Long-term test, month one: Evoque 2.2 SD4 190 4WD Dynamic 3dr

The Evoque is guaranteed to turn heads
The Evoque is guaranteed to turn heads
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THE team at Scotsman Motoring was lucky enough to lay our hands on a Range Rover Evoque test car on the week of its UK launch in 2011. So far, we reckon that only the Lamborghini Aventador and Audi R8 have turned more heads as we’ve driven around town.

Back then, the debut on the streets of the hotly-anticipated Evoque was simply stunning. There were 18,000 advance orders for it worldwide. It wasn’t just a head-turner, but a double-taker, a
jaw-dropper, a car that could turn any pedestrian into an eyes-on-stalks, steam-out-of-the-ears, roller-blind tongue Tex Avery cartoon randy wolf as it swept past. It was different.

Times have changed, though. Just three years down the road, and you can’t cross the street without tripping up over an Evoque. They’re everywhere. In 2012, more than 108,000 models were sold – marking the first time that sales of a single Jaguar Land Rover line have exceeded the 100,000 milestone in one year. To date, almost a third of a million of them have been sold
worldwide.

Such ubiquity naturally chips away at the exclusivity of the Evoque. But with 12 body colours, three roof colours, seven side decal options and eight wheel designs to choose from, the Scotsman Motoring abacus tells us we’re already at 2,016 permutations, and that’s before you throw in wing-mirror colour options and toyed with the idea of sticking on a rear spoiler.

You will, of course, have seen about 2,016 Evoques on your way to work this morning, but when you come face-to-face with one up close, it is still no less stunning.

With its sloping roof, its keen, narrow lights and miserly use of glass, it still looks like a concept car that
somehow escaped unscathed from the designer’s sketchbook and on to the road.

Beauty is only skin deep, so it’s fortunate that Scotsman Motoring has been granted six months by Range Rover to hopefully-not-literally scratch under the surface of the Evoque.

Our test model is the three-door coupe version. Under the bonnet lies a 2.2-litre 189bhp turbo-diesel engine, which is connected to a six-speed manual transmission. We’ve bagged the top-level Dynamic trim, which boasts heated and electrically-adjustable seats, satnav and rear camera – but Joe Public would still need to dig deep and splash out an additional £5,000-plus to enjoy some of the technology we have in our test vehicle.

Without the options, this particular Evoque would set you back £39,305. But we’ve got the £4,650 Lux Pack – which includes powered tailgate, panoramic roof, 825-watt sound system, dual-view touchscreen, digital TV, surround camera, blind-spot monitor (amusingly mis-spelled as “bling-spot monitor” on our Land Rover-supplied spec sheet), keyless entry and park assistance.

On top of that, we’ve also got the £700 Intelligent Pack, which includes water wade sensing, lane departure warning and traffic sign recognition. A full-size spare wheel at £120, adaptive Xenon headlamps at £305 and privacy glass at £350 make up the pocket change.

We’re looking forward to figuring out what we’d ditch and what we consider essential out of that little
lot – watch this space for next month’s update, once we’ve found the start button on this thing.

VITAL STATS

PRICE £39,305 (£45,420 as tested)

ENGINE 2.2l diesel, 4cyl, 310lb ft 189bhp

PERFORMANCE Max speed 124mph; 0-62mph 9.5s

ECONOMY 49.6mpg

CO2 EMISSIONS 149g/km