Evoque - cream of

the crop for

Cheshire set

Range Rover Evoque, front
Range Rover Evoque, front, off road
Range Rover Evoque, rear
Range Rover Evoque, side
Range Rover Evoque, side, static
Range Rover Evoque, rear, static
Range Rover Evoque, tail
Range Rover Evoque, boot
Range Rover Evoque, interior

IF a blindfolded man threw a rock in Cheshire the chances are he would be hard pressed to avoid hitting a Land Rover product.

Only in the Cotswolds, where Range Rover ownership is a condition of residence, are you more aware of just what status the badge represents.

Which is why there has been such a growth in the model range since the days when posh was a Rangy and less posh a Discovery.

Range Rover Sport, Discovery Sport and Velar have all extended the appeal of the line-up. And, of course, there is the Evoque which has just been updated. Three-door configuration didn't make a lot of sense in the premium market and now it comes only as a five door model.

Exterior lines lack unnecessary fuss and follow the style of the Velar. However, the rear window is still poor on visibility an optional a rear view camera has been designed in to operate via the mirror.

The other big news is that all models except for the base diesel are 48-volt mild hybrids which is a boost to the Evoque's off-road ability.

Fastest in the range is the 2.0-litre P300 auto at 6.6 seconds, cheapest the two-litre diesel two-wheel-drive (2WD) and the greenest with emissions of 143g/km and 50mpg.

It's a Range Rover so, short of the special vehicles unit Sports, no racing car.

On the open road the Evoque is willing, the P300 virtually silent and all models sort out the corners with minimal fuss.

Almost all models, three diesels and the P designated petrols, are four-wheel-drive (4WD) and there is a useful 60cm wading depth. The ride is not as Flopsy Bunny as a Range Rover but it sucks up poor surfaces.

Automatic gearboxes were the only ones driven and the nine-speed is to be recommended.

Okay, it is a premium product and this must be reflected inside.

This is certainly a luxury item with plenty of leather. Of course these days many people prefer not to sit on an ex-milker so you can opt for a finish made from recycled plastic bottles.

The driving position is as commanding as is expected from a Land Rover product.

From mid trim level upwards the infotainment screen becomes JLR's Touch Pro Duo system, with two central screens stacked one above the other. The lower one normally runs climate control. Swipe across and it covers comfort, eco, sport modes and terrainresponse.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are in the system now.

The driver's instruments are actual switchgear, where it's TFT in the trim levels that come with the Touch Pro Duo.

Another display is the optional Ground View system. Cameras embedded around the front of the car feed the screen with an image of the area down between and forward of the front wheels. Imagine the bonnet and engine bay were glass. Range Rover portrays it as an off-road aid, for avoiding boulders and crevasses.

Over the Land Rover Experience off-road course at Peckforton Castle, deep in this creamery county, the Evoque coped well with a testing course, on ordinary road tyres and despite not have not the greatest ground clearance.

Probably of more importance to the customers who will be attracted to this model was that road manners were excellent, the ride quiet and refined and build quality beyond reproach.

Prices start at £30,620 rising to £50,165.

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