Has noone learned anything from the Murano CrossCabriolet? The reasonable, car-loving people of the world have tolerated all manner of blasphemy: Crossovers, XUVs, whatever the hell the Honda Ridgeline is…
Most of these have proven serviceable, some have even been good. Convertible SUVs though? Sorry folks, too far.
I didn’t think anyone would have the nuts to walk into this pit of fire after Nissan, but with the Evoque riding high thanks to trendy looks and brand caché, Land Rover is buying the farm, or at least a better view of it. Scratch that, none of these will ever see dirt.
NEVER GO FULL SUV-TARD
You don’t even have to know about cars to know a convertible SUV is stupid. When USA Today writes a piece on what a sales disaster your crossover jabberwocky has been, it’s not just gearheads you’ve insulted.
But to critique the car’s styling only scratches the surface of what makes this car a bad idea. Part of why it’s such an easy target is the way it screams “we know you aim to use nothing of what makes this car a Land Rover, and we’re thrilled about it!”
There are SUV things you can’t do in a car with a folding soft-top. Roll over, for one, which explains the metal frames on Jeep Wranglers and old Ford Broncos. The Evoque comes with terrain-sensing all-wheel drive, as do all Land Rovers. The system on the Evoque Convertible should probably only have the setting for sand, and that’s not even an insult, it might bring the Evoque’s $60k price down a few cases of Cristal.
CHECK YOUR BAGS AND PRAGMATISM AT THE DOOR
Then there are the design implications of removing the Evoque’s top. I already mentioned that it improves rear visibility which might be the single positive about the drop-top, but the folding top needs to go somewhere when it’s down. That means this version of the Evoque has 8.8 cubic feet of cargo space. A Honda Fit has twice that, with all the seats up.
Add to that the weight penalty of hardware to operate the soft top, about 360 lbs., and you’ve made what was already a challenge for LRs 240-horse diesel to lug around even heavier. You don’t expect to win the stoplight gran-prix in an “urban SUV”, but we’re talking 9-second 0-60 times here, that’s slow enough to make the most mundane freeway merge seem imposing.
REALITY TV HAS BECOME REALITY
This vehicle exists solely because there are people who demand to be seen in their Evoque, and the standard car just wasn’t accomplishing that. It’s sad too, because I admit that despite its sluggish performance, I was sort of a fan of the Evoque.
Need I remind you, Rover, that “the customer is always right” doesn’t mean you should go building a car for every co-ed dying to buy their first ride with daddy’s money. When someone asks for a convertible Evoque, the correct answer is “yes, we have that, it’s called an F-Type. Don’t drive it in the sand.”