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A Range Rover you can afford

“Sleek” and “sporty” are terms that don’t usually describe any LandRover product, but the upcoming Range Rover Evoque constitutes a majorchange of course for Britain’s storied off-road brand.

“Sleek” and “sporty” are terms that don’t usually describe any Land Rover product, but the upcoming Range Rover Evoque constitutes a major change of course for Britain’s storied off-road brand.

Its lack of formality and boxy practicality runs counter to a marque that cut its teeth tearing through the jungles of Botswana and Borneo, roaming the plains of the Serengeti and traversing the blistering Sahara sands.

But that’s exactly the point.

Many of Land Rover’s steeds spend their lives in urban settings and are rarely, if ever, tested anywhere near the limits of their considerable endurance.

Although the Evoque arrives this fall in multi-terrain-capable condition, high style at a good price is where this Range Rover really shines.

The Evoque appears more like a sport wagon derivative of a compact passenger car, especially in two-door livery.

It’s slightly shorter than a Hyundai Tucson, Ford Escape, or Jeep Patriot and about 45 centimetres shorter than a Range Rover Sport.

As well, with its steeply raked windshield and tapered roofline, it can also lay claim to being one of the slinkiest, wind-cheating-est rigs around.

With a starting price in the $50,000 range, the Evoque should provoke fresh patrons to consider a Range Rover to carry them down a decidedly different path.

Fuel-economy

The fuel-economy issue is crucial since all other Land Rover/Range Rover models are inherently thirsty beasts.

For
example, the best that either the V8-powered Range Rover or its Range
Rover Sport relation can muster is 17.3 l/100 km in the city and 11.2
on the highway. Although the Evoque’s actual numbers have yet to be
published, its 240-horsepower 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder,
sourced from Ford, will be a relative gas miser.

Two sturdy styles

When
ogling the attractive two- and four-door body styles, it’s difficult to
believe that the Evoque is the real deal when tackling the kind of
off-road terrain that made its iconic ancestors so desirable.

With
its short front and rear overhang and ample ground clearance, the odds
of becoming hung up on uneven terrain or stuck in some muddy bog would
seem remote.

Traction

Traction is supplied by a
full-time all-wheel-drive system with an electronically controlled
centre differential that varies torque between the front and rear
wheels depending on where the grip is greatest.

The Evoque’s
underpinnings can be supplemented with an adjustable Adaptive Dynamics
option that offers either a soft or firm (sporty) ride.

 
 
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