Test Drive: Range Rover Evoque Convertable

The Range Rover Evoque Convertible is a smaller version from the Range Rover range made in England.

Think of the Range Rover Evoque convertible as being a kind of insurance policy. On the outside it’s the kind of car you take shopping.

Of course, there’s barely room in the boot for more than a few purchases, but with its rakish lines and distinctive shape, it would look the part swanking around the wealthier parts of town. Yet, on the inside, it’s as pure blooded a 4×4 as Land Rover has ever made. It’s ready for when the zombie invasion comes.

Indeed, although it looks like the kind of car Victoria Beckham might drive around her garden – she was, after all, employed in the promotion of the hard-topped Evoque – it can do all the stuff you’d want it to do if it was being driven by, say, Vin Diesel.

An interior view of the Range Rover Evoque Convertible
Tough, but lots of buttery soft leather.

It can happily drive up a 45-degree gradient, which is great for visits to the Highlands branch of Prada. It can tilt to 35 degrees too and wade through half a metre depth of water, perfect if you take a wrong turn during that drive around Portofino.

So the question is, just who is this car for? Land Rover is presumably aiming to plug a gap in its market that even a standard Range Rover – maybe even a standard Evoque – can’t fill: a nifty runaround for those who want to buy into Land Rover’s newfound cool, sunglasses on, without ever wanting to drive where no car has been before.

Designed for Off-Road with Comfort

But if that’s the case, why bother with the 4 x 4 potential unless you feel it’s essential to your brand credibility? If it’s really for those who need Land Rover’s famed off-road capabilities, then show me someone who really needs such comfy seats and a soft-top in hard country.

That makes the Evoque convertible a curiosity. Of course, in a way it’s all the more attractive for being so, and all the more so in an industry in which cars lean ever more towards the cookie-cutter and the ruthlessly rational.

Ultimately, for all its hidden machismo, for all its black satin alloys and exhaust pipe finish, its creamy black leather upholstery and techy tablet-style touchscreen, it feels like it leans more towards its feminine side, as only a car called the ‘Evoque’ – which sounds like a 1950s fashion magazine – perhaps could. In the battle between  mountains and Manolos, the heels have it.

Range Rover Evoque Convertible – www.landrover.com 

BEST BIT: The reassurance that, should you need to catch some rays while crossing a bog, you’re in the right place.

WORST BIT: It’s not to do with the car per se, but it’s driving me mad just working out what this car is for precisely.

HEAD TURNING QUOTIENT: With its high sides and the roof down, the Range Rover Evoque Convertible has a distinctive profile. Probably the most look-at-me genuine 4×4 since the Willy’s Jeep.

DRIVING EXPERIENCE: It will go anywhere with confidence. Although I’m just assuming that, of course. I wouldn’t want to risk scratching it.

ML