11/09/2011 // Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA // CambridgePRGroup // Michael Wong

This year Range Rover introduced the Evoque as its smallest, lightest and most fuel-efficient offering yet, but the compact SUV recently proved that it still has much of the automaker’s signature capability. Currently available at Range Rover dealerships, the Evoque recently bested nine other SUVs on proving grounds ranging from controlled road courses to an intense off-road loop, taking home the title of 2012 Motor Trend SUV of the Year.

Motor Trend magazine judged its SUV contenders based on six criteria, including design advancement, engineering excellence, intended function, efficiency, safety and value. Other nominees were the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz M-Class, Dodge Durango, MINI Countryman, Jeep Wrangler, Volkswagen Touareg, Dodge Journey, Ford Explorer and Saab 9-4X. Following an extensive regimen of tests, Motor Trend editors praised the 2012 Range Rover Evoque for its edgy styling and impressive capability, as well as its luxurious interior and advanced engineering.

“The Evoque is more than just a stylized small Range Rover, it’s an evolution of the brand,” said Dave Edwards, general manager of Greater Boston Range Rover dealership Land Rover Peabody. “It shows a new approach to luxury sport utilities that focuses on increasing efficiency without sacrificing much in capability.”

Motor Trend wasn’t the first big name to be impressed by Range Rover’s newest vehicle. James May, a presenter on the popular BBC television show “Top Gear,” drove the Evoque across Death Valley in Nevada to Las Vegas for an episode that aired this summer and came away from the experience impressed. Tackling a variety of desert terrain, the Range Rover Evoque proved powerful and versatile thanks to its turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and Land Rover’s newest Terrain Response handling system, which can adjust to conditions ranging from swamp to beach with the push of a button.

Range Rover gave the Evoque 240 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque available at just 1,750 rpm, which means drivers are never caught waiting for acceleration. That power doesn’t come at the expense of fuel economy though, as the Range Rover is capable of 28 mpg of the highway, giving it a cruising range of more than 500 miles.

While the fact that the Range Rover Evoque is not lacking in performance will be a comfort to buyers, most will instead be drawn to its unique styling and luxury amenities. Range Rover offers both a five-door and coupe version of the SUV, along with three different design themes that offer a variety of colors, finishes, and interior and exterior designs. Like all Range Rovers, the Evoque comes swathed in soft leather upholstery and equipped with advanced technology like an eight-inch touch-screen control center and audio-connectivity system that allows drivers to take their tunes with them.

“Only truly special vehicles can carry the Range Rover name, and the Evoque is certainly worthy of the badge,” Edwards noted. “The Evoque opens up Range Rover to an entirely new segment of people looking for a luxury SUV that is capable but still practical. It also doesn’t hurt that those features are wrapped up in stylish package that looks like it drove straight off the stage at a car show.”

About Land Rover Peabody:

Land Rover Peabody is home to a remarkable group of off-road enthusiasts who know exactly what their customers expect in Land Rover sales and service. They’re proud to offer the latest Land Rover models, as well as unparalleled Land Rover service and OEM parts, and they invite new customers to take a test drive on their unique demonstration course to experience Land Rover performance firsthand. Browse their selection online at www.roverpeabody.com, visit the showroom at 247 Newbury St. in Peabody, MA, like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/landroverpeabody or call them at 978-535-9200.

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