Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

The Real Excitement Machine

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

The Real Excitement Machine

Article excerpt

WHEN it comes to exclusivity, style and luxury, it's difficult to go past the baby Range Rover.

Since its unveiling as a concept back in 2008, the Evoque has attracted unprecedented attention for the British brand.

Futuristic lines and a top-class finish combine in a package which delivers everything you want in prestige motoring.

While there is a five-door option, the slightly more expensive Coupe is sleeker, lower and wins the beauty contest between the two.

There isn't much going against the flashy SUVa[degrees] apart from its failure to gain a five-star safety rating in Australia. While it gains the full complement in Europe, Down Under the Evoque got four due to chest injury concerns for the driver in a frontal collision.

But there is no doubting this is one swashbuckling piece of machinery.

Comfort

The exterior lines make the Evoque an excitement machine. And the cabin is lurking close behind.

While all luxury offerings boast quality finishes, they often lack personality with a strong family resemblance throughout the brand.

The baby Rangie is something special. Brushed aluminium across the console, leather on the dash, doors and seats, it's the kind of cabin which you look forward to being inside. All seats offer good support, including lumbar adjustment in the pews up front along with electrical controls in various directions.

Our test car had a swag of extras, including a brilliant panoramic sunroof, but a no cost option is the three-seat bench in the back which is worth the extra flexibility.

To provide some extra cred at night, there are some cool puddle lamps from the mirrors which project an Evoque graphic on the ground.

On the road

Beneath the sleek skin of the Si4 is a petrol donk that is Ford derived and a relation to the engine found in the Ford Falcon.

State-of-the-art, lightweight and strong, it's an impressive powerplant.

Turbocharged with direct injection, it feels more like a six-cylinder and the sprint time of 0-100kmh in under eight seconds is testament to its abilities.

When mated to the six-speed automatic the duo rarely put a foot wrong. All-wheel drive provides a balanced performer and while you get the usual SUV lean when you push hard in the bends, it's quite adept in the twisties.

What do you get?

There is no doubting there are some alluring items on the optional extras list. They quickly add up, as our car attested.

But if you have to stick with the basic Prestige model, you can easily cope. Among the standard gear is leather trim on the seats, door casings and dash, brushed aluminium centre console, chrome treadplates, Xenon lamps, auto lights and wipers, an eight-inch high resolution touch-screen, 11 speaker Meridian sound system, Bluetooth access, along with iPod and two ports for USB connectivity. …

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