There's no denying that the dashingly bold Range Rover Evoque has brought something of a 'wow' factor to the often conservative crossover world.
Now Land Rover is widening its appeal on local shores with an expanded range that includes a more affordable 'Pure' model. Of course, 'affordable' is still a very relative term in this neck of the woods.
Given the recent wonkiness of SA's rand, Land Rover can't confirm exact prices ahead of the early-March launch of the 2014 range, but the local outfit has released 'indicative' prices of R598 000 for the Pure Si4 petrol and R602 000 for the Pure SD4 turbodiesel. This makes them around R60 000 less expensive than the current Prestige grade.
Thankfully, 'Pure' doesn't mean 'stripped bare' in this instance, as the new entry Evoque is still fitted with creature comforts such as leather upholstery, cruise control, front park distance control and a 380 Watt Meridian sound system.
In addition to subtle exterior and interior design improvements, as well as new paint colours and combinations, the 2014 Evoque upgrade also marks the introduction of an advanced new nine-speed ZF-9HP gearbox.
With its wider set of ratios, the new 'box improves low-speed off-road crawling ability (thanks to its significantly lower first gear) and on the tar it reduces fuel consumption by up to five percent.
Also new for 2014 is a suite of optional driver aids, including Park Exit (which can automatically exit parallel parking bays) and Perpendicular Park, which can position the car centrally in parking bays.
As with the Prestige versions, Pure models are available with either the SD4 2.2-litre turbodiesel (140kW/420Nm) or Si4 2-litre turbopetrol (177kW/340Nm).
Land Rover's acclaimed four-wheel drive system, complete with Terrain Response and all of its driver-selectable modes, remains standard on the new Evoque Pure.
Final pricing and full specifications for the 2014 range will be released in March.