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Range Rover Evoque Landmark Edition First Drive Review

What is it?

Range Rover Evoque Landmark Edition First Drive Review

Why should I buy it?

Attractive styling, compact size

Why should I avoid it?

Small cabin, second-gen model due next year

What is it?

This is the Landmark edition of the 2018 Evoque. It was introduced to commemorate more than six years of the stylish SUV in the Indian market. It comes equipped with a host of updates that help distinguish itself from the standard model, which by the way, had got a mid-life refresh last year.

Range Rover Evoque Landmark Edition First Drive Review

So, what could possibly add pizzazz to an otherwise old model way past its prime, and due for a next-gen model in 2019? A bright Moraine Blue exclusive colour, may be? Sure, but there is much more to it than just a colour. The key differences come in the form of a dynamic body style kit, a carpathian grey contrast roof, body coloured lower door cladding and gloss black 18-inch wheels. What’s more, there are small but unique finishes in graphite atlas for the grille, bonnet and fender vents, and even for the ’Range Rover’ lettering. Altogether, these changes have surely pepped up the already good-looking vehicle with a distinctive design.

Range Rover Evoque Landmark Edition First Drive Review

How is it on the inside?

Range Rover Evoque Landmark Edition First Drive Review

Design-wise, there are no changes to the interior layout of this five-seater SUV. So, one still sits comfortably low in the ergonomically good cabin with supportive seats even if it’s not essentially very spacious. But it’s now decked up with grained ebony leather seats with a perforated mid-section and contrasting light grey stitching. There’s also a new dark satin brushed finish for the aluminium centre console trim that elevates the premium feel of the already luxurious interior. Conversely, the cabin still cannot be termed as a spacious one for five occupants. However, visually, the huge panoramic sunroof manages to increase the sense of space inside. And thanks to a new motorised gesture tailgate, the sufficiently large boot can now be accessed more conveniently.

Range Rover Evoque Landmark Edition First Drive Review

This brings us to the features of the Evoque Landmark Edition, which is slotted above the LE trim in Evoque’s line-up. Still, it gets some features like keyless entry from trims above. Sure, this one might miss a CD player, but then it comes equipped with a 10-inch touch screen system with JLR’s specially curated InControl app services for all your entertainment needs. If that’s not all, the carmaker is also offering WiFi hotspot and Pro Services that include enhanced navigation, infotainment and connectivity capabilities. On the safety front, ABS, airbags and ISOFIX child safety seat mounting points are some features amongst many others. These include stop/start and roll stability control, hill descent control, dynamic stability control, all-terrain progress control etc. all of which are standard.

Range Rover Evoque Landmark Edition First Drive Review

How does it drive?

Range Rover Evoque Landmark Edition First Drive Review

Under the hood of the Evoque Landmark Edition is the same 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel mill we’ve seen and experienced in the facelifted model. It churns out 177bhp of power and develops 430Nm of torque, good enough to effortlessly put up a sub-10 second time for a 0-100kmph sprint (claimed 9.1 seconds). This punchy motor is well refined and the diesel engine’s clatter isn’t loud. The abundant torque available at low rpm makes urban commutes much more relaxed. And, even if the top-end grunt isn’t impressive, the car manages to cruise at triple digit speeds with ease at revs below 2,500rpm.

Range Rover Evoque Landmark Edition First Drive Review

The nine-speed gearbox sourced from ZF with closely stacked ratios provides smooth shifting without much of a hassle. The slight variations in the throttle input are good enough for it to analyse when to shift. Proper and linear throttle inputs make the drive relaxing. However, it does feel jerky in sport mode when you mash the accelerator with sudden rise in rpm (redline marked at 4,200rpm). Also, the use of paddles in the sport mode makes it even more interesting when the car feels more eager to rev and peppy to drive.

Range Rover Evoque Landmark Edition First Drive Review

Straight-line stability for this compact SUV is good and it scores well on the ride and handling front too. It provides a pliant ride at low speeds without bouncing around and feels very sure-footed at high speeds. It is not meant for attacking corners but isn’t too bad around them either. Body roll is well under control, tyres grip nicely, steering weighs up nicely and the brakes bite well too. Then, Land Rovers are known for their off-roading capability and the Evoque does boast of capable equipment that will help it go off-road if need be. A ground clearance of 210mm is nifty especially to take our ravaged roads and clear tall speed-breakers with ease.

Range Rover Evoque Landmark Edition First Drive Review

Should I buy one?

Range Rover Evoque Landmark Edition First Drive Review

This Landmark Edition continues to offer the compact Evoque’s versatility with Land Rover’s typical capability. In fact, it betters the style quotient with exclusive features without much compromise on features and luxury. Also, bear in mind that the Evoque Land Mark edition is cheaper than the HSE variant. However, also note that the Evoque is primarily a six-year old car and costs more than Rs 60 lakhs on road. If I were to take a decision, my head would tell me maybe I should wait for its next-gen or look at the relatively newer Discovery Sport. But then, for people whose heart precedes the head in decision-making will still prefer this one. And, why not when it's by far the best-looking SUV in the market yet. No wonder then, this is the highest-selling Range Rover yet.

Range Rover Evoque Landmark Edition First Drive Review

 

Where does it fit in?

Range Rover Evoque Landmark Edition First Drive Review

Now the number of players in the SUV segment has sky-rocketed lately with many premium carmakers wanting a presence here. Still, the primary competitors of the Evoque continue to be the Mercedes-Benz GLC, Audi Q5 and the BMW X3. The newbie Lexus has brought in the NX in this price bracket but comes only as a petrol model.

Range Rover Evoque Landmark Edition First Drive Review

Pictures by Kapil Angane and Kaustubh Gandhi

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Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Price in Popular Cities

CityOn-Road Prices
Bangalore₹ 64.26 Lakhs onwards
Hyderabad₹ 61.21 Lakhs onwards
Kolkata₹ 57.82 Lakhs onwards
Chennai₹ 63.95 Lakhs onwards
Mumbai₹ 62.47 Lakhs onwards
New Delhi₹ 60.26 Lakhs onwards
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