Just testing: Range Rover Evoque D180 First Edition

The baby Range Rover proves a slow burn for our motoring correspondent, but ultimately he’s smitten

By Tim Gibson

When my wife first met me, she thought I was insufferable. A loud, brash, over-confident jock with a penchant for deck shoes and a far too inflated ego.

    When it arrived, I was instantly unimpressed (oddly, my wife’s initial reaction was positive.  

Over time, I guess I must have grown on her. As she got to know me, perhaps she realised that some of that was a show: nervousness at meeting new people. A front that didn’t really express my true self.

Or maybe, after four years at university, she simply got bored of me repeatedly asking her on dates and decided to give in.

Either way, we ended up together, and nearly two decades later we’re still going strong.

Which is rather how I feel about the Range Rover Evoque. When it arrived, I was instantly unimpressed (oddly, my wife’s initial reaction was positive. She liked the colour, apparently). It seemed too flashy for my middle-aged taste. There were too many bells and whistles and I found the touch-screen controls for things like heating, the stereo and iPhone toggling to be all but incomprehensible.

This, I thought, is not going to be a happy week of motoring.

And then, oh so gradually, something clicked. By the fourth day, I relished every little detail about the Evoque. The seats are the finest I have sat in since my Mum and Dad splashed out on a Multiyork sofa in the late 1990s. They cosset you, offering instant comfort and long-term support. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever been this comfy in a car.

The 180bhp engine is another revelation. I didn’t expect it to feel fast, but there’s plenty of poke across the rev range. Driving in traffic is easy thanks to the smooth automatic transmission, while motorway hauls are made effortless by virtue of innovations like adaptive cruise control and lane keeper.

That said, the latter of these gadgets could be improved. On a car such as the Volvo XC60, the combination of adaptive cruise and lane-keeping tech functions as a sort of autopilot. Gently rest your hand on the steering wheel and it’ll keep you a constant distance from the car in front and on the straight and narrow with very little fuss.

    Everywhere I went, someone commented on my beautiful Range Rover,...  

In the Evoque, though, the lane-keeping felt more intrusive, as if the car was occasionally possessed by the ghost of some long-dead rally driver who liked nothing better than swinging a hard right on a forest track. I felt it worked against me, rather than with me.

That aside, once I’d sussed out the controls, the rest of the Evoque’s tech was very pleasing indeed. I confess to being permanently bamboozled by Apple Car Play, but that may be because I stream via Spotify, which doesn’t seem to work on the platform. But when I did finally get my choons to play, I was taken to a higher realm by the sound quality. Honestly, it’s like sitting in a concert hall where you can identify every nuance of every note. Faure’s Requiem has never sounded so good. Not on the M25, at any rate.

Something else that’s never happened to me before is the endless comments about my car. Bearing in mind that I drive a lot of press cars, you’d think I’d be accustomed to people remarking on my wheels. But I can’t think of a vehicle that’s prompted such a reaction as the Evoque. Everywhere I went, someone commented on my beautiful Range Rover, wondering if I’d come into money or embarked upon a life of crime.

And herein lies my sole reservation about the vehicle. In case I haven’t made it clear, I find it to be wonderful, in pretty much every respect. But, for me, it’s just a little too in-your-face. A bit too “Ha! I’ve got a load of cash and I want the world to know!”

The silly thing is, it’s not actually that expensive. You can have an entry-level D150 FWD model on your drive for about £259 per month on Personal Contract Purchase (PCP). A lower sum than you’ll pay for a much less glitzy Volkswagen Tiguan. But because it has the Range Rover badge on the imposing bonnet, people think it’s some kind of millionaire’s motor.

For me, that’s a reason not to buy one, no matter how much I came to adore it. For others, that’s probably precisely why they would choose an Evoque: Range Rover impact for Volkswagen money.

All I can say is this: I really didn’t want the Evoque to go back at the end of the week, which was quite a turnaround from my initial reaction.

And Mrs. Gibson? Well, let’s just say she’s grown accustomed to looking beyond first impressions.

On test

  • Range Rover Evoque D180 First Edition
  • 180bhp
  • 41.3mpg combined (official figures)
  • 0-62mph in 8.8 seconds
  • 150g/km CO2 emissions
  • Price: £49,950 on the road

Tim Gibson has written about cars for 25 years. His work regularly appears in The Daily Telegraph and other national media.

Published: 8 November 2019

© 2019 Just Recruitment Group Ltd

If you enjoyed this article, you may like: Ten of the best winter holiday destinations

You may also enjoy: Three things to love and hate about the new Defender

Jobs currently available

Project Support Assistant
Sector: Marketing, Advertising and PR
Salary: Competitive
Location: Colchester
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910690
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting a growing organisation based on the outskirts of Colchester. They are looking to add an Account Executive/Project Support Assistant to their busy and successful team.

The role includes supporting the senior team, on a day to day basis, with the progress of client jobs and to support client services colleagues on day to day contact with the client.

You will work with your client services colleagues, as well as colleagues in other teams to demonstrate an understanding of the projects, provide a detailed understanding and sharing of client expectations, assisting with any queries and resolving any issues that arise during each stage of the project which may impact adversely on the quality, timing or profitability.

Key duties include:

  • Maintaining day to day contact with clients on the progress of jobs
  • Ensure each appropriate team, has the necessary information and feedback from the client to complete their work on a job according to the brief
  • Proof work at each stage mitigating any errors
  • Pursue the completion of work by other teams or external suppliers within the deadlines and budgets agreed
  • Liaise with department managers checking all aspects of the brief are completed correctly and ensuring amendments are made as necessary within the given time
  • Raise purchase orders as required
  • Obtain support from the senior team, as necessary to resolve any issues which arise
  • Prepare accurate invoices, correctly spelt, invoiced to the correct client, product, quoting the correct client purchase order, accounting for all the costs on the job
  • Archive job content

Person specification:

You will be comfortable dealing with a variety of clients, so you will need experience of communicating, via phone and email. You will also need to be organised, be able to multi-task and enjoy working in a fast-paced environment. Your attention to detail will also be second to none.

You will ideally have had experience in a professional working environment.

The company offers a competitive salary, company benefits and a great working location. This is an excellent opportunity to develop a successful career within a client-centred business.

Read more
Production Hygiene Engineer
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: £9.81 per hour
Location: Halstead
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910689
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be working with a well-regarded manufacturing organisation based on the outskirts of Halstead.

They are looking to add a Production Hygiene Engineer to their long-standing team.

Job description:

  • Adhere to safety regulations.
  • Assisting in the maintaining of GMP practices.
  • Food Safety Aware.
  • To make sure the quality of the product is at its highest standards at all times.
  • Adhere to all QA/Technical policies and procedures.
  • Ensure all working areas are kept clean and tidy at all times.
  • Cleaning of all production equipment and machinery.
  • Responsible for ensuring production equipment is clean and in working order.
  • Testing of machinery prior to start of shift.
  • Assisting hygiene in maintenance and set up and dismantling of machinery.
  • Basic engineering knowledge, the use of hand tools.
  • Undertake Health and Safety, Technical, Toolbox.
  • Retain excellent housekeeping and working practices.
  • Assisting in the operation of machinery.
  • Good communicator.
  • Communication with Section Leaders and Engineers with any relevant issues or information.

Your values:

  • I am part of a team- we get more done working together than apart.
  • I want to do the best I can… and be appreciated for the part I play.
  • I’m always patient, calm and polite… everything’s better when we’re nice to each other.
  • I approach my work in an organised and intelligent way.
  • I’m considerate and listen to what others have to say… even if I don’t like it.
  • I realise just what it means to be part of a company.

Working hours are from 14:00pm - 22:00am, Monday - Friday, offering a pay rate of £9.81 and excellent company benefits, including free parking.

Further progression and development are available.

Read more
Sales Account Manager
Sector: Sales
Salary: Competitive
Location: Colchester
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910668
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting a well-regarded and long-standing business based on the outskirts of Colchester. They are looking to recruit a sales-driven Account Manager to add to their existing, successful team.

This dynamic role will be to generate revenue, growing existing business but also building new business working with associated businesses. You will be a fundamental member of the team and will have a crucial role in promoting the organisation and developing new accounts.

Duties and responsibilities:

  • To generate revenue across our multiple platforms
  • Speak to and build rapport with new and existing customers
  • Create bespoke proposals to meet clients needs
  • Generate creative ideas to help with brand growth
  • Close and secure proposals with customers
  • Working across business departments to meet customers expectations
  • Maintain and manage CRM system
  • Achieve KPI’s

Skills required:

  • Sales experience
  • Excellent telephone manner
  • Motivated
  • Able to build rapport quickly
  • Great customer service/relation skills
  • Team working abilities
  • Strong time management skills
  • Desire to work in a fast-paced team environment and enjoy the buzz and momentum of what a sales role provides
Read more
Corporate Tax Manager - NFP
Sector: Accountancy, Banking and Finance
Salary: Discussed on application
Location: Gatwick
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910687
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Corporate Tax Manager – NFP based in Gatwick.

You will work as part of a Not for Profit tax team to provide corporation tax advisory and compliance services to a wide range of clients from across the Not for Profit Sector, including charities, housing associations, education providers and public sector bodies.

You will work with a portfolio of clients and deal with all matters relating to the tax services that the firm provides to their clients including coordinating advice from other tax streams, such as VAT and stamp taxes. You will be developing strong relationships with the clients by really getting to know their organisation so that you can identify opportunities for the firm to support them.

Responsibilities:

  • You will act as a key point of contact within the firm for the client. This will involve responding quickly to, as well as anticipating, client requests/needs, keeping clients informed of progress in relation to all aspects of the service provided, and maintaining regular contact with clients.
  • Responsibility for project delivery on clients within your portfolio, including agreeing scopes of work, managing billings and ensuring all work is delivered on time and to budget.
  • Review work prepared by more junior members of staff and support their development through feedback, on the job training and support with their technical and client-facing skills.
  • Ensure assignments are completed within agreed budgets and keep the Partner/Director informed of developments.
  • Ensure that the firm’s quality control procedures are adhered to to identify risk and technical matters, as well as selling opportunities, to the Partner/Director, whilst exercising judgement within agreed parameters.

Management:

  • Provide support to Partners and Directors on client matters and assist in the management of the team, this will include support with the recruitment and management of staff as well as with the delivery of our strategy.
  • Work with other Managers within the tax team, and provide support to the rest of the team.
  • Actively participate in the management of the group through Partner/Manager meetings.
  • Provide training to more junior staff both on the job and through monitoring exam and on the job performance, whilst consistently providing appropriate feedback.
  • Counsel, appraise, develop and motivate the team as appropriate.

Sales and marketing:

  • Recognise business development opportunities and work with the Partner or Director and the client to develop these when they arise.
  • Participate in bids/proposals for new work both from your existing portfolio and with new clients.

Communication and representation:

  • Develop relationships with clients at senior level and maintain contact with other levels as appropriate to ensure the firm has the confidence of the client.
  • You will be able to work on your own initiative and as part of a team.
  • Consult with colleagues and partners on technical and risk matters.

Requirements:

  • CTA and/or ACA qualified or equivalent
  • Demonstrable post qualified experience.
  • Experience of working with Not for Profit organisations would be an advantage but is not a requirement provided you are enthusiastic about working in the sector and keen to learn more.
  • Ability to guide and supervise less experienced colleagues through support training and mentoring.
  • Willing to challenge current practice – to drive improvement and champion change.
Read more
Production Operative
Sector: Production and Stock Control
Salary: £9.00 per hour
Location: Haverhill
Role: Full Time
Contract: Temporary
Job ref: 910683
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Temporary Production Operative to be based in Haverhill.

This is an ongoing position working for a leading manufacturing company.

Duties:

  • Basic production duties carried out
  • Working in a fast-paced environment
  • Manual handling
  • Housekeeping

Previous experience in a similar role is desired.

Working hours:

7am - 3pm, Monday to Friday
or
2pm - 10pm, Monday to Friday
or
7am - 4pm Monday to Thursday and 7am -12:00pm on Friday

Read more
Logistics Administrator
Sector: Transport, Logistics and Shipping
Salary: £9.50 per hour
Location: Haverhill
Role: Full Time
Contract: Temporary
Job ref: 910681
About the role

Just Recruitment is looking for a Logistics Administrator to join a prestigious company based in Haverhill.

This is a temporary position for 1 month but may potentially be longer.

Your main duties will be:

  • Keep records up to date.
  • Inspection of products.
  • Ensure goods-in are received.
  • Inventory checks.
  • Picking and packing when required

Working hours are either 7:30am – 4:30pm, or 8.00am – 5.00pm.

Read more