IT is only just over a year since Land Rover launched the Range Rover Evoque - but in that time it has already collected top awards and Victoria Beckham has brought out a special edition of the vehicle, writes Bryan Longworth.
So is the Evoque - which is built at Halewood - really that good? I have just been taking a longer look at the Evoque following the launch in Scotland last year and the answer is that it is certainly another world-beating vehicle from Land Rover.
Land Rover has produced some of the world’s top 4x4 vehicles and with the Evoque, the smallest and lightest Range Rover ever produced, they have managed it again.
However, the type of customer buying Evoque will be using it mainly on road because it is that sort of vehicle as I discovered during my test period - which included plenty of motorway driving where it provided superbly comfortable motoring.
Owners taking the Evoque off-road will find it is a very capable performer. I successfully drove the vehicle over some very demanding routes over steep hills and muddy tracks in the Scottish borders - there is a wading depth of 500mm for adventurous owners driving through water.
My test car was the five-door Prestige with the 2.2-litre diesel engine with six-speed automatic transmission.
It was also kitted out with optional extras costing £4,425 that included a powered tailgate, television, surround camera system, touch screen display, blind spot monitoring and park assist.
The luxurious leather interior with grey oak wood and brushed aluminium was like living in a five-star hotel and once again Land Rover have got it just right with easy-to-see instruments and well- designed controls plus the legendary technical equipment that ensures the vehicle keeps going in the most difficult driving conditions.
The steering, road holding and road comfort levels were just right. I liked the natty mini spotlights that illuminated the ground outside the two front doors for the driver and front passenger.
At the rear of the roomy interior is a large load area that can be extended by folding the rear seats - but there is no spare wheel.
I found the driver’s large exterior mirror was a bit intrusive and the low rear roof means that back seat passengers have to be careful not to bump their heads as I did.
My verdict: A really cool Range Rover.
Model: Range Rover Evoque Prestige five door.
Engine: 2.2-litre diesel.
Transmission: Six speed automatic with manual function.
Top speed: 121mph.
Acceleration: 0 to 60mph - 8 seconds.
Fuel consumption: 44.1mpg combined.
CO2 emissions: 174g/km.