Monday, June 9, 2014

Taking your SUV off road.

I'd wager that 95% of SUVs never see dirt. My current ride, a Range Rover Evoque, was designed with the underpinnings of a Land Rover. In theory, it ought to be perfectly capable off-road, between the clever 4WD system and the computer-controlled 'Terrain Response' system. And anyway, Top Gear thrashed one in the Nevada desert didn't they? Ok I admit that using Top Gear as your yardstick for what a car can do might be a bit of a mistake but what the heck.
So a couple of weekends ago my wife and I went on one of the Land Rover 'Adventure' trips. This one is held by our local dealership and spends three days in Moab (Utah) every year. Typically they have a spread of trails available from fire roads that you could do in a Ford Focus up to trails like Steel Bender and Hell's Revenge that need uber ground clearance and one hell of a good low-range gearbox.
We signed up for medium-difficulty trails. Craggy ravines, blind hills, steep descents, slick rock and cliffside trails. The short story is that we were able to do everything the full-size Range Rovers, Land Rover LR3's and LR4's could do, all without any issue. From this I can very positively say that the Evoque, despite how it looks, is extremely capable off-road, as long as you use your head. It's worth noting that everything we did, we did without any modification whatsoever, right down to using the stock tyres that came from the factory.
I've put a video on my dropbox for those who are interested. Two days of footage edited down into a 15 minute summary. I can't publish this on youtube or the music police will have me, but apart from that, enjoy.
And if you have an off-road capable vehicle, take it off the road once in a while and have fun....
Bone Stock Evoque in Moab.


Paul said...

Great video Chris, it looks like you had a blast.
What sort of camera were you using?

Chris said...

It's a GoPro Hero 3 Black edition with the wifi remote. I had it suction-mounted to the windshield just below the rear view mirror.