With base prices starting at just under $44,000 for the five-door and $45,000 for the three-door, the 2012 Range Rover Evoque avoids comparisons with compact crossovers like the BMW X3, Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLK and Cadillac SRX entirely. And since it's pitched as a pricier design statement, it's stuffed with features that naturally are offered in "themes," instead of more plebeian packages.
The basic Evoque is sold as the Pure. These versions sport neutral colors and soft-touch plastics on the dash, dabbed with real aluminum trim. Standard features on the five-door include the usual power features; cruise control; Bluetooth connectivity; an AM/FM/CD player with 380 watts of speaker power and a USB port for media players; automatic headlights; automatic climate control; front and rear parking sensors; and a rearview camera. Options include a hard-drive navigation system; a rear-seat DVD entertainment system; satellite and HD radio; a surround-view rear camera; and a panoramic roof that's among the biggest panels we've ever seen in such a small vehicle--and a feature that greatly enhances the Evoque's cozy cockpit. It's added to the three-door as standard equipment.
The mid-grade Evoque is the Prestige model. Figured as the younger cousin to the Range Rover Sport, this version wears its own leather-wrapped interior with beautiful stitching and wood trim; 19-inch wheels, with an option for 20-inchers; and two-tone color schemes. To the Pure's equipment, it adds a power tailgate; fog lamps; the surround-view camera; a rear-seat armrest; power front seats with memory; keyless entry; and the navigation system. Optional equipment includes HD and satellite radio and the DVD entertainment system. The Prestige isn't offered in a three-door version.
Finally, there's the Dynamic model, which has its own choices among 19- and 20-inch wheels, to go with distinctive fascias and tailpipes for a more aggressive look. Its sporty interior gets perforated leather seats and contrast stitching, with some wild colors like lime green and chili orange and an option for a contrasting roof color. This version adds on steering-wheel controls for audio and navigation and phone; blind-spot monitors; and the surround-view camera, with options for the DVD entertainment system, satellite and HD radio, and the Adaptive Dynamics package, which adds magnetically-controlled shocks to the Evoque's suspension. Three-door Evoques in this trim level have a choice of a three-seat bench in back, or of twin bucket seats.
The Evoque's touchscreen controls for audio and navigation are familiar to anyone who's driven a recent Jaguar or Land Rover vehicle. The Evoque version has a larger eight-inch screen and some interaction with Bluetooth controls--and Bluetooth can also stream audio to the Evoque's audio system, which itself can be upgraded to a concert-quality Meridian system with 825 watts of power and 17 speakers.
A winter package bundles a heated windshield with heated front seats and a heated steering wheel.