Driving the Range Rover Evoque through the Hudson Valley to Hyde Park
Author Jordan Heller
EXTERIORThe elegant but tough lines of this British SUV make it apropos for visiting the site where England’s King George VI met FDR on the eve of WWII, because, when it comes to enlisting help against the Nazis, you gotta show you’re worthy of saving while at the same time up for joining the fight.
ENGINEThe scenic and winding Taconic Parkway was perfect for testing the turbo-4 engine. With four cylinders, we didn’t get deep into triple digits on the speedometer, but there was plenty of torque, which made for a peppy ride, especially compared to the Evoque’s big brother.
SMART CARThis mini-me Rover is compact, but when we say smart, we’re talking tech. The Evoque is so loaded with it—Adaptive Cruise Control, Closing Vehicle Sensing, Lane Departure Warning—FDR could have driven it with his fingertips, his polio-stricken legs notwithstanding.
TIRESOne item in the official presidential library is FDR’s 1936 Ford Phaeton, which features some of the fattest whitewall tires you’ll see. The Evoque’s wheels are more understated, of course, but these all-terrainers would have done a better job on FDR’s beloved backcountry drives.
MOONROOFAs we ventured north from NYC, the first thing we appreciated was the panoramic glass roof. We’re sure King G would have enjoyed gawking at Manhattan skyscrapers from the Evoque’s backseat; it’s as close as it gets to riding in a convertible—without the indignity of being exposed.
WADING DEPTHWe didn’t worry about getting our knickers wet while exploring the Hudson Valley’s lush and mountainous backcountry. With nearly 20 inches of wading depth, we would have even been able to cross some of Minnewaska State Park’s streams and rivers. But still, we opted for a canoe.
INTERIORIt’s hard to leave the Evoque’s crisp black leather interior, but it wasn’t too difficult a transition to FDR’s personal library. Preserved as it was when he died in 1945, it’s easy to imagine King G having a tipple with his host amid the room’s mahogany walls, dusty old books and naval paintings.
TRUNKFor its class, the Evoque is not the greatest on cargo space, but if that’s what you’re after, go buy a van. This here is for zipping around like a Head of State. And we had plenty of room to fit a case of Hudson Bourbon from the Tuthilltown Spirits Farm Distillery along with our luggage.