The Range Rover Evoque is Comfort and Control in a Charming Package | Vogue Philippines
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The 2023 Range Rover Evoque is Comfort and Control in a Charming Package

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

Having driven the 2023 Range Rover Evoque made me realize how comfortable a drive can be, especially crossing between city and provincial roads. 

After a long day of work, there’s nothing more I would look forward to than to envelop myself in soft cushions, cool down, and relax my headspace. I do all of this usually at home, but for four days, I found these comforts in a loaned 2023 Range Rover Evoque.

Never mind the cacophony of horns on a rush hour trip, or the downpour that had been going on all day–right as I placed my tote on the passenger seat, fell into the Evoque’s leather seats. The soundtrack made it better: I booted up Android Auto on the Pivi system and queued my pop-orchestra playlist. The post-work unwind started now, before I even began my journey home. I even had full control of how I wanted that experience to be like.

Designed to impress

If the Range Rover Evoque’s debut—initially a concept car dubbed the “LRX” made public at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show—was to be observed, there is a strong demand for a more compact, sophisticated take on the traditional SUV. What emerged was a vehicle that is respectful of the utilitarian legacy set by Land Rover, the brand carrying the Range Rover line, but not bound by it. On the outside, the Evoque is striking at first glance, but its assistive technologies and luxurious materials in its lofty interior make it great to drive personally.

With the British brand’s contemporary design direction, the Range Rover Evoque makes a visual statement with references to fashion staples. Its ebony grained leather seats are reminiscent of must-have purses, with an option to customize the upholstery to Windsor leather, Kvadrat premium wool blends, or Eucalyptus fiber textiles. The satin chrome accents on the dash and doors become the jewelries that complete the interior. The burnished copper and glossy black accents on the exterior complement the cooler tones of the Nolita Grey paint and gloss sparkle silver wheels of my unit.

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

Working in sync

Visuals and specification sheets cannot replace an actual driving experience, and being at the wheel of the Evoque put me in control of how I wanted every drive to be. 

A mix of analogue and digital controls made driving a very interactive experience without being a distraction thanks to its intuitiveness. They were fun to fiddle around with: the ridged scroll wheel on the glossy black steering wheel for volume control, and the center touch panel fitted with rotating knobs for climate control made me feel like a DJ.

The all-wheel drive and customizable driving modes helped maximize traction on paved, slippery, or rugged road conditions, resulting in a comfortable drive. Potholes and humps on the road didn’t rattle the car and make me cringe. Having driven the car through rocky paths, wet roads, and asphalt highways, the Evoque also proved its flexibility for weekday practicality across Manila’s CBDs and off-road capability for provincial trips.

The Evoque also has tools to improve fuel economy and carbon emissions with eco features. I especially liked how seamless the engine cuts off whenever the vehicle is idle in the middle of traffic, restarting automatically once my foot is off the brake pedal. 

Long hauls became comfortable with pillowy seats that come with adjustable lumbar support. I was able to play my personal playlists on the Pivi instantly through voice commands, and the Meridian™ surround sound system output full and clear tracks.

Comfort and control while driving ultimately means having ease-of-mind when it comes to safety. The Evoque’s 3D-surround cameras gave me constant road awareness. Blind spot monitors that lit up indicators on my side view mirrors were great alerts that helped me avoid potential dangerous lane switches. For confident parallel parking, the front and rear parking aids were great for reassurance.

The verdict

“I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible,” answered Mark Zuckerberg in a public Q&A last 2014 when asked why he chose to wear the same gray shirt almost daily. A lot of successful leaders do the same: think Steve Jobs’ black turtleneck, or Barack Obama’s navy suits. It reduces “decision fatigue,” a concept that rings true for bosses with packed daily schedules. In the brief time I had the Evoque as my daily driver, this exact form of fatigue waned.

Not worrying about how I get from point A to point B relieves a huge stress point daily. It’s not just about the literal drive, but also all the comfort and stability that comes along with it. At least having a clear head space is a lot better than hopelessly wishing for clearer roads, after all. And even if I do decide to cross the city bounds on a weekend, the SUV’s versatility makes it a reliable daily partner. Ultimately, the Range Rover Evoque acts as a catalyst to let you be in charge and take on more adventures in life.

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