Interior and tech
Walk into a Land Rover showroom and the Evoque’s real party piece will be on full display – the new Evoque’s attractive and glamorous interior. High-specification models feature Land Rover’s Touch Pro Duo interior, which creates a clean and contemporary interface that helps the Evoque justify its premium price tag. Materials are also excellent, and the colour and trim options are spot on, and look far more resolved and considered than the often dark, gloomy specifications of (mostly German) rivals. For those so inclined, Range Rover offers a few vegan interior options combining synthetic materials and wool fabrics, and none feels downmarket, but the leather, especially that on the HSE versions, is waxy and luxurious.
In terms of usability, the infotainment system is a touch more fiddly than that of rivals, and while there is a wide capability within the systems, they can be quite distracting and difficult to use on the move. The upper screen’s curved glazing does reduce reflections, but does sit a few millimeters above the actual screen surface, which can cause you to aimlessly prod at the screen multiple times only to miss the target. Still, the lower screen’s clever amalgamation of two physical knobs into the touchscreen is very cool, so too the ability to switch between uses depending on the selected mode.
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The Evoque is also loaded with interesting new tech that make it feel more modern than many contemporary rivals. The Clearsight rear-view mirror is a case in point, feeling like just the first use of a piece of simple, yet highly effective tech that will soon spread across the industry. It works by feeding an image from a camera mounted on a roof-fin onto the rear-view mirror inside the cabin. The screen is crisp and video feed sharp, but even better is the low-light visibility and wide angle that would otherwise be impossible on a normal mirror. Not only this, if you have passengers in the rear seats, or have packed the cargo area to the roof, your image back remains uninhibited. The roof-mounted camera itself is also shaped in such a way to repel water and dust, keeping it remarkably clean even when the car is not. It takes some getting used to initially, but return to the standard mirror by flicking a lever at the base of the screen and you’ll quickly see how compromised a traditional rear-view mirror really is. It’s uncanny.
The other piece of cool tech is the ability to ‘see’ under the car with a clever combination of cameras and software that essentially makes the bonnet invisible on a feed sent to the infotainment screen. Although initially designed for use off-road, it’s equally useful in the urban jungle to avoid kerbs, width restrictors and those pesky trolley bays.