Range Rover Evoque Convertible
You don’t really associate Land Rover with wind-in-the-hair motoring unless you’re a farmer with a Defender 110. Sadly for the farming industry, the Defender was pulled from the production lines in 2016 and as of yet there is no serious replacement.
For those needing an open aired Land Rover, there is always the Range Rover Evoque convertible. Admittedly it isn’t as rugged as the old defender and with prices from £53,000, you’re also not likely to throw a poorly sheep into its leather covered upholstered cabin either. In actual fact, you’ll be glad this isn’t as rugged as an old Defender. I’ve been wanting to test one of these since I saw it so come on Barbie, let’s go party!
OK, let us be honest, no one is seriously going to buy one of these for the day to day running of a farm. If you yourself are however looking for a 4 seater SUV styled car with a missing roof then this could be the car for you. In fact, it’s not exactly got much competition. Come to think of it there isn’t much out there at all in the drop-top segment except roof chopped hatchbacks from the Germans. So the Range Rover Evoque wins. Put the roof down, let’s go home.
Not so fast. This still has to please the buyer. Ask a group of road testers and this single car will divide a group. Call it Marmite if you will, you’ll either love it or hate it. There doesn’t seem to be any in-betweens. I am happy to say that this tester, in particular, was pleased as punch with it. I rather liked it. Actually, I liked it a lot.
For a start, it is a full convertible. Press the button and everything overhead disappears into the boot area leaving just the windscreen in front of you. Everything else is gone. Annoyingly all the windows disappear too. I’ve never worked out why manufacturers think we all want the windows down when the roof comes off? Range Rover has thoughtfully given us a switch to override all the window buttons and make the main switch lift or raise all the windows in one go.
On the open road with the roof down not only does it open the cabin to the elements but also your senses. I’d forgotten how you suddenly hear everything around you. It’s like driving with your hearing turned to 11. Your senses will also pick up on on the dynamic change of the vehicle when compared to its hardtop sibling. Its over two tons of weight are evident though, not without good reason. There is thankfully very little scuttle shake.
Suddenly I noticed that the buffering over the shoulder you get from most convertibles was missing. Any car that has a roof missing often results in a cold draft coming over you from behind. On a hot day, it is quite cooling. On a day like our test day, it wouldn’t have been. It was cold and wet. In actual fact, it was VERY wet. The small wind deflector did a good job.
Cabin controls are nicely laid out and it didn’t take long to work out where the heated seat and heated steering wheel buttons were.
Along with the more than adequate heating and all its vents, it was easy to drive with the top down in the coldness. This was a great comfort for what happened next.
Motoring nurse or medical motorist? It’s a difficult one. By day l nurse and by night l drive.
Fingers have always been grease deep in attending the motoring of an ageing fleet. And now l write about new and old.
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Member of the Southern Group of Motoring Writers. (SGMW)