THEY always said that the iconic Range Rover would make a good platform for a luxury saloon or hatch and over the years I have seen some interesting design proposals for such a move.
But it was Land Rover itself that came up with the very best development of the platform with the stunningly good looking Range Rover Evoque.
This model can rightly claim the title of king of the crossovers because its mix of premium saloon and 4x4 luxury that made it a worldwide success.
In fact, the Evoque is one of Land Rover's most successful models with sales as fast as its performance capabilities.
Its production in Halewood, Merseyside, has spread to places such as China and Brazil because the demand for it is so great.
The Evoque was upgraded last year with improvements to its powertrain and the addition of more modern LED lighting. And the model range is extensive with a broad spread of engine options.
This car, a £51,200 Autobiography fitted with a 2.0L TD4 diesel was an ideal example of what the Evoque is all about.
Its sloping rear roofline and frontal power dressing ensure that its street cred ticks all the boxes on the exec car park and its capabilities are up to the mark without question.
There is 180bhp on tap and this is served up with 430Nm of torque to give the sort of response you would expect from a vehicle costing this much.
This was one of the 4x4 versions of the Evoque but its overall feel gave the impression of a premium sports salon rather than an all-wheel-drive vehicle.
Much of this is due to the marriage of the engine to a nine-speed automatic transmission which handled the power in an unhurried and efficient way even under heavy pressure.
It is possible to select a sport mode, but in everyday use the standard setting of the car gives more than enough power.
And when it comes to venturing of-road Evoque is no pretender. With approach, departure and ramp breakover angles enabling it to handle some very rough territory.
In addition, the obstacle clearing height is 215mm and wading depth 500mm which says a lot for a car such as this.
With 121mph on tap this Evoque is up at the front when it comes to on road power and its 0-60mph sprint of 8.5 seconds give sports car punch away from the traffic lights.