Few brands convey a user experience as effectively as Land Rover, whether through its rich tradition of ruggedness or arguably as the pinnacle of truck-based luxury, and the ’20 Range Rover Evoque R-Dynamic HSE SUV goes a step further with a breathtaking new interface, comprehensive connectivity and a nod to ethical material use.
A 2019 Wards 10 Best UX winner, the Evoque enchanted judges with its unique greeting and startup sequence; Touch Pro Duo, dual high-definition 10-in. (25.4-cm) touchscreens; 12.3-in. (31.2-cm) HD interactive driver display; head-shakingly innovative steering wheel controls; large, multi-function digital HVAC dials at the base of the center stack; and environmentally friendly Ebony Suedecloth seats and headliner.
“Handles that greet you, awesome puddle lamps and a stunning interior design with some interesting materials in strategic places,” Wards 10 Best UX judge David E. Zoia says of the Evoque, $67,190 as tested..
Unlock the handsome Seoul Pearl Silver Evoque with its chunky key fob and the headlamps and taillights flash, light bars illuminate the door handles and the puddle lamps project a nifty pair of speed form sketches. Ignition dramatically raises the Land Rover logo to the head-up display and main infotainment screen.
Touch Pro Duo delivers information and entertainment, such as the day’s Reuters headlines spoken with a proper British accent while your favorite music is piped through a spectacular Meridian surround-sound audio system.
Heard enough of your own tunes through Apple CarPlay or Android Auto? Use the Connect Pro feature to access Deezer and TuneIn for streaming services with more than 40 million songs and 4 million podcasts.
The upper screen of Touch Pro Duo serves as the main portal and innovatively eliminates glare with the ability to adjust its pitch, while the lower screen is home to HVAC controls and the menu for driving modes. Phones pair quickly via Bluetooth, and there is an available Wi-Fi hotspot.
The Interactive Driver Display contains information, entertainment, navigation and driver-assist technologies. It is operated through innovative dual-purpose steering wheel controls that are economical in their design and light up when touched. And while the voice-for-navigation is not all-new, for some reason it worked better here than in any latest-generation Jaguar Land Rover product we’ve tested so far.
An attractive bezel gives the steering wheel a luxurious touch, and the Evoque’s 16-way heated and cooled seats are covered with Ebony Suede cloth, a non-leather upholstery targeting ethically minded consumers.
“Top-shelf stuff here,” judge Christie Schweinsberg says of the materials, while colleague Jim Irwin adds, “Well crafted.”
Land Rover owners generally like to get outside and should enjoy the Activity Key, an all-weather wearable that can replace the key fob. Simply strap the bracelet to your wrist to run, hike, bike, kayak, surf or do whatever knowing the expensive fob is safe and sound.
The Evoque’s roster of active-safety and driver-assistance technology is long, including stop-and-go ACC, a 360-degree parking aid, rear traffic monitor, lane keeping with a driver awareness monitor, high-speed emergency braking, traffic sign recognition and adaptive speed limiting.
“Full-range ACC is nearly human in its ability to handle stop-and-go situations, including coming to a smooth stop – and even creeping forward slightly to close the gap, just like a driver naturally would,” says judge Bob Gritzinger.
The luxuriousness of the Evoque is matched only by a technology package worth a king’s ransom, but Land Rover’s guiding principles of functionality and intuitiveness make its user experience award-winning.