Range Rover Evoque Convertible: It’s weird but it works

    Posted by Wheels On Edge about 6 months ago
    Could this be the most niche SUV on the market? It has only two doors and a comically small trunk. And with the push of a button, it unveils its biggest party trick – it also has no roof. Enter the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Convertible. It’s not a world first, but currently it’s the only drop top SUV on the market. Nissan tried the same formula years ago with the Murano Crosscabriolet. Sales were anything but stellar and the model was dropped from the company’s lineup. Will the Evoque convertible suffer the same fate?

    The origins of the Evoque Convertible are decidedly industrial. The original Land Rover Series 1, built just after the second World War, was as utilitarian as you could get. Post-war England needed ruggedness, not luxury, and the Series 1 fit the bill. It could be configured with a collapsible canvas roof and was perfectly capable of traversing war torn cities and countryside. But since we live in 2017, chances are the roughest terrain an Evoque Convertible will see is a poorly maintained pothole-ridden road. 
    the Evoque Convertible is a looker with the roof down

    From a design standpoint, the Evoque Convertible is a looker with the roof down. It’s certainly stylish, if a little awkward at times. But make no mistake, this car demands attention – both good and bad. Our tester, finished in a black on black configuration, took a subtler approach. As subtle as a roofless SUV can get, anyway. Buyers of the Evoque convertible are likely to keep the roof down as often as possible, but being in Canada, mother nature doesn’t always play nicely. While the styling suffers with the roof up, the Evoque’s electronic roof will function at speeds up to 40 kilometres per hour. Handy if you get caught on the road with nowhere to pull over. Just make sure you’re not on a highway.

    Driving the Evoque is certainly an experience. It’s sometimes hard to tell if you feel cool, silly or maybe a bit of both. You’ll get looks and gestures from drivers and pedestrians alike. If you take it out to the side roads, away from prying eyes, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how well the convertible handles. Without a hard roof, convertibles can sometimes be sloppier when it comes to handling, but the Evoque Convertible handles corners and winding roads shockingly well. Power comes from a turbocharged 2.0l 4-cylinder engine. While it’s not the most powerful, it has no issue getting the droptop going. Power is cycled through a 9-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shifters.
    The Evoque is a stylish and comfortable place to be

    Inside, the Evoque is a stylish and comfortable place to be. Though the liberal use of hard plastic in a vehicle that starts close to $70k is concerning. The dashboard layout is intuitive with only a few minor complaints - like, where’s the on/off switch for climate control? Having to go through the touchscreen to turn it off can get potentially dangerous as you’ll have to take your eyes off the road to do it. Speaking of the touchscreen, much of the Evoque’s inside comforts are controlled through this responsive interface. You’ll be able to toggle features like air, heat, music, phone connectivity, massaging seats and customizable mood lighting. With the roof up, the Evoque is quiet and comfortable. Top down, road and wind noise is much more apparent. The comfortable and roomy front and back seats can easily sit four adults. Just make sure they pack light, as the trunk space is quite limited due to the folding roof.

    With a starting price of almost $66,000 and our tester pushing $71,000, the Evoque Convertible’s price can that of its fellow Land Rovers. But the market for two-door convertible luxury SUV’s is certainly a niche one. So for that price, as high as it may seem, you’ll also get a level of exclusivity most of us never will. And for some buyers, that alone is worth it. 

    Written by Shane Kalicharan
    Photos: Kevin Wylie
    Tags:
    Range Rover Evoque Convertible, Luxury, Off-Road, Top Down, topless

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