It was not really easy to make a case for the Range Rover Evoque to be your next car last year – it was stylish, yes, but it was among the least fuel efficient cars in its class due in large part to the six-speed automatic gearbox that kept the engine ticking over far too highly.
Thankfully, Range Rover have now changed the gearbox, as well as a few other things. The result? It is now easy to make a case for the Range Rover Evoque as your next car.
You’d be hard pushed to tell that 2014 Evoque apart from the 2013 version. Aside from some new alloy wheels and an altered badge, the Evoque remains the same. That’s a good thing however as this cars striking looks put many other cars on the road to shame.
It is this style that has helped Range Rover ship over 180,000 Evoque’s worldwide.
The biggest changes to the Evoque come internally. The six-speed automatic has been replaced with a nine-speed automatic, and this changes the driving experience dramatically. The car now has more gears to play with and the car sits comfortably at 30 mph in fifth. Plant to the throttle, and the car will drop down to third or second depending on your engine choice. The aim of the nine-speed gearbox is to cut emissions and increase economy. To this end, it succeeds. The top specification 2.0-litre petrol turbo will return 36.2 miles per gallon with a CO2 output of 193 g/km.
The most impressive of the engine and gearbox match ups is with the 2.2-litre turbo diesel SD4 though, which will return an excellent 47.1 miles per gallon combined with a CO2 output of 159 g/km.
The SD4 Prestige Lux is the version that I recommend. This has an on-the-road price of £44,655, which makes it among the most expensive versions, but it benefits from 20-inch alloys, terrain response, satellite navigation, full leather, heated seats, dual zone climate control, Bluetooth, DAB, plus much more. If you like to build not buy, then the cheapest Evoque is the eD4 150 Pure, but this lacks 4WD and it is therefore less versatile and will suffer from worse residuals than a 4WD Range Rover.
Farnell Land Rover believe that buyers will get the most from a 4WD version “Prices for 4WD Evoque’s start from £31,000. The extra versatility the intelligent terrain response system gives is value for money, giving the driver confidence in the bends and during bad weather.”
When driving abroad the most important thing to do is to stay legal. Being prepared and taking care when on the roads in Europe can ensure you don’t get hit with a big fine or possibly even worse. There are plenty of motoring regulations and rules in the UK but in Europe they step it up a level.
The info-graphic below shows some of the wide-spread and unusual legal requirements you’ll need to be aware of. You’ll need your own breathalyser in France, two pairs of glasses in Spain if you wear them and even replacement light bulbs in Italy. The bizarre rules can massively vary by country but some don’t get any less strange to your average UK driver.
There’s also the typically lower drink/drive limits to consider in majority of European countries so if you’re driving then you probably shouldn’t be considering that small one. You might also want to consider going easy the night before if you’ve got an early start driving the following day.
That “expensive” taxi or bus ride isn’t looking so bad now is it?
Image courtesy of Autoweb.
If you live in the UK or any other part of Europe, then the likes of the BMW M3 and Audi RS4 are the best mid-size performance saloons money can buy. There’s others, but these two saloons mix refinement, luxury, handling and performance best. Over in the US, things are a little different, although the BMW and Audi are still available.
If you’re looking for a stylish mid-size performance saloon that’s a little different to what the Germans have to offer, the Chevrolet SS should fit the bill nicely. But then it should – this is the first RWD performance saloon Chevrolet have made in 17 years.
It’s powered by General Motor’s trust-worthy LS3 V8 which in this car develops 415 bhp and 415 lb /ft of torque. According to Bristol Street Motors MOT Gloucester, this engine is simply to service. Power is sent to the rear wheels by a six-speed automatic gearbox, with fat and sticky 19-inch Bridgestone Potenza RE050A tyres to keep everything in check. The brakes are big too – four-piston Brembo calipers with 14-inch front rotors provide the stopping power this 1,622 kg car needs.
In a straight line, the Chevrolet SS is brutal. 0 – 62 mph happens in 4.9 seconds and it’ll complete the quarter mile in 13.2 seconds. With a top speed of 165 mph, it’ll edge past a standard BMW M3 or Audi RS4 out on the motorway, too.
When the roads get twisty, the Chevrolet SS is a bit of a weapon too.
The chassis has MacPherson struts upfront and a multilink rear arrangement. The car also boasts a 50:50 weight distribution. The result is an American car that actually handles well, and a car that wills the driver to push on through the corners.
The biggest drawback is the gearbox. It simply isn’t sharp enough. It lags around town and it isn’t the smoothest when pressing on. It also numbs the experience, and despite the thumping V8, it ruins a lot of the sportiness.
At least the interior is nice though.
Like the best mid-size performance saloons on the market, the SS is packed with technology. As standard it comes with a front collision and lane departure warning system, as well as automatic parking assist. Dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, every type of connectivity option imaginable and full leather come as standard too. Like a lot of American cars, the interior isn’t of the same quality as a BMW or Audi, but it’s damn close, and the ergonomics are excellent.
The Chevrolet SS is branded as the Holden VF Commodore in Australia, which sounds much cooler than the name you’ll know it by. Prices start from $43,475, which makes the SS quite the bargain for the performance on offer.