- First premium SUV Convertible
- Driving dynamics are as good as the hard top
- Fabric roof means less of a weight penalty
- Expensive - Starts from £47,500
- 217 litres of boot space is not huge
- Ski hatch is not standard on the entry-level car
You have had the SUV in all its guises…enter the world’s first luxury compact SUV convertible and the first ever convertible production Range Rover, feast your eyes on the Range Rover Convertible.
Just like its sibling the hard top Evoque, this Convertible version is set to fly out of the showrooms and is aimed at buyers who are currently driving Mercedes-Benz E-Class Convertibles and Audi A5’s.
The Evoque Convertible retains the design proportions of the five-door and coupé derivatives. Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Design Director and Chief Creative Officer claims that the Convertible ‘was the next logical step’ and that the production car is ‘the ultimate expression of fun and desirability building on the ever-popular Evoque nameplate which continues to bring new customers to the brand.”
On the Road
The new Range Rover Evoque is available with both a petrol and a diesel engine.
The petrol power plant is the Si4 four-cylinder petrol engine producing 237bhp and 340Nm of torque giving the Evoque Convertible a good level of in-gear acceleration. This version will complete the benchmark sprint from zero to 62mph in 7.8 seconds will go on to a top speed of 130mph. This engine is mated to a ZF nine-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel-drive drivetrain.
If you prefer a diesel unit then there’s only one engine to choose from. It is an Ingenium turbodiesel engine producing 178bhp of power and 430Nm of torque, spread across a broad powerband and it is also matched to the nine speed auto ‘box. There are times, however, when a little more oomph would be useful.
As a compact SUV, the Evoque has always been quite agile and this drop top version is just as good. There is plenty of grip, thanks to the clever four-wheel drive and the torque vectoring system. The steering is of a decent weight and gives the driver a lot of feedback, which will please enthusiastic drivers. It does, however, feel a little slower than the hard top version and this is shown in the performance times.
Top marks. Land Rover has come up trumps in terms of refinement. The Evoque Convertible is as refined as the hard top. The fabric hood is made from polyacrylic, which keeps heat in and noise out. Just what you want, from a drop top. Even at motorway speed, the engine, wind roar and tyre noise remain faint – the boffins have worked wonders.
In the car
The Evoque Convertible’s is at the top-of-the-range, and with this in mind there are only two trims available, HSE Dynamic or HSE Dynamic LUX specification. In both cases, the convertible features a deeper, more aggressive front bumper with enlarged air intakes and slimline LED fog lights. Body-coloured side skirts are visually lower while the dynamic rear bumper houses distinctive twin exhaust outlets.
At night, a puddle-lamp graphic is projected from the base of the door mirrors. Uniquely featuring an outline of Evoque Convertible, the puddle lamps illuminate the ground around both front doors for maximum convenience and a highly distinctive appearance.
The Evoque Convertible debuts an all-new InControl Touch Pro infotainment system featuring 3G connectivity. InControl Touch Pro offers 3G connectivity, and is available with a largest-in-class 10.2-inch touchscreen.
It includes Audio, Climate, Telephone and Satellite Navigation. These can also be accessed via steering wheel-mounted controls. These functions include WiFi hotspot, parking cameras, Eco Data, Wade Sensing and rear-seat climate-control settings.
Choose the HSE Dynamic and standard features include Heated front screen, Front and rear park distance control, Xenon headlamps, Front fog lights, Heated powerfold exterior mirrors with memory function and auto dipping in reverse gear, Bonnet louvres in Narvik Black Dynamic grille in Narvik Black with Corris Grey Surround, Fender vents in Narvik Black, 12-way / 12-way Heated Oxford leather adjustable electric memory front seats, Configurable Mood Lighting, Rear view camera, 10.2 inch Touch-screen, InControl Touch Pro Navigation and InControl Touch Pro – 10 speaker Meridian™ Audio plus sub-woofer, Land Departure Warning, Autonomous Emergency Braking, InControl Connect Pack, InControl Protect and InControl Secure and Four-wheel drive with Active Driveline (Si4 only)
Move up to the HSE Dynamic LUX and this grade includes Full Park Assist, 360 Park Distance Control, Surround Camera System, Blindspot Monitoring with Closing Vehicle Sensing and Reverse Traffic Detection, Keyless Entry, Meridian Surround Sound System, Lane Keeping Assist and driver condition monitor, Traffic Sign Recognition, Ski-hatch with Rear Centre Armrest, Wind Deflector and Automatic Headlamps with High Beam Assist.
Whether you want to the hood up or down you can lower the system in just 18 seconds while it will rise in 21 seconds when the roof button on the centre console is pressed. Our car had the optional rear wind deflector and we would definitely advise you to tick this box on the list. It is brilliant for helping to keep the heat in when you have the hood down. If you do get caught out in changeable weather, you’ll be pleased to know that you can raise or lower the roof at speeds of up to 30mph.
Space in the interior is quite good and you can get four adults in the car, however, six footers may feel a bit cramped. Luggage space is at a premium. The boot has a load space of 251-litre luggage capacity whether the roof is open or closed. Our advice is, choose the flagship trim as the Ski hatch comes as standard on this grade and just gives you that extra bit of practicality for awkward items.
The Evoque Convertible has been tested in the same off-road environments and to the same high standards as all Land Rover vehicles so it can negotiate the toughest of off-road terrain.
Even though it is a convertible, it has approach, breakover and departure angles of 19, 18.9 and 31.0 degrees respectively while it can also scale 45-degree gradients and to a tilt of 35 degrees, and wade through water up to 500mm deep. Not bad for a soft-top.
It’s not exactly cheap but then what Range Rover is? Well, this is a premium SUV. Prices start from £47,500 for the HSE Dynamic with the 180bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine. This power plant averages 49.6mpg and emits 149gkm of CO2 – about average for this size of SUV.
The Range Rover Evoque Convertible is built in the UK so expect quality and reliability to be of a high standard. Built alongside the three and five door counterparts at Land Rover’s Halewood manufacturing plant, it will go on sale in the Summer of 2016.
Safety standards are high on the Evoque Convertible. The Evoque Convertible features a number of engineering innovations including the vehicle’s A-pillars have been strengthened to ensure excellent roll-over protection; new under-body bracing maintains the torsional rigidity of the coupé derivatives without impacting on Evoque’s off-road capability; a Roll-Over Protection System, concealed within the rear quarter, deploys in a split-second should a roll-over situation be detected.
Numerous airbags come as standard including a combined thorax and head airbag to offer the same level of protection as the coupé’s individual thorax and head airbags.
Other features include 360 degree Parking Aid, Autonomous Emergency Braking avoids or minimises the impact of collisions, Lane-Keeping Assist for maximum safety and Driver Condition Monitor: the early warning system for driver fatigue.
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