September 10, 2016 at 3:19 PM
Range Rover have taken five years to launch the convertible version of their popular entry level 4 x 4 the Evoque, with delivery dates expected the spring of 2017 have Range Rover been able to shake the comparison with the ill-fated Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet?
Opinion is divided and only time will tell, Steve Siler had the opportunity to drive the newest addition to the premium 4 x 4 family at the Monterey Car Week and in the article below shares his views and experiences.
Ever since Land Rover showed the Evoque convertible concept at the 2012 Geneva auto show, it has been compared with one thing—the ill-conceived, overwrought 2011–2014 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet. Given the Evoque’s high-altitude seating for four, all-wheel drive, true crossover stance, and the same questionable raison d'être (exactly what is the point of a convertible crossover?), comparisons with the Nissan droptop are understandable. But that doesn’t destine the Evoque convertible—now finally available, five full years after we first saw the concept—to the same fate. Indeed, after this test of the 2017 Evoque convertible, the convertible-crossover idea is one that we think could catch on—if only as a niche within a niche—provided it’s done right.
We picked up the Evoque convertible during the posh Monterey Car Week, where our Yulong White HSE Dynamic test car shuttled us from hotels to racetracks to grassy fairways covered in gleaming cars. This fancy cruise-in appears to be the sort of venue for which the Evoque convertible was conceived. The Monterey Peninsula’s rustic, winding two-lane roads and parade-pace speed limits allow motorists plenty of time to sightsee. With its high seating position and 360-degree sightlines, the Evoque convertible provides unparalleled views for gawking at soaring redwood trees or a convoy of Ferrari barchettas. The high perch and open top, however, also make occupants accessible to chatty passersby, who seemed to be either confused at the sight of a convertible SUV that’s not a Jeep or thrilled to see the Evoque convertible on the street. Anecdotally, most folks we spoke with were impressed with the execution even if they weren’t universally on board with the idea.
We doubt very much that the Evoque Convertible will go the same way as the Murano as it is aimed a very different market, so what was wrong with Murano? why did it not capture the public's imagination?
In 2011 Car and Driver and gave a frank review of the CrossCabriolet and we have included it below for comparison
2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet
Come, friend, on our good and fearless quest for meaning at the heart of this infernal chimera.
Tell me, oh muses, of the hero who hacked the famous Murano of Nissan. Who was this who beheaded the benign crossover and created this fearsome CrossCabriolet? What god does he serve? Is it the sun god Helios? Hades, king of the underworld? Or was it Hera, the queen of women and childbirth, whose nest is now empty
“His heralds call this hero Ghosn,” the muses whisper. “A mighty hero, the Ghosn sees noble niches in markets. It is the Ghosn who leverages Murano into that which no mortal dare imagine. Ghosn, who descends from the cedars of Lebanon and rose from the banks of the Amazon to claim the twin realms of Nissan and Renault, takes no order from Mount Olympus.”
So it is the mighty Ghosn himself who has slain the line-topping Murano LE’s roof and taken two doors with it! It is as a Centaur, with the torso of a man and the body and legs of a horse. The CrossCabriolet is mere Murano for its first third and another thing behind. “Remember,” the muses quietly warn, “it’s the horse’s hind that kicks.”
Fished from the Pontus Sea of Ubiquity is the CrossCabriolet’s V-6, the 3.5-liter VQ that washes up often on the shores of Nissan. With the strength of 265 horses, it is not weak. The beast, though, is burdened with 4413 pounds, and physics hath no myth. All the wheels are driven, but the Nissan heralds say the Murano’s appeal to mortals is “gender neutral.” And since they cannot get even their gender into gear, the hero Ghosn has deemed they have a lazy continuously variable transmission. read more......
Traditionally values for Range Rover used cars have been very strong and we don't see that situation being any different with the convertible so we look forward the launch and becoming available in the used car market