The first hint at the Range Rover Evoque that was to come came at the 2008 Detroit Motor Show in the form of the Land Rover LRX concept.
Smaller than the Freelander and with a distinctive, wedge-shaped coupé profile, the LRX was seen as something a bit different and quite funky, but it was never expected to see full-scale production.
So when Land Rover confirmed two years later that it was going to launch a ‘baby’ Range Rover and that it would be based on the LRX, it raised quite a few eyebrows.
First of all, there was the question as to whether a small Range Rover would devalue the brand, then there was the packaging – how could such a small vehicle encapsulate Land Rover’s peerless and critically important off-road abilities?
Of course, there was no need to worry. When it debuted at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, the Evoque garnered more column inches than any other show vehicle. When the media came to drive it that summer around the grounds of Eastnor Castle it was quite clear that – despite the more electronically-led set-up – the Evoque was every inch a Land Rover.
This example comes from that launch year. It’s a 2011 Evoque SD4 Prestige auto with the added Lux pack and comes with a full service history from new.
Supplied new by Stratstone of Aylesbury just in time for the new ‘61’-plate registration marks in September 2011, this Evoque was owned by its first keeper until 2015 and has changed hands three times since, once in 2016, again in 2018 and most recently in late 2019 when it was acquired by the vendor for his partner.
She has now upgraded to a larger vehicle and the Range Rover is offered for sale with a mileage reading of just over 120,000 – about average for its age – and a full service and MOT history.
Supplied with the Evoque are a full V5 and the original book wallet, containing the service history booklet, operation manual, audio guide, quick start guide and a Land Rover dealer directory.
The MOT runs until October 2021 and was passed with no advisories.
It also comes with a receipt showing recent tracking and wheel alignment, which shows everything to be in good order. It is also supplied with two keys and the original Land Rover security card.
Sumatra Black is probably the most desirable colour for an Evoque and it really suits its chunky, short styling, especially when fitted with black alloy wheels and matching badge inlays.
It’s in fine order, with straight panels and no dents or damage of any note – just a handful of small stone chips. The alloys are in good order, with only some very minor kerb marks, and all four tyres have plenty of life left in them.
Overall, a great looking car and exactly the right colour and spec for an Evoque.
Prestige Lux was as good as it got spec-wise in the early days of the Evoque. Prestige meant it got leather trim, climate control, integrated sat nav and heated seats, while this one has the added advantage of desirable automatic transmission.
In addition, the Lux pack added a 16-speaker 825-watt Meridian sound system (which is absolutely fantastic), a powered tailgate, panoramic glass roof and powered sun blinds. It may be a small(ish) car, but it’s still equipped just like a Range Rover should be.
It’s also in lovely condition. All of the electronic systems work exactly as they should, the ivory leather is still tight and shows very little signs of wear and it’s extremely clean and fresh inside.
This one also comes with a genuine Land Rover boot liner and a separate 12-volt power socket inside the load bay. The powered tailgate works perfectly at the push of a button.
Under the bonnet, this example has the SD4 engine developed from the Ford 2.2-litre Duratorq, reflecting the fact that Land Rover was still under Ford ownership when the model was launched.
In the Prestige spec, it has a healthy 187bhp and a hefty 420Nm of torque. It will hit 60mph from a standstill in eight seconds, but it’s the in-gear acceleration that’s most impressive thanks to that incredible bank of torque.
The engine feeds its power to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox, operated by either a rotary gear selector on the centre console or via flappy paddles on the steering wheel. It’s a remarkably smooth and quick-to-react gearbox which rides along on a sea of torque.
This is a lively, potent and thoroughly enjoyable vehicle to drive, and it does so with no issues, no squeaks or rattles, and with responsive brakes and steering.
It’s a very pleasant vehicle to drive with a high-end, premium feel completely befitting of the Range Rover badge.
There’s a reason why the Range Rover Evoque holds its value better than most cars of its era, meaning that even now the earliest examples are still worth well into five figures.
First, there’s the rakish and ageless styling. Then there’s the dynamics, not to mention the peerless off-road ability and the cachet of the Range Rover badge.
This is a very desirable small SUV with a great badge and a huge amount going for it, topped off by being the absolute best specification, with the fuel-efficient SD4 under the bonnet and that fabulous six-speed auto box.
If you want an early Evoque, they don’t come much better or as well-equipped as this one.
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