SUVs are sensible vehicles – with high ground clearance, a decent boot and reasonable space on offer. Their increasing popularity is understandable and hardly needs any explanation. But the Range Rover Evoque Convertible is quite the paradox. Sure, it has a ground clearance of 210mm, but, unlike most SUVs, it doesn’t score well in terms of practicality or even comfort and space. In fact, at an ex-showroom price of around `70 lakhs, it isn’t the most value for money offering either. But, then, someone who walks into a JLR showroom to purchase an RR Evoque Convertible doesn’t expect it to be any of these things. They do, however, expect the Evoque Convertible to be quirky and stylish – and that it is, in abundance! You see, it’s the only convertible SUV on sale at present. And it even manages to look dapper, at least when the roof is down. It isn’t as much of a looker with the roof up – in that department, the hard-top version wins hands down.
Under the bonnet, the Evoque Convertible shares its engine with the standard model. It is, in fact, a derivative of the 2.0-litre Ingenium mill that also powers the Velar. It’s a refined motor with good low-end torque and a strong mid-range. Land Rover has done well to control the wind and road noise inside the cabin. In fact, they’ve managed to make the engine note surprisingly pleasant. The 9-speed transmission upshifts smoothly, but a bit more urgency while downshifting would have been welcome. Surprisingly, though, the Evoque Convertible was quite handy on the track. The chassis is very well engineered and it’s no worse for wear considering it’s had the roof chopped off. And, like all Range Rovers, the real beauty of the Evoque Convertible is the Terrain Response system and all its other electronic wizardry. With a sharp approach and departure angle, the Evoque Convertible is an ideal companion if you plan to take it for some serious top-down off-roading. The Evoque Convertible is a car that defies reason, but its atypical nature manages to leave quite an impression.