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2012 Best Car To Buy Nominee: 2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque

 
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2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque - Off-Road First Drive

As our only other exception to the $50,000-minimum rule, the 2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque is special in a way that's different from, yet fundamentally similar to the first exception, the 2012 Ford Mustang GT500: it fights above its price.

After all, it's a Range Rover, with all that entails in terms of interior design and quality, with the modern exterior styling and efficient powertrains born of its relationship with Ford. It's the smallest Range Rover ever, and, for some, it may be the best.

Despite its small size and more car-like on-road demeanor than its larger SUV siblings, the Evoque is still very off-road capable; much more so than the typical compact crossover. It can ford up to 20 inches of water, climb an approach angle of 25 percent, clear a breakover of 22 percent, and keep the engine oiled properly even at 45 degrees of tilt. Plus the Evoque has all of Range Rover's innovative off-road electronics baked in.

There's even a model that comes equipped with an adaptive magnetic damper system, and it's a great upgrade, improving street handling and sotenting things up off-road, too.

As for space inside, despite its relative smallness, the Evoque easily held our 6'6" reviewer, even in the back seat of the five-door model (the coupe is a bit tighter). Cargo space isn't cavernous, but there's enough there for most daily needs around town--which is the Evoque's true stomping grounds, despite its trail-capable qualities.

For its excellent combination of style, efficiency, practicality, and price, the 2012 Range Rover Evoque is a nominee for Motor Authority's 2012 Best Car To Buy award.

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