Packing a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4, the 2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque promises better on-road performance than any Land and/or Range Rover before it while still maintaining strong capabilities off the beaten path. While our verdant Fontana, California, test site provides little opportunity to try out the latter on the 2012 North American Truck of the Year, its abundant pavement allowed us to see how this stylish, inspired-by-Posh-Spice SUV stacks up numbers-wise in the increasingly crowded luxury crossover segment.
Vehicle: 2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
Driver: Mike Monticello
Price: $41,145 base
Drive Type: Front-engine, all-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Six-speed automatic
Engine Type: Transverse turbocharged, direct-injected inline-4
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 1,999/122
Redline (rpm): 6,850
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 240
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 251
Brake Type (front): 11.8-inch ventilated discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Brake Type (rear): 11.9-inch ventilated discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Suspension Type(front): Independent MacPherson struts, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent MacPherson struts, stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): 245/45R20 (99V)
Tire Size (rear): 245/45R20 (99V)
Tire Brand: Michelin
Tire Model: Latitude Sport
Tire Type: Asymmetrical summer
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 4,015
0-30 (sec): 2.7 (3.1 w/TC on)
0-45 (sec): 4.8 (5.2 w/TC on)
0-60 (sec): 7.4 (7.7 w/TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 7.1 (7.3 w/TC on)
0-75 (sec): 11.0 (11.2 w/TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 15.5 @ 89.8 (15.7 @ 89.8 w/TC on)
30-0 (ft): 29
60-0 (ft): 118
Slalom (mph): 62.9 dynamic mode ( 62.4 w/TC on)
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.83 dynamic ( 0.79 w/TC on)
Db @ Idle: 43.8
Db @ Full Throttle: 73.4
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 64.1
Acceleration: Definite turbo lag off the line, and the brakes aren't strong enough to hold the Evoque in place for proper power braking at launch. Once to 3,000 rpm the engine feels quite strong. Some lag with each upshift. Shifts are quick but a bit abrupt. Manual shifting via steering wheel paddles (no console lever, just a knob). Sort of blips the throttle on manual downshifts. Will not hold gears to limiter.
Braking: The Evoque's first stop of 118 feet is actually pretty good considering it weighs 4,000 pounds. But by just the third stop the brakes were smoking heavily, and by the fourth stop we called it quits. For that, it gets a Poor rating.
Skid pad: Good feel from the steering and reasonable grip from the tires. Chassis is responsive. There's a major difference here between ESC on and off (unlike in the slalom, where they felt the same). With it "off" the system didn't jump in at all. With it on, it massively cut the throttle to the point you could just keep the right foot planted.
Slalom: A real shame that the ESC system cannot be defeated, even in "DSC off" mode. The Evoque has surprisingly quick steering and a competent chassis with good damping, but if you get at all aggressive with it around the cones it cuts the throttle and adds brakes. It's counter-intuitive to have such quick steering, then right after you turn in, the stability system freaks out and cuts all your speed. Let this thing breathe and it would put up a respectable time.