Enjoy the roots of a Range Rover with the added benefit of some vitamin D on a sunny day.
Upon hearing the Range Rover name, the immediate image that comes to mind would be that of a large, luxurious sport utility vehicle. After all, premium SUVs are the hallmark of the Land Rover and Range Rover brands. Their vehicles are known to rather well liked by celebrities and the elite from all over the world. The positive allure towards these SUVs does not come as a surprise, considering the exterior sports a royal charm, with an interior that makes you feel like a makes you feel like a king. Furthermore, the looks don’t come without any practicality, with immense on and off-road ability across the board in all weather conditions. Something most would not think when hearing the marque is “convertible”.
Back in 2011, the baby Range Rover, otherwise known as the Evoque (reviewed here), started hitting showrooms as an entry-level option for those interesting in joining the club. The compact geometry of this crossover made for an appealing alternative to buyers looking for a premium SUV without the large stature. While the Evoque was made available in three and five-door configurations, the rather unique convertible offering is new for 2017. taking on a completely new segment with very few competitors in the topless crossover arena. In fact, the 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Convertible is the only crossover money can buy with a factory convertible option.
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After spending a week with the Evoque Convertible, rest assured that necks will certainly break and heads will most definitely be scratched, all with an air of confusion. A convertible crossover is still a fresh concept for the auto industry, and a rather unknown concept to the rest of the world. Driving around in a topless Range Rover (reviewed here) will certainly get the attention from almost everyone peering out onto the roadway as you drive by. Forewarning, expect many people to question what it is exactly this car it is you’re driving.
The exterior design language doesn’t stray off very far from that of the original vehicle. The front end is virtually the same as the standard Evoque, with most of the differences found around back. While the soft-top keeps the signature low roofline of the original, we can’t help but tilt our heads at the sight; this car certainly looks its best while the top is down. A small lip spoiler is mounted onto the trunk hatch, adding an element of aero to a car that really doesn’t require it, however removing it wouldn’t do the car any favours.
This convertible variant doesn’t deviate very far from the hardtop specs of the standard Evoque. Performance numbers remain the same with 240 horsepower at 5,800RPM and 250 lb-ft. of torque at 1,750RPM, from the 2.0 litre four-cylinder turbocharged motor. In proper Range Rover fashion, premium fuel is required, though the nine-speed automatic transmission helps efficiency, keeping you on the road as long as possible. While the factory rates it at 11.3 L/100KM city and 7.9 L/100KM, our test managed to sneak a combined average of 10.3L/100KM over 375km kilometres, with enough fuel remaining in the 70L tank to go another 166km.
Being a convertible, it comes as no surprise that this version of the Evoque weighs a little more than the hardtop. While the hardtop has a curb weight of 1,658 kilograms, the convertible comes in at 1,936 kilograms; a 278-kilogram difference from the five-door. The increase in weight is thanks to additional measures necessary to ensure that the chassis of the convertible remains as rigid as possible. That isn’t to say that the ride has been rendered uncomfortable; even six-footers will be content with the seating position and overall headroom. However, even though there are four seats, the back seats are not recommended for adults. Those sitting upfront can enjoy both heated and cooled chairs, with full massage function as well on our top-trim test vehicle. A head steering wheel is also provided for those chilly days during the frigid Canadian winters.
A nice improvement from the previous year Evoque is the new 10.2-inch InControl touchscreen. This latest iteration of Land Rover’s media control centre feature an edge-to-edge touchscreen display, allowing for a cleaner screen layout and an easier user interface. Whereas the previous system had touch buttons on raised panels placed both sides of the screen, this new screen displays all shortcuts along the bottom of the display, with your main four (Nav, Phone, Media, Seat Controls) highlighted at the center of the row.
In proper convertible fashion, this Evoque loses the convenience of decent trunk space. The 251-litre trunk is suitable for a couple of duffle bags at most. While roving to the airport for a quick business trip, a medium-sized suitcase with laptop bag and camera bag essentially filled the trunk to capacity, with some spare room for miscellaneous loose items.
While the car does look a tad awkward from some angles, it does have some redeeming factors. For instance, the exhaust has a subtle but very present burble like that of the Jaguar F-Type (reviewed here), just on a much smaller decibel level. You also get to enjoy the roots of a Range Rover with the added benefit of some vitamin D on a sunny day. Our tester was dressed in Narvik Black paint with the standard 20-inch Split-Spoke, Style 508 rims with Sparkle Finish.
With a base price of $65,990, the 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Convertible is by no means a cheap car. As of right now, the convertible is only available in one trim, that being the HSE Dynamic with the 2.0L engine. Our tester hit $71,000 thanks to the addition of the Advanced Driver Assistance Package and a heated windshield. Land Rover has taken a big risk with this car, and that’s something truly commendable. The Evoque Convertible has an effect similar to the younger sibling of the family, with the hopes of becoming like its older brothers.
2017 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Convertible