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Land Rover Range Rover Evoque

Downsized, not downmarket.

The Evoque was brand-new for 2012. It may be based on the LR2, but this stylish little SUV — available with two or four doors — doesn’t look at all like the LR2. Style and efficiency trump all else as Land Rover tries to lure in more female buyers and green up its image. Respectable fuel-economy figures (19/28 mpg city/highway) and a four-cylinder-only powertrain strategy certainly fit today’s political climate, but the vehicle doesn’t quite have the same presence as a Range Rover or a Range Rover Sport. As brand-expansion exercises go, the Evoque is very well done and certainly deserves the Range Rover badges it wears. Of course, part of the Range Rover identity is a go-anywhere attitude, and the Evoque packs a potent Haldex all-wheel-drive system that gives it commendable of-road performance. The Terrain Response system’s dial is more likely to be placed in dynamic mode than in mud-and-ruts mode, but the little trucklet is capable of fording 19.7 inches of water, should the situation arise, so to speak. When you’re not crawling along a trail, the Evoque’s Magne-Ride suspension continually adjusts to provide a smooth and controlled ride, no matter the surface. Shoppers looking for a vehicle equally at home in front of an upscale boutique or a rustic cottage would be wise to consider the Evoque.

COMPETITORS

Audi Q5

BMW X3

Mercedes-Benz GLK-class

Volvo XC60

new for 2013

A new Pure model just undercuts the $42,000 mark for 2013. That lower price means there’s no panoramic sunroof and less leather is found inside. All Range Rover Evoque models can now be ordered with a color-contrasting roof, and vehicles equipped with navigation include off-road navigation. An automated parallel-parking system is available.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Stability and traction control; ABS; electronic brake assist; rear park-distance control; front, side, side curtain, and thorax air bags; trailer-stability assist; hill-start assist; roll stability control; and hill-descent control are standard. A 360-degree camera system, active headlights, automatic-high-beams, and a blind-spot monitoring system are optional.

MPG

CITY 19

HWY 28

PRO

Most efficient Land Rover

Strong turbo engine

CON

Coupe utility compromised

Pricey

Base Price Range: $41,995–$53,095

SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVE: 4-wheel

TRIM LEVELS: Evoque Pure, Evoque Prestige, Evoque Dynamic, Evoque Coupe Pure, Evoque Coupe Dynamic

BODY STYLE: SUV/crossover, 4- or 5-passenger

ENGINE: 2.0L turbo I-4, 240 hp, 251 lb-ft

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic

PASSENGER VOLUME: N/A

CAPACITIES: Towing 3500 lb; cargo (two-door, rear seats up/down) 19.4/47.6 cu ft, (four-door, rear seats up/down) 20.3/51.0 cu ft

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