Our cars: Range Rover Evoque - May
Week ending 31 May
Driven this week 305 miles
Range Rover Evoque review
The Evoque is such a style-conscious car that it's easy to forget that it also has most of the benefits of a proper SUV. I can't say that I did any serious off-roading in the week I had it – actually I spent most of the time mooching around familiar roads in Surrey and Dorset. However, there was some torrential weather to drive through – including a few floods, which it dealt with remarkably well.
There's a real smugness to being able to wade through road-closing floods when others are turning around, and the Evoque's 500mm wading depth made it easy. To put that in context, the uncompromisingly off-road biased Defender will meet a watery fate at the same depth as the Evoque, while the Volvo XC60 manages only 350mm. Clearly, it’s not all about looks after all.
Week ending 17 May
Driven this week 200 miles
This week I spent yet more time in our long-term Range Rover Evoque, although this was more out of necessity – needing a car that could be left 'out of action' at Heathrow for a day – rather than a huge desire to drive it again.
Following my frustrations with the six-speed automatic, I decided to leave the gearbox in Sport mode for the entire weekend, and try to use the paddles as much as possible to maximise performance of that 188bhp 2.2-litre diesel.
This made a noticeable difference, even improving the pick-up when pulling away from junctions, but I wish it didn’t require so many manual inputs to perform like this.
By Ed Callow
Week ending May 3
Driven this week 435 miles
I had various events across the Midlands to attend this week, so with hours of motorway driving to look forward to, I opted to take the keys to our Range Rover Evoque. There’s no doubt that this is still one of the most stylish and desirable new cars on sale – among a plethora of more restrained cars in the service station car park, the Evoque looked fresh and bold.
However, with so many miles covered in the past week, there’s also no escaping this car's most noticeable weakness. The six-speed auto 'box is a real letdown – its lengthy hesitation when moving off from a junction means that you find yourself putting your foot on the throttle before the gap in traffic has actually arrived, just to make sure you exit at the right time.
The forthcoming nine-speed gearbox can't come soon enough, because it should neutralise what I find a major frustration with everyday ownership.
By Ed Callow