WHEN Land Rover launched the Evoque it was an instant success.
Sales boomed and there was a waiting list for the car which had all the off-road essentials of the big Range Rovers but in a dramatically new style of car.
Great news for the company but a few years down the line how do you maintain that interest?
Cleverly, Land Rover has added more and more models to the line up with prices to suit different pockets, as well as adding the convertible.
The range now starts from just over £30,000 but there are buyers who demand all the bells and whistles on their cars so there are Evoques to suit them too.
This model fell into the latter category, hence the price of £47,650 which increased to just under £50,000 with a couple of optional extras.
But while that might sound expensive you get an awful lot of car for your money.
For starters there's the full length panoramic sun roof with its electrically operated sun blind which gives the feeling of open air motoring without getting blown about by the wind.
Then there are the 20inch black alloy wheels (particularly eye catching on a white car), full leather seating with heated front seats and memory function, satellite navigation, heated windscreen and blind spot indicators in the mirrors.
The car now uses the 2.0-litre, four cylinder Ingenium diesel engine first fitted in Jaguars, which provides a nice balance of power refinement and economy. And as on Jaguars the round shaped gear shift rises up for easy use as you start the engine.
Despite its lively performance this 180bhp engine mated to a seamless nine-speed automatic gearbox regularly returned 50 miles per gallon on journeys I made over a six day period.
Acceleration in the lower gears is impressively quick while ninth is very much an overdrive gear allowing you to cruise at high speed with low revs, ensuring quiet relaxed motoring as well as keeping fuel consumption down.
In fact noise levels inside the cabin really are impressively low giving the car an almost limousine-like feel.
The ride is very comfortable too, but for me a little on the soft side with more roll than I would have liked.
Yet for all its on-road qualities the Evoque is still a very capable 4x4 which can tackle a wide choice of off-road surfaces that you can pre-select as you approach them. Although in the real world you are more likely to see these cars on the school run than tearing across the countryside.
There's good head and leg room for rear seat passengers while luggage space is adequate, although you could struggle with two large suitcases without lowering one of the rear seat backs.
Overall, however, it's difficult to find any real drawbacks with the Evoque. It's a sleek, good looking family car that can tackle the rough stuff without looking like it's tough enough to.