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Old 01-27-2012, 04:25 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Consumer Reports Trashes Range Rover Evoque



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Consumer Reports failed to give the Range Rover Evoque its “Recommended Rating”. Instead, the BMW X3 nabbed the coveted title. Too bad the hordes of auto journos and status-concious customers have spoken.

CR complained about “…a cramped cabin, stiff ride, artificial-feeling steering and troubling emergency handling,” as well as poor rear visibility and a small cargo area. Of course, the Evoque is a celebration of form over function, thanks to its Ford Land Rover LR2 underpinnings. It also looks cool, has a Range Rover badge and will help you keep up your facade of affluence despite your crushing mountain of household debt.
CONSUMER REPORTS: BMW X3 OUTPOINTS LAND ROVER RANGE ROVER EVOQUE IN TESTS OF COMPACT LUXURY SUVS

New Prius V hatchback provides excellent efficiency and utility
YONKERS, NY – The BMW X3, which originated the compact luxury SUV market, handily outpointed its European rival, the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, in a head-to-head match up.
While the X3 scored an 80 in CR’s road test, the Evoque received a Road Test score of 60, scoring near the bottom of its category. The X3 is one of the few SUVs that feels sporty to drive, and a new eight-speed automatic transmission helps bring its fuel economy to a respectable 22 mpg overall on premium fuel. With its unique styling, the new Evoque turns heads, but it has many shortcomings, including a cramped cabin, stiff ride, artificial-feeling steering, and troubling emergency handling.

The new Prius V, also included in the March issue, received an Excellent road test score. No other vehicle comes close to its blend of versatility and fuel economy. This wagon version of the Prius hatchback has a big cargo area and roomy rear seat yet still returns 41 mpg overall.

“The X3 does an impressive job of combining sporty handling, a lavish interior, and surprising fuel economy,” said David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports’ Auto Test Center in East Haddam, CT. “Although the stylish Evoque has won lots of accolades in the press, including North American Truck of the Year, our more thorough testing reveals quite a few flaws.”

CR also tested three other vehicles in the magazine’s March issue: The Volkswagen Tiguan which got some updates for 2012 and scored a Very Good test score; the Toyota Prius V, a family-friendly wagon version of the Prius; and the Jeep Wrangler. Despite some recent improvements, the iconic off-roader remains CR’s lowest ranked vehicle with a Road Test score of 20.

The BMW X3 was redesigned for 2011 while the Land Rover Evoque is new for 2012. The Volkswagen Tiguan competes in this class but at a lower price; it was updated for 2012. The iconic Jeep Wrangler got a new modern drivetrain for 2012. Despite a familiar name, the Prius V is a new model for 2012.
The full report on compact luxury SUVS and the other cars mentioned here will be available on www.ConsumerReports.org on January 26th and in the March issue of Consumer Reports on newsstands February 7th. Updated daily, Consumer Reports.org is the go-to Website for the latest auto reviews, product news, blogs on breaking news and car buying information. Check out CR’s ongoing Twitter feed at @CRCars.

The Prius V, X3, and Tiguan are all Recommended. The Evoque and Wrangler scored too low for CR to Recommend. Consumer Reports only Recommends vehicles that have performed well in its tests, have at least average predicted reliability based on CR’s Annual Auto Survey of its more than seven million print and Web subscribers, and performed at least adequately if crash-tested or included in a government rollover test.

The X3 rides firmly and provides decent isolation from bumps and road imperfections. Noise levels in the cabin are hushed overall. With limited body lean and quick, responsive steering, the X3 is aggressive in the corners. The BMW X3 xDrive28i ($43,375 MSRP as tested), is powered by a 240-hp, 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that provides strong acceleration and 22 mpg overall in CR’s own fuel economy tests. The eight-speed automatic transmission is smooth and quick-shifting. Braking is Very Good. The interior is well-finished and has a very roomy cargo area. The X3 scores well in its category; it outscores eight other previously tested compact luxury SUVs in Consumer Reports’ Ratings and is only outpointed by the Audi Q5 3.2.
The eye-catching Evoque has impressive acceleration and braking, but the ride is choppy, the cabin is cramped and noisy, and the rear view is poor. Too much road and engine noise enters the cabin. The Evoque tackles corners well but its steering feels artificially weighted, impairing feedback. When pushed to its handling limits at our track, the tail slid out and the vehicle repeatedly lifted a wheel during our avoidance maneuver. The Range Rover Evoque Pure ($45,745 MSRP as tested), is powered by a 240-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers 21 mpg overall on premium fuel. The six-speed automatic transmission is well-mated to the engine. Braking is Very Good. The interior is well-finished with a neat full-length glass roof, but the driving position feels cramped and the cargo area is small.

The Tiguan is a compact SUV with a dash of luxury, but for a model without a luxury nameplate, it comes with a bit of a sticker shock. Along with the X3, the Tiguan is one of the few SUVs that can be driven with gusto through corners where it handles well with little body lean. Steering is quick with good feedback. The Volkswagen Tiguan SEL ($37,020 MSRP as tested), is powered by a 200-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers lively performance and gets 21 mpg overall. The SEL model’s large low-profile tires hurt the ride and increase road noise. The six–speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly. Braking is Very Good. The interior is well-finished with quality materials but the cargo area is modest.

The iconic Wrangler Unlimited is a distinctive and rugged off-roader whose appeal wanes on the daily commute. The ride is unsettled and wind noise is pervasive. Handling is clumsy and the body leans even in low-speed cornering. Braking distances are long and emergency handling has very low limits. The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara ($36,340 MSRP as tested) is powered by a 285-hp, 3.6-liter V6 engine. Acceleration from the new modern V6 is much improved; it gets 17 mpg overall.

Climbing up into the Jeep’s austere interior is difficult through small doors. Removing or installing either the soft or hard top takes two people, but panels easily lift off the hard top for open-air driving. The Wrangler has great ground clearance and axle articulation for off-roading but our Sahara version struggled for traction on our rock-hill course.

The Prius V is an impressive combination of utility and efficiency. Its ride is composed and compliant. Handling is sound but not agile; the steering offers scant feedback. The Toyota Prius V Three ($28,217 MSRP as tested), is powered by a 134-hp, 1.8-liter-four-cylinder engine with electric assist. Acceleration is loud and leisurely but fuel economy is impressive with test results of 33 mpg in city driving and 47 mpg on the highway. At 41 mpg, overall fuel economy is three less than the regular Prius hatchback. The continuously variable transmission is smooth. Transitions between gas and battery-only power are nearly seamless; the car can be driven on low speeds on electric alone. The interior is nicely finished but not luxurious. Rear seat and cargo room are both generous. Visibility is better out of the large windows of the Prius V than out of the regular Prius hatchback.

Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:00 AM   #2
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I would take the Evoke over all of that other rubbish. Bad reliability and all.
It is drop dead gorgeous! Range Rover gets it. And out of all of them, it is the least appliance like.
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:10 AM   #3
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I would take the Evoke over all of that other rubbish. Bad reliability and all.
It is drop dead gorgeous! Range Rover gets it. And out of all of them, it is the least appliance like.
Hardly. Among these rolling refrigerators, it's the equivalent to a Sub-Zero (overpriced junk, designed to appeal to women, bought to impress the neighbors).
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:13 AM   #4
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Hardly. Among these rolling refrigerators, it's the equivalent to a Sub-Zero (overpriced junk, designed to appeal to women, bought to impress the neighbors).
And if that is what a person wants then it is fine .

Still I am glad the prius V exists b/c it is moving toward a vehicle I could actually use. I hope it sells well so there are more entrants to the market.
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:33 AM   #5
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And if that is what a person wants then it is fine .

Still I am glad the prius V exists b/c it is moving toward a vehicle I could actually use. I hope it sells well so there are more entrants to the market.
Amen!

Peace,

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Old 01-27-2012, 09:26 AM   #6
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If I had to drive a god aweful SUV it may as well be stylish and nice. I would definitely drive an Evoke.
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:24 AM   #7
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No surprise here, CR is very no-nonsense and non-emotional. They would even acknowledge subjective appeal of some cars in their reviews, but would not reflect that on scoring.

I personally think it's a nice complementary view to your average car mags.
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:45 AM   #8
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No surprise here, CR is very no-nonsense and non-emotional. They would even acknowledge subjective appeal of some cars in their reviews, but would not reflect that on scoring.

I personally think it's a nice complementary view to your average car mags.
I have read CR for decades, and I politely disagree.

If the Wrangler "struggled for traction on our rock-hill course," perhaps they should discuss how the Prius V and Tiguan did...
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:58 AM   #9
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The Evoque looks sweet, but $45-60k with only a 2.0T that thing is just too heavy for that to be any fun.
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:19 PM   #10
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I have read CR for decades, and I politely disagree.

If the Wrangler "struggled for traction on our rock-hill course," perhaps they should discuss how the Prius V and Tiguan did...
That is a strange criticism. First of all, neither vehicles you mentioned is in the same category as the Wrangler. Nowhere in the review do they imply that the Wrangler lost points because it was less capable off-road than any other vehicle reviewed this month.

Second, if you actually read or watch their review, they make it very clear that they judged the car based on its on-road behavior, on the basis that in reality Wranglers spend most of their time on the road. So the poor rating is not based on its off road performance.

"Off-road, the Wrangler has excellent axle articulation and ground clearance and did well in mud and sand, but our Sahara model proved disappointing on our challenging rock hill course where it often struggled for traction. The top-level Rubicon model has more off-road equipment, including locking differentials and different tires."

You can see this in their video as well. It's not an unfair comment if you put it in context.

I think most people that like to scoff at CR do so because CR is not an enthusiast magazine, and it values practical but mundane aspects of cars. You could say that a truck like Wrangler should only be judged by its off-road prowess, and sports cars should only be judged by their track performance, etc etc.

But there are plenty of magazines that will be happy to report on those. I like that CR does something different, I like that they don't take advertisements, and I like that they buy every single car they evaluate off the dealer lot like normal people. I don't always agree with their "taste" in cars, but I respect their methodology. More than that of typical car mags anyway.
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:21 PM   #11
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If the Wrangler "struggled for traction on our rock-hill course," perhaps they should discuss how the Prius V and Tiguan did...
They test vehicles based on their intended use. Towing for trucks and SUVs, off-road course for off-roaders, etc. Plus, if their tested Wrangler had open diffs then their findings may well reflect reality.
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:50 PM   #12
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So their comments about the Wrangler struggling are based on what? Since its not in comparison to the other vehicles that were mentioned, its based on some subjective theory in their heads on how it should handle off road?

This is the same magazine that did everything they could to tip a Suzuki Samurai at speed. (And cheered once they got it to tip, its recorded) I would prefer to not argue or belabor this, you have your opinions and I have mine. .

Last edited by Tristar Racing; 01-27-2012 at 02:16 PM.
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Old 01-27-2012, 03:25 PM   #13
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No surprise here, CR is very no-nonsense and non-emotional. They would even acknowledge subjective appeal of some cars in their reviews, but would not reflect that on scoring.

I personally think it's a nice complementary view to your average car mags.
I don't mind their used car reliability information but I'm not a big fan of CR's new car ratings. I can understand that their reviews are great for the average person that considers automobiles as nothing more than an appliance with no emotional attachement but that's not me. I prefer substance and character in a car. Something with a clear purpose, that's not trying to be everything to everyone. Something like the Evoque.
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:17 PM   #14
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So their comments about the Wrangler struggling are based on what? Since its not in comparison to the other vehicles that were mentioned, its based on some subjective theory in their heads on how it should handle off road?

This is the same magazine that did everything they could to tip a Suzuki Samurai at speed. (And cheered once they got it to tip, its recorded) I would prefer to not argue or belabor this, you have your opinions and I have mine. .
Sure. I do feel that people are overly harsh on CR for some of the stupid things they did in the past, when the usual car magazines publish stupid BS month in and month out. I suppose that is the reaction to the perceived "power" that CR has over the type of buyers that most car people think lack taste. But like you said, we all have our opinions. Besides, I wasn't saying that CR's scoring system necessarily reflects what I value in cars either. After all, I just bought a car that has a rather mediocre score from CR. But I gotta say that I agree with everything that they bitched about my car. It's just that I had other reasons to get it.
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:48 PM   #15
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So their comments about the Wrangler struggling are based on what? Since its not in comparison to the other vehicles that were mentioned, its based on some subjective theory in their heads on how it should handle off road?

This is the same magazine that did everything they could to tip a Suzuki Samurai at speed. (And cheered once they got it to tip, its recorded) I would prefer to not argue or belabor this, you have your opinions and I have mine. .
I assume they based their comments on its performance against the effects of gravity as it climbed (or didn't climb) their rock hill test course.

More seriously, I just looked up their reviews for the 4Runner and Land Cruiser, and the former did "very well in our off-road evaluations" while the latter's "off-road performance, aided by generous ground clearance and a locking center differential, is impressive."
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:53 PM   #16
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I don't mind their used car reliability information but I'm not a big fan of CR's new car ratings. I can understand that their reviews are great for the average person that considers automobiles as nothing more than an appliance with no emotional attachement but that's not me. I prefer substance and character in a car. Something with a clear purpose, that's not trying to be everything to everyone. Something like the Evoque.
The Evoque's purpose seems to be to look like a movie prop and be bought up by designer-brand-flashing 35 year-old professional urban women, IMO. NTTAWT, of course, but it certainly isn't my (hand)bag.
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:53 PM   #17
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I assume they based their comments on its performance against the effects of gravity as it climbed (or didn't climb) their rock hill test course.


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More seriously, I just looked up their reviews for the 4Runner and Land Cruiser, and the former did "very well in our off-road evaluations" while the latter's "off-road performance, aided by generous ground clearance and a locking center differential, is impressive."
Yea, see that's what I mean. Been off-road in a newish 4Runner, FJ, multiple Wranglers, and a Wrangler Unlimited. (stock vehicles) I know what I would consider to be more capable off road, and it's not the Toyotas...
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:06 PM   #18
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I would take the Evoke over all of that other rubbish. Bad reliability and all.
It is drop dead gorgeous! Range Rover gets it. And out of all of them, it is the least appliance like.
That's what most men say until they get married to the actual person and not the dream they fantasize her to be.

Then they try to find a divorce lawyer a couple of months or years later. Or another dealership for a better trade-in. LOLOLOL SO MANY SIMILARITIES AHAHAHA!
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:11 PM   #19
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Yea, see that's what I mean. Been off-road in a newish 4Runner, FJ, multiple Wranglers, and a Wrangler Unlimited. (stock vehicles) I know what I would consider to be more capable off road, and it's not the Toyotas...
How did you evaluate them, though? What was the limiting factor on the trails? Size/wheelbase? Open/limited slip/locked diffs? Tire choice? Approach/departure/breakover angles? Driver skill? Suspension articulation?
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:15 PM   #20
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Yea, see that's what I mean. Been off-road in a newish 4Runner, FJ, multiple Wranglers, and a Wrangler Unlimited. (stock vehicles) I know what I would consider to be more capable off road, and it's not the Toyotas...
The traction control on the newest 4Runner is pretty solid. While they both have a locking transfer case and open front and rear diffs, the Toyota traction control could have jumped in a lot quicker and gotten the vehicle up the climb a lot easier. Yes, the Jeeps have solid axles and better angles, but the CR course might not require those things, so those advantages didn't show up. You should also notice that the 4Runner didn't score high enough in CR's testing to get recommended. CR tends to be pretty objective about their tests. They comment on what the cars do good and bad in everything, not just their handling or 0-60 times.

Anyway, I'm not shocked that a form over function, slit-sized window, compact cabin CUV did poorly in CR's opinion. They tend to care about things that make a car a little harder to live with on a daily basis. As Len said above, there are all sorts of rags out there to wax poetic about the style and presence of cars. CR is the only one that really goes into how these cars are to live with on a daily basis.
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:17 PM   #21
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I saw an Evoque a few days ago and it just looked pointless. I guess there are people who want bulky but cramped, non-sporty SUV coupes.
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:31 PM   #22
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I saw an Evoque a few days ago and it just looked pointless. I guess there are people who want bulky but cramped, non-sporty SUV coupes.
Tata/Land Rover knows who the buyers will be.


3:30 onwards. Key figure:



So buyers are seen as coming from BMW 3 series, Acura RDX, Mini Clubman, and Audi TT, and are "80-90% conquest" (per the same video, near the end). Yup, looks like my stereotype a few posts back will be spot on, especially when one considers Victoria Beckham's involvement in the design of the Evoque. Oh, did I mention that there's a Victoria Beckham special model, too?



Note the Vogue magazine co-branding…
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:44 PM   #23
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How did you evaluate them, though? What was the limiting factor on the trails? Size/wheelbase? Open/limited slip/locked diffs? Tire choice? Approach/departure/breakover angles? Driver skill? Suspension articulation?
Which ones could manage the more difficult portions of a trail, which ones got stuck, which ones had bumpers that met untimely deaths, etc.

I see where this is going, next time I'll just keep thoughts to myself. Like I said, I know which one I would choose off-road. I have no issue with the Wrangler getting a low score overall, but to question the off-road prowess while giving positive reviews to the 4Runner and Land Cruiser in that environment? I won't be renewing my CR subscription any time soon.
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:16 PM   #24
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I'm not "going anywhere" with my questions, other than to suggest that the trails you were on perhaps might have been less challenging traction-wise and tighter than CR's test course. I can certainly imagine any number of scenarios where a short wheelbase Wrangler with its excellent approach and departure angles could be the tool of choice.
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:35 PM   #25
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Here's CR's off-road test setup, for the record:

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/c...capability.htm

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We check off-road capabilities for vehicles made for or advertised for off-road use. SUVs or pickups with a traditional four-wheel-drive system that includes low-range gearing or some equivalent are put to the test on varying terrain. We evaluate the vehicle's 4WD system and the driver's ability to modulate the throttle—something vital for climbing over tricky obstacles. We also judge ground clearance, axle articulation, and, of course, traction.
The short video at the link shows that their testing grounds are indeed pretty wide open. Example:

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