Why is the Range Rover Evoque the only convertible SUV on sale now?
And what rivals from competing manufacturers could look likeby Andrei Nedelea, on
Range Rover is the only manufacturer to offer a drop top high riding vehicle that comes with a posh electric retractable hardtop and, while you may not immediately feel like you want one, the formula isn’t without appeal. That’s why it’s surprising to me that there is just one model that you can buy if you are in the market for such a vehicle. At least until the smaller Volkswagen T-Roc Cabrio hits the market, anyway.
Previously, Nissan offered such a vehicle too, in the form of the Murano Cross Cabriolet. However, it was dropped from showrooms after just three years on the market in 2014. Then there was a two year long hiatus when you couldn’t buy a new drop-top high rider before Range Rover officially started selling the Evoque Convertible.
It seems, therefore, that the market can only handle one such vehicle at a time, but I keep wondering why. Sure, it’s not going to sell huge volumes, but even so, Land Rover deemed it justifiable to invest in making it, so why haven’t others? However small the market segment is, there should be at least two models to battle it out for sales.
But no, the Evoque convertible is the only one, and it’s a bit of a shame as it would have been intriguing to see other similar size vehicles from other manufacturers turned into cabriolets.
However, nothing is stopping me from making these vehicles myself by digitally manipulating photographs, which is what I did for the purpose of illustrating this article - I created what I feel are three believable rivals from manufacturers that could have had their own model in the segment.
|The rendering above is based on the 2017 - 2019 Jaguar F-Pace|
The first one I did is the Jaguar F-Pace Convertible, since Jaguar and Land Rover (which makes the Range Rover Evoque) are part of the same group, I figured they could share tech, so it would be the next natural model. The F-Pace looks really wide and planted (especially for an SUV in its size class), so removing its roof and two doors doesn’t detract from its visual merits.
|The rendering above is based on the 2019 BMW X4|
Next up is the BMW X4 convertible, whose roof I again chopped, along with its two rear doors. On that note, I think it looks very fitting for a drop-top high-rider. And, if you don’t think it looks good, remember BMW deemed it okay to put the original X6 into production (and it proved hugely successful and ultimately spawned the smaller X4) so, removing its controversial bit (the coupe-like roof), actually does its design a service. BMW could exploit this niche while it’s still mostly vacant.
|The rendering above is based on the 2015 - 2019 Lexus NX|
Finally, I was looking for a more striking vehicle in the same size class and remembered the daring Lexus NX, which I think took the roof removal really well too. Like the others, it was turned into a two-door vehicle, and it features a folding soft top that stows away in the trunk without taking up excessive space.
We’ll likely never see any of these vehicles or others like them manifest, but that just means the Evoque convertible attracts any and all sales of such vehicle types simply because it’s the only one. There was definitely reasoning behind its creation and if it’s not sales that Land Rover is interested in, then maybe it just wants to be perceived as a manufacturer that is capable of bringing a model like it to market while others don’t deem it justified to do so - it also makes the exclusive two-door version of the big Range Rover, just because it can too.
Read our full review on the 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque.
Read our full review on the 2014 Nissan Murano Cross Cabriolet.
Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Volkswagen T-Roc Cabrio.