Ugly Is Irrelevant: 2012 Range Rover Evoque

The new Land Rover Range Rover (why do they name their cars like this?) Evoque (pronounced “evok” or “evoke”?) was launched at the Tate Gallery in Liverpool, an ugly building in itself. The Brits are going mad with the Evoque’s incipient success.

Tata Motors and Jaguar Land Rover PLC execs must also be dancing in whatever streets they dance in.

Apparently, LR has received over 20,000 pre-orders for the car, 6,000 from the U.S. Price will be $43,995 MSRP for the 5-door; add $1,000 for the coupe; three trim levels take you higher, to over $50K. The only engine for the U.S. is a Ford-sourced 2-liter EcoTec turbo with 240 hp. No diesel, no V6, big mistake.

I’ve written about the ugliness of this car before, but our CG readers disagreed: This piece drew lots of comments, almost all of which were in high favor of the car’s looks. The Evoque is going to be popular, not because it’s a great car, but because its looks are hot with a large segment of the public.

The engine certainly is barely adequate—punchy but noisy, say some reviewers, underpowered, say others. This SUV is not designed to out-power its competition—like the Audi Q5 or the BMW X3. The drive is more carlike, and the interior outclasses them.

But, truly, some of the auto press has simply gone overboard. Here’s Marty Padgett, usually a calm and measured guy:

The Evoque may be the first truly sensuous SUV in history. It’s a captivating stiletto heel in a closet full of Land Rover earth shoes. Some loose family features are appliqued on its taut, angular body—one that, you won’t be surprised to hear, has a fan in the form of taut, angular hominid Victoria Beckham. But those are mostly for show, little geocaching leftovers of Range Rover’s past. This soft-roader is all about tomorrow, and it lives to be seen with every hair in place, not covered in muck.

Stop, Marty, I’m heading for the bathroom.

So, if you fall for this car, you will get an expensive, pretty competent off-roader (which capability you won’t use), a posh if somewhat cramped interior, and a vehicle that will get you noticed everywhere.

There are, believe it or not, plenty of car buyers with $50k spare change who will get in line for that.

Would you like to have this Range Rover Evoque sitting in your driveway? Why, or why not?


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  1. George, I agree with you 150%! I’m so tired of seeing designers try to outdo (or whatever) each other by creating ever-more ridiculous blobs that look like overweight, misshapen dune buggies. If windows become any narrower periscopes will be required equipment while the “low rider wannabe” rooflines will exclude anyone over 160 cm in height. And the worst part IMO is the number of sheep out there who not only think they’re being stylish and cutting-edge but also have barrows of spare quid to waste on these bloated messes.

  2. this is one of the ugliest cars I have ever seen. It’s looks like a cross between a tennis shoe and a blow up float toy of some sort. cars like Porsche, Audi, and others have been evolving to this bloated muscle station wagons where they are not fooling anyone. Not only do choices like this show an incredible lack of taste, but also how foolish the masses are to be sold into the notion that this is anything close to quality and style. I am embarrassed for the saps who buy into “king with overbloated and really ugly clothes trap.”

  3. I think someone needs to take some of these automotive writers to a house in the red light district. They obviously need some stress relief.
    I guess some folks spend so much time in their cars they want them to be luxuriously comfortable when they go through the drive-through at Jack In The Box. To me, they are conveyances and with my truck, a stuff hauler. I don’t think I want a vehicle that I’m afraid to haul paint and lumber in.

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