As compelling as the exterior packaging of the 2012 Range Rover Evoque is, it's becoming more and more clear that its hard to see out of regardless of the direction one looks. The high beltline and small panes of glass look stunning from most outside angles but leave the driver with little visibility to work with. The rear window is small and, when viewed through the rearview mirror, is reminiscent of a tank turret. That aforementioned high beltline means unusually high interior sills and as a result, it's sometimes hard to know where the tender external parts of the car lie. Fortunately, this is not a long car and this compactness helps maintain its parkability.

The lack of visibility wasn't going to prevent the Evoque from serving as the trailhead shuttle for a summertime backpacking trip in the with my girlfriend. We laid the seats down and tossed in our loaded packs a week's worth of luggage and a box full of trail food. All fit easily and soon we were pointing north out of LA towards the south shore of Lake Tahoe, CA. The deeper we went into the hills, the more the road got crooked. I tapped the Terrain Response into its most aggressive pavement mode and squeezed the hammer a bit through the canyons. The Evoque held it's own in this scenario and though it lacks the smooth fluidity and nimbleness of a lighter sports car, it does display an impressively high level of agility, its suspension and chassis executing a solid job of syncing their efforts to minimize body roll. At the trailhead, the compact SUV easily squeezed between a hunk of granite and a large pine tree, where it sat for four days while we went into the wild.

Back in the city, the gawking continues. People can't stop whipping their heads around or tapping their passengers on the shoulder and pointing as they drive by. It's gotten to the point where I am almost certain that I am going to witness an accident right in front of me. Someone is going to be so captivated by Evoque's mesmerizing looks that they'll take their eyes off the road and end up in the bushes.


Our Car
Service life 4 mo/ 12,987 mi
Avg CO2 0.97 lb/mi
Energy cons 169 kW-hr/100mi
Unresolved problems None
Maintenance cost $0
Normal-wear cost $0
EPA City/Hwy/Comb Fuel Econ 18/28/22 mpg
Average Fuel Econ 19.9 mpg