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Range Rover Evoque: high-tech infotainment system on test

You also have the option of hooking up devices via the USB and line-in ports located in the centre arm rest. The USB port supports iPod and iPhone for easy access to your music library via the touchscreen. The line-in or auxiliary port, meanwhile, provides a failsafe that works with any devices with a headphone jack.

Evoque USB

In truth, we'd like to see wider support for other smartphone platforms beyond those of Apple. It's something other manufacturers are beginning to pick up on and with the rising popularity of Android and the potential for Windows 8 to reboot Microsoft's chances in ultramobile devices, the Evoque is already looking a little old hat.

Range Rover Evoque: Audio and video

You can read more about the optional Meridian Surround Sound System here. But suffice to say that the combination of 17 speakers, including a centre speaker, 825 watts and some fancy digital sound processing makes for one of the most impressive in-car audio solutions we've ever experienced.

Evoque audio

In fact, in some ways, it's the Evoque's saving grace in terms of infotainment. But it does have one other trick up its sleeve. The Dual-View capability of the main touchscreen.

First seen in cars from sister company Jaguar, Dual-View is essentially two screens in one and allows the driver and passenger to see two entirely independent images based on viewing angle.

The video below gives you a quick idea of how it works. What it essentially allows for is a passenger to watch TV while the driver retains navigation and other functionality. And we can confirm it functions precisely as advertised.

Evoque TV

Oh, and on a final note, the HDD storage that comes with the Premium Navigation system is fairly redundant. When it comes to digital audio, the world has moved on from local HDD storage.

You've either got it on your smartphone or flash storage device, which the Evoque caters for, or you're streaming it from the cloud, which it doesn't do directly, but can by way of connecting a third-party device.

Range Rover Evoque: Interface and usability

The car industry is currently in a state of flux when it comes to user interfaces. The Range Rover Evoque's touchscreen certainly has advantages over wheel-input infotainment platforms, for instance. But it also has downsides.

When it comes to inputting addresses, for instance, touchscreens can be much quicker. The virtual on-screen keyboard means you can tap text straight in.

Evoque interface

On the other hand, generally connecting with on-screen buttons when you're on the move can be tricky. It's just not terribly ergonomic to hold your hand up to a screen while driving and it requires significant periods of eyes-away-from-the-road distraction. You've really got to look at the screen to hit those buttons.

The Evoque does mitigate this to a degree with its shortcut keys around the screen. But there's little doubt that a wheel controller located lower down in the centre console is more ergonomic and also allows for briefer glances at the screen.

And what of the interface itself? Land Rover describes the screen as "high resolution" but it's clearly much lower res than the latest screens from the likes of BMW iDrive or Audi MMI. So, while the graphics are generally attractive enough, the general feel is a little dated.

Evqoue steering wheel

The Evoque can also be had with a full voice-control system. It's decent as these things go. But like any other voice-control system, it's not quite as natural or as responsive as we'd like. The reality is that the alternative control methods, including the handy steering-wheel short cuts, are more effective.

Range Rover Evoque: Infotainment verdict

The Evoque is a seriously desirable car. There's absolutely no doubt about that. But from an in-car tech perspective, it's adequate at best. Most of what it does, it does pretty well.

Bluetooth and USB connectivity, for instance, is well executed. There are plenty of media playback options. And when you factor in standard DAB, optional DVB TV and that Dual-View screen, the broadcast entertainment options are well covered.

Evoque console

The interface is also well presented and logical, albeit on a screen of modest resolution and quality. However, there are one or two areas where the Evoque's in-car kit both surprises and disappoints.

On the downside, the navigation is pretty clunky. The lack of internet connectivity and apps leaves the whole platform feeling a little dated and out of step with the Evoque's stunning, futuristic styling.

Range Rover Evoque

But then it counters with that awesome Meridian sound system. So, here's how it stacks up. It is possible to use the features the Evoque delivers and very much enjoy the ownership experience.

You'll jump in and connect your smartphone via Bluetooth or the USB port. You'll enjoy your music on the outstanding sound system. And you'll learn to live with the navigation. As long as the Evoque's styling pulls in the crowds, that's probably good enough.