There’s a logic. We like 4x4s, particularly the Evoque, and we love convertibles. What could be simpler than putting the two together. Well, as it turns out, quite a lot could be simpler and the complexity of the job can be seen in the engineering.
This is the smallest car in the Range Rover range yet this convertible weighs two tonnes. There is a lot of metal and structural work to counteract the absence of the roof. There is still scuttle-shake. The weight penalty means it’s not as fast, doesn’t handle as well, is less economical and generally more unwieldy than a standard three-door Evoque. And it’s probably doesn’t matter a damn.
Because in this you can drift along with the roof down as you cruise up Sloane Street and the world seems a more interesting place. Equally, and this is very much to Land Rover’s credit, you can go off-road in this convertible and that really is an uplifting experience. Go down a narrow lane or a green lane and you’ve got leaves and branches wafting into your face while you’re watching the scenery go by from that high, comfortable and commanding seating position.
You’re sitting up high, you’re in a premium motor vehicle, and there are fewer barriers between you and the world. Depending on where you are that’s a marvellous sensation. Or a dangerous one if you’re in the wrong place, but most owners will probably stay in the all the right places.
There is notably less space in the rear and the boot is simply tiny when the roof is stowed, but an Amex card and a toothbrush should just about fit in. At the other end, in our vehicle, was the Ingenium turbodiesel. That means you’ve got 177bhp which is adequate for most occasions, and the 2.0-litre diesel does manage 317lb ft of torque so there is plenty of grunt if you don’t want to look as though you’re making any effort.
In HSE trim this makes it pretty much the cheapest Evoque Convertible you can buy. And it’s still £47,500 if you can keep your pen away from the options boxes. That doesn’t make much sense when you’re paying more than for a normal Evoque three-door, yet you’re losing out on pretty much every measured metric.
But that won’t matter to potential owners. They’ll love the styling, the novelty and the fact that this is still a Range Rover, it can still go seriously off-road and it can still draw admiring glances. It’s just that in this iteration you’ll be better placed to hear the admiring comments.
Range Rover Evoque Convertible HSE Dynamic
On sale: Now
Engine: Four-cylinder, 1998cc, turbocharged, diesel
Power: 177bhp at 4000rpm
Torque: 317lb ft at 1750rpm
Gearbox: Nine-speed automatic
Kerb weight: 1967kg
Top speed: 121mph
CO2/tax band: 149g/km, 29%