Cutting off the metal roof means the Evoque Convertible loses the rigidity of the standard car, but Land Rover has tried to engineer round this by stiffening up the suspension. It feels a little harder than the standard car (which itself rides very well) but its steering feels direct and, despite the significant weight increase, there’s only a little more body lean. With no permanent roof to keep things solid, the Convertible suffers from scuttle shake (where you feel the windscreen flexing independent of the body) on bumpy roads and feels less precise than the regular car as a result.
In cars like the Evoque, performance plays second fiddle to looking good but it must be said, the Range Rover is pretty slow for the price.
You get three engines to choose from, but the 178hp 2.0-litre diesel engine is the best option. In this application, it gets from 0-62mph in a leisurely 10.3 seconds – more than a second slower than the hardtop.
Running costs also go up. The regular Evoque can return fuel economy of 57.6mpg and emits 129g/km of CO2 but, in the Convertible, that drops to 49.6mpg and CO2 rises to 149g/km.
When pushing on, you can easily feel the extra weight over the hard-top models
If you want more performance, you can always opt for the 2.0-litre petrol. It gets from 0-62mph in 8.6 seconds, but most people will be put off by its sky-high running costs – fuel economy sits at a measly 32.8mpg and CO2 emissions of 201g/km.
All models come with a nine-speed automatic gearbox that’s fitted with paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. It changes smoothly and does an admirable job of masking the Evoque’s performance deficiencies.
While the Convertible’s folding fabric roof certainly has its compromises, interior refinement is not one of them. Wind noise – the bane of any convertible – is no worse than in the regular car. That’s thanks to the roof’s five-layer design and polyacrylic construction, which shuts out noise and heat.
You can expect the Evoque Convertible to be pretty safe because it’s based on the regular Evoque which scored five stars when it was crash tested by Euro NCAP in 2011. To the regular car’s complement of airbags, stability and traction control, the Convertible adds a rollover protection system that keeps passengers safe should the car tip over.
The Drive Assistance Pack is also worth a mention. Costing £2,385, it adds lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition, auto park, a blind-spot monitoring system, 360-degree camera and auto-dipping headlights.