2012 Best Buys: Mid-size SUV
Range Rover Evoque (winner)
An easy winner in this category, the Evoque has redefined style and luxury in a medium sized SUV. Good ground clearance, approach and departure angles, as well as Land Rover’s acclaimed terrain response systems make it a viable off-roader too.
Whether you opt for the diesel or petrol model you’re in for some perky performance. The brand new 2-litre petrol with 177kW is the faster of the two but the diesel doesn’t lack for excitement either. The starting price of R582 995 may seem expensive at first but the Evoque is well equipped with standard gear that rivals competitors raft of options list. The only major option that you’d want is the R6500 Magneride that gives you terrain specific damping and a more dynamic feel when on the road.
Where the Evoque really trumps the competition is in style: no SUV can match up to the combination of macho rectangular lines with the smooth low cut roofline making the Evoque sleeker than the now bulbous looking competitors.
The Evoque’s popularity has been rewarded with good sales figures over the last few months outselling all of the competition by some margin.
80% of Evoque customers are new to the brand with the Evoque’s design, dynamics and badge appeal, now providing huge allure and interest from sedan and hatchback customers too.
A much-improved package with some spanking good engines, off road ride will never be able to compliment on road talents. Looks, although a vast improvement on the previous generation, do not match the Evoque’s modern and contemporary design. Also you can add 50 percent to the base price if you want a fully specced X3.
Land Rover Freelander 2
Last year’s winner has to take a back seat to its slightly bigger and sexier sibling. Still a quality product but focused more around the 2.2-litre diesel engine. Some first generation owners may still be a tad skeptical but the K-series engine that caused all the problems has long been withdrawn from the lineup.
The often forgotten gem of the medium SUV category, the Volvo is a strong option for those looking for a stylish, road going and practical option. The petrol options may be on the thirsty side but the diesel versions offer up a great combination of smoothness and efficiency.