This special experience was based around the Evoque. It has always been a car I have lusted after (ever since it’s arrival in South Africa in 2011) and one that I would have only ever dreamed about the privilege of driving… Until now!
The day started off with a short presentation on the Evoque talking around the interior and exterior features, features that are currently being worked-on that will be seen in newer models, etc. It was truly informative but the best experience is always the hands-on experience!
Evoques in a host of colours were lined up outside the centre and were a feast for my eyes! The exterior is great to look at… With a muscular appearance and distinctive design, the Evoque definitely turns heads wherever it goes. The inside… Well the inside is just gorgeous! Besides the lovely “new car” smell, you’re enveloped by soft leather on the steering wheel, seats and dashboard. The panoramic roof brings the outside in, without bringing the outside in (read: bugs). 🙂 The steering wheel was a bit daunting at first with all the controls available but when driving the car you aren’t distracted at all.
After all the talk and looking over the cars, it was then time to try out the 4×4 course! We divided ourselves between the various cars and followed the guides to the start of the course.
The car we chose was about fourth in line and I got to drive first. I had never been on a 4×4 course before and was quite nervous about driving the course AND being the first to drive in our car. But following the cues and prompts from the guides who were on foot but spoke through a walkie-talkie definitely abated my nerves.
The course started with an incline forcing the car to drive at an angle. There was a trough of water to drive through. There were a couple of ditches to manouevre through that had the car on only two or three wheels. There was one steep hill that we had to drive up and stop on the top, then trust the car with its Hill Descent feature and take your foot off the brake while it rolled back down the hill. I don’t trust easily and this was the most nerve-wracking part for me!
Before we knew it, the half day 4×4 experience was over and it was time to hit the road to Mowana Spa for our afternoon of spoils.
The Evoque is such a dream to drive, both off the road and on. Since I do only town driving, it was awesome to drive it on normal tarred roads with traffic to get a real feel for the car (and to “put foot” on William Nicol). The automatic gearbox allows the car to change between the 9 speeds available without you having to move a finger. (Though you can of course choose to change gears yourself using the paddles on the steering wheel.)
The day came to an end too quickly but it is definitely one I am going to remember for a long time to come. Thanks to Land Rover for this unique experience, and to the team at the 4×4 Experience Centre for being so patient and attentive.
Keep an eye out for an exciting new Evoque arriving this September. It’s sure to make you want to “take it all off”…
PS: Don’t you love this bookshelf I found inside the centre?! Lined with Land Rovers built from wood, die-cut cardboard, etc.