In part 1 posted last week http://motormartin.com/2016/05/24/range-rover-evoque-se-tech-ed4-2wd-everytime-look/, MotorMartin discussed the fantastic service received from the Swansway Group http://www.swanswaygarages.com/ 01270 419061 with the loan of their Range Rover Evoque and looked at the phenomenal styling that carried across from the original 2011 concept car shown at various events around the World to universal acclaim. Indeed so impressed was MotorMartin that the Evoque’s YouTube review was produced and posted very quickly after the original article. Unheard of here in MotorMartin Towers.
So what is it that makes this newly refreshed SUV from Land Rover quite so special and why should a car such as this feature so prominently in the hallowed pages of MotorMartin? After all, I promote ‘real life’ motoring, so does this Range Rover Evoque SE Tech ED4 2WD fit the bill?
Back when the World was young, British Leyland products had a rather unenviable reputation for quality and less than carefully thought out products rushed prematurely into showrooms. The British consumer was mostly blind to the inadeqacies of poorly designed and built to a budget vehicles whilst the designer’s, often bold vision, was rather spoilt by those in positions of power and as such, the consumer was left with cars that were ‘nearly’ brilliant but fell at the final hurdle. And then, after lurching from near disaster to disaster for a number of years, The Ford Motor Company got involved with Jaguar and Land Rover in the 90s but it was when the Indian company Tata became involved in 2008 that real changes began to be seen.
Tata themselves state on their excellent Jaguar Land Rover website http://www.jaguarlandrover.com/gl/en/about-us/our-history/ that: Jaguar Land Rover is a company that brings together two much loved, highly prestigious British car brands. After Tata Motors acquired Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford in 2008, it merged the two marques into a single company and its success has flourished, with memorable vehicles and innovative technologies that add to a long-lasting legacy.
Before continuing to say that: In 2008, the two were bought by Tata Motors, India’s largest automobile manufacturer, and officially joined together as one company in 2013. Sales and profits have risen year on year, with more exciting chapters in the histories of these two brands still to be written. I think it’s clear that Tata have been a superb fit for Land Rover, raising quality, design and products to previously unattainable levels and that the attention to detail now furnished upon Land Rover is clear the moment you set eyes upon the Evoque.
The interior of the Evoque is a really rather marvellous place to spend time with a bright and airy cabin lifted from the norm by the large panoramic roof, craftily revealed with the press of a button, the amazing Lunar/Ivory leather seating, door cards and trim and the incredible mix of user friendly technology all of which is designed to make your journey as stress free and enjoyable as possible. MotorMartin particularly liked the ease at which the Evoque can be set up to your own particular preferences. The seat and steering are infinitely adjustable to virtually guarantee comfort for people of all shapes and sizes, whilst ambient temperature is set through the excellent dual zone climate control combined with heated seats front and rear. A most pleasant place to stay.
Technology and cars have come a long way in a relatively short space of time and there’s no better example than the Range Rover Evoque SE Tech ED4 2WD that MotorMartin’s been driving recently, ignoring many elements of the drivetrain that have seen an incredible amount of research and development undertaken on I’ll highlight what MotorMartin found useful when driving. Sitting comfortably?
Then I’ll begin: Lane keep assist with driver monitoring, Adaptive cruise control, Auto lights, Auto main beam, Rain sensitive wipers, Powered gesture tailgate, (superb) Climate control, Meridian digital surround sound system, (incredible) InControl Touch Pro, InControl Touch Plus which Land Rover say: offers full command of your journey from climate control to navigation, as well as your iPod or MP3 player, with details of playlists and music displayed by artist, album and genre. Play music from digital or AM/FM radio, from CD, files stored on the hard disk or from an external source, such as an iPod. Enhance your listening experience further with a choice of exceptional Meridian™ Sound Systems. You can also make and take phone calls using controls on the Touch-screen or steering wheel, Duel Screen didital TV, Sat Nav and an Electronic parking brake. MotorMartin’s favourite would have to be the Auto main beam, what a great idea that makes driving this Evoque more relaxing than most. There are many more technological masterpieces present within this Evoque and if you opt for a 4WD model, be prepared to spend time carefully going through the brochure before you even set foot in the showroom. You’ll need it!
Now it’s all well and good having a great interior but if the engine and transmission are no good then you’ve pretty much wasted yours and everybody else’s time. It’s like the inflatable boy taking a pin into the inflatable school, sooner or later, he’s going to let everybody down. Fortunately the Evoque doesn’t disappoint. The engine is the very latest Ingenium model which has been designed and engineered to deliver both performance and improved efficiency whilst remaining even more civilised than the previous generation motor present in the pre face-lift Evoque. Available in 150hp and 180hp, 2 or 4 Wheel Drive and a choice of 6-speed Manual or 9-speed Automatic Transmissions, it really is quiet clear where your money is being spent.
Setting off in the Land Rover is simplicity itself, the clutch and manual transmission combine well to allow a smooth departure without embarrassment and it doesn’t take long to start to feel used to the extra width and height of the Evoque from that of the regular MotorMartin Focus. This is an engine that delivers torque from the off, moving up through the short throw gear shift into 6th allows you to sit back, relax and let the engine do the work. As long as you don’t expect searing acceleration you can toggle between 5th and 6th all day long whilst maintaining that all important MPG. In fact a quick swipe of the Infotainment screen to the right, in the manner of a smartphone or tablet and you’re presented with the Eco function, a whole new set of pages you can use to maximise how efficiently you use your right foot. If, like MotorMartin, you love a gadget, then your going to find these pages remarkably addictive. It turns every drive into a computer game, tempers every decision on gear changing as you’re trying to beat your previous best, makes you think about how much brake you’re using, all to just gain that extra few percent. It’s marvellous and extremely addictive.
Whilst the Evoque was living at MotorMartin Towers, I covered around 600 miles of varied driving and there wasn’t a situation where I felt that the LandRover was the wrong vehicle and unable to cope. The powered tailgate is brilliant when filling the boot with the weekly shop, there was plenty of room in the back for the MotorMartin brood, who loved the heated rear seats and panoramic roof, Mrs MotorMartin was more than happy with her commanding seating position and added luxury of the duel screen digital TV up front, DAB radio and supreme comfort whilst myself, let’s just say that the following highlights exactly what I think this SUV does best and why it can be considered for ‘real life’ motoring.
Leaving Harlow, Essex at around 21:00 with the knowledge that there was at least 4 hours driving ahead, before the bright lights of Bradford, West Yorkshire welcomed me home, was not a particularly appealing thought. It had been a long day with the first 200 miles already completed on the outward journey that morning and here, MotorMartin was about to embark on the opposite of that morning’s travel. M11, A14, A1 and finally, the M62, not a route that stirs the soul. But the Evoque, what a car. Tired and not a little bit drained, DAB radio set to Radio X, climate control set to 19c and it’s off to the M11 we go, if there were a yellow brick road, MotorMartin would’ve folłwed that as well.
Once on the motorway, the simple to use cruise control is easily set to 69mph, leaving steering your only job. As the light began to dim, the automatic lights snapped on to provide an excellent spread onto the road ahead and provided me with their party piece when clever sensors switch the main beam on and off as needed, it’s a brilliant system that works really well and gives you one less thing to worry about, especially useful on longer journeys. Upon setting foot outside MotorMartin Towers, precisely 4.5 hours later, I was left to ruminate upon how the Range Rover had delivered me, relaxed, safe and comfortably back to Bradford.
Looking back on my time with the Evoque SE Tech ED4 2WD and I’m left to answer my original questions: So what is it that makes this newly refreshed SUV from Land Rover quite so special and why should a car such as this feature so prominently in the hallowed pages of MotorMartin? It’s a special car, technically brilliant, suspension and ride just on the hard side to encourage the excellent handling, decent boot, room enough for most families, around 58mpg average and safety aids that just work as intended, this is a relaxing car to drive that delivers everything asked of it. MotorMartin loves it. At a starting price of£30,600.00, it’s not a purchase that all of can make but with the variety of offers available and differing ways to finance the purchase, if you can, you should.
Where will you go?