As for drivability - every test is describing it as hugely capable and driving like a hot hatch. What more could you ask for?
The thing about the Evoque is that it doesn't drive like any hot hatch I've driven. Hot hatches tend to be nimble, grippy and perky. The Evoque is none of those things - it rolls around like a jelly. I've driven two, and they both rode very well, and they are more biased towards comfort than performance, which is no bad thing. I don't expect a small SUV to drive like a hot hatch, but I wish Autocar wouldn't say it does when it frankly doesn't!
The Evoque is more a boulevard cruiser than a Nurburgring stormer, and that's not an issue. If anything, that's a good selling point. The issue is with these pudding-like hot hatches I'm yet to drive.
And yet every test I've read so far (not just Autocar), done by guys with a collective experience far beyond the rest of us, says the opposite. Not to mention that you'd made your mind up about this car before you'd even been near one, let alone driven one. Now, who to believe...
You know, I do believe that is a 'pec'...
Now, who to believe...
I'm not asking you to take my opinion (that's never going to happen). I'm merely sharing it. People have different perspectives of things and life isn't just black and white. I've driven a couple of Evoques, and I think they roll around like you'd expect from a small SUV. The X3 and even the Q3 was better, but I don't expect a car like this to corner flat. I'm yet to drive a hot hatch that wobbly, but this car isn't a hot hatch. And nor does it drive like one.
Well SFAIK Autocar don't buy test cars in the market, but use a test-fleet car. MFR could always get a really, really good one off the line, or from the competition shop or similar, to make the test a great success. You'd hardly expect otherwise.
They must be pulling off an awful lot of these 'specials' as I've yet to see a test that says anything other than excellent both on and off road.
There don't seem to be that many cars involved. I've recognised the registration of quite a few vehicles tested at around the same time by various mags. Makes sense to keep the numbers down given the fact they are driven to the limit of the cars performance. Not a criticism of testers: that's what they need to do to.
And that's exatly the same with every car launch on the planet.