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Range Rover Evoque & Cadillac XTS

By Kelly Foss, MyCarData.com


Things change fast in the automotive business and mature brands like Range Rover have to spend considerable time developing new models just to keep up.  Land Rover and Range Rover have the “traditional” part of the business firmly under control but how do they bring new, younger buyers into the fold? They design something different and smart and it’s called the Evoque.

According to Land Rover’s Managing Director Phil Popham, “This is a highly relevant and contemporary vehicle that will suit the modern needs of our customers. The Range Rover Evoque will appeal to a new group of customers who may not have considered a Range Rover before.”

Range Rover seems to have succeeded at creating a vehicle that is new and different while keeping the ethos of the Range Rover brand. The Evoque delivers premium levels of craftsmanship, luxury, performance and renowned Land Rover multi-terrain capability in a more compact package.

Though the Evoque is not a featherweight, lightweight construction techniques ensure optimum efficiency is achieved. That also means that fuel economy and emissions are an important part of the success formula. A new state-of-the-art turbocharged 2.0 liter direct injection 4 cylinder engine producing 240 horsepower and a pleasing 250 foot pounds of torque handily propels the vehicle.

I state the obvious in saying that the Evoque looks so different from any other Range Rover ever born that it’s hard to connect the genealogical dots. Compared with the ancient Land Rovers seen in old African safari movies — which were basically tractors with truck bodies on them — the Evoque is light-years ahead.

The vehicle looks too small and too pretty to be taken off-road. Don’t let the looks fool you. When you get close to the vehicle and thoroughly examine it, you realize that it’s more substantial that it might initially look. High style does not automatically preclude off-road driving. The vehicle has full-time AWD and the same terrain control that the entire family possesses. The ground clearance is very high and a clean underbody, allowing it to play in the dirt.

The Evoque also possesses an unexpected on-road sporty flair. It can be driven hard on twisty and winding roads… and it likes it! The 20-inch wheels with big tires well-cemented to the tarmac plus good body control make it a very fun on-road compact SUV.

Being a Range Rover, an elegant upscale interior is also mandatory. Again, the Evoque delivers. The interior possesses the expected leather and wood environment of a proper Range Rover. The color choices range from traditional leather tan to stark white, black and silver plus bright red. Interior room as well as cargo space are ample in either the 4 door or coupe body style. Navigation and the cylindrical pop-up gear shift lever are also nice touches.

In fact, Motor Trend liked the Evoque so well that it named it their SUV of the Year.


For several years the Cadillac brand has depended on a couple of pleasant but aged sedans to fill the upper ranks of the line. The STS and the DTS are fluffy and luxurious enough, but from a design and technology standpoint are several steps behind the very popular midsize Cadillac CTS. The totally new XTS aims to fix all that.

The XTS is a large elegant sedan that derives its luxury though technology according to Cadillac. The styling is what first caught my eye. This car is drop-dead gorgeous! It takes a deft styling touch to shape a vehicle that has true luxury “presence.” Kudos to Cadillac designers because they hit a home run with the XTS. It’s a new styling interpretation of what a Cadillac is and will be in the future. It’s a no-compromise look that screams elegance and luxury.

This is a large sedan weighing in at 4,000 pounds with roomy seating for 5 and a gigantic 18-cubic-foot trunk. Proportions make it look smaller but the dimensions don’t lie… it’s big.

In keeping with the new reality and interpretation of luxury, at this point the XTS will only be offered with a powerful and highly efficient 3.6 liter V6 engine and a 27 mpg economy rating. V8’s are still common in luxury sedans but smaller is now better for auto manufacturers. The XTS will be offered in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive.

But it’s the technology in the car that makes the driving experience as engaging as its exterior design. In this sedan, Cadillac and GM are introducing the new CUE system. CUE is a comprehensive in-vehicle experience that merges intuitively designed controls and commands for information and media data.

Available exclusively on the XTS is the 12.3-inch (312 mm) reconfigurable cluster. It features vibrant graphic displays showcased among four driver-selectable themes, ranging from minimal to extensive information. With an interface similar to a tablet computer similar to an iPad, you can touch, flick and swipe data and images on the large display and even push them from the center stack to the digital instrument panel directly in front of the driver!

Another noteworthy attribute of the XTS is magnetic ride control. I first experienced this on a Cadillac DTS sedan years ago. It enabled a large and leisurely sedan to run luxury-car smooth on the road yet grip like a Corvette in the corners.  It’s an astounding technology based on having metal particles suspended in the hydraulic suspension system that are controlled by magnets to produce a ride that is both feather-soft and race track accurate. It’s a technology that Formula 1 racing has copied from Cadillac and that Ferraris now use.

Other significant technologies include: Advanced Haldex all-wheel-drive system;  Safety Alert Seat that vibrates to alert the driver; Intervening braking system that lessens or avoids potential collisions; -Adaptive Radar Cruise Control; Front and Rear Automatic Brakes, i.e. virtual bumpers; and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

The new XTS promises to wear Cadillac’s luxury crown with confidence.


Visit MyCarData.com for more information on these models.


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