to take it into the muck, ever.

Land Rover did the Australian launch on a beach which would have been fun, but no owner is going to go there are they?

Auto parking is handy, and the 360° view camera is invaluable. I only used the auto parking to see how well it worked though, because, if you can’t park a car you shouldn’t be driving.

There is a bit of James Bond with Range Rover. There are gadgets galore. Sadly, most of the really cool stuff is an optional extra. One might argue that it means infinite personalisation, others might say “for that price, it should be included”.

Although you probably won’t go off-road, you can if you want. You can wade into water up to 500mm deep, and our car had the $720 wading pack.

It brings up the water lever display on the centre screen. Remember, the sensors are in the side mirrors. By the time it shows 500mm, the front of the car could have drowned.

For those days when it is too hot, or wet, the roof stays up. There are several layers which keep the cabin reasonably quiet. Of course, it isn’t as quiet as a roofed model, but you hardly notice the outside world.

Only trucks unruly exhausts cause the ruffling of passenger’s serene deliberations.

The climate control does a brilliant job of keeping the temperature just so. Even with the roof down, you can bathe in the gentle wafts of chilled air. In winter, it feels almost sinful to be warmed as if sitting in front of an open fire. This is also when the heated steering wheel comes in handy.

With all the extras, our car cost a princely $119,000, but what price experience?

The road presence is one you can’t buy. A car either has it or not, and Evoque Convertible has it in spades.

We had the odd glance from other motorists, and one or two pedestrians commented. If being noticed is your thing, then you’d be quietly chuffed. Otherwise, the drive is what it’s all about.

Rarely do I get excited about a car, not because most cars are awful, but because most cars are reasonably good. The question then becomes, “just how good is it?”

Range Rover Evoque Convertible is very good, very good indeed.

The In Touch Pro infotainment system is excellent, and the upgraded speakers have a pure sound that can only be described as pristine.

An All-Terrain convertible SUV is unique. No matter what other brands claim, a drop-top always trumps a fixed roof with anyone who has a spirit of adventure, and a pulse.

One last feature, or is it a benefit, is Land Rover’s Guaranteed Future Value where a buy-back value is agreed at the time of purchase.

There is also a diesel model, and you can also purchase a Service Plan, which Land Rover says reduces ownership costs, and increases residual value.

Related Articles:

Behind The Wheel

AnyAuto            

Driven Media

Price: $92,800 (as tested $119,000)

Engine: 2.0L turbo 4 Cyl Petrol

Power: 177kw/340Nm

Economy: 8.2L/100k

CO2: 185gm/k

0-100: 8.2 seconds

 

 




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