The Range Rover Evoque is a funny sort of car. The sort of off-roader that self-appointed car lovers love to dismiss as a cute ute that spends more time rolling through mall parking lots than cavorting through streams and over felled trees. Its maker, though, can handle the grumblings—Jaguar Land Rover has sold 772,000 Evoques since introducing the luxury compact SUV in 2010.
As it pushes for the million mark, it makes sense that JLR has upped the “utility” with those civilized, civilian customers in mind: The newly unveiled latest generation of the Evoque is built to conquer the mall parking lot.
Naturally, the 2020 Evoque comes stuffed with coddling goodies. The infotainment system supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You can adjust the seats in 16 ways. The cabin “ionization” systems treats your nostrils like the royal groomer treats the queen’s corgis. The longer wheelbase means more room for your luggage and your knees, and the 48-volt “mild hybrid” system runs the car on electric power below 11 mph, saving fuel.
Of course, the baby of the ever–expanding Range Rover lineup can handle itself when the going gets tough. Riding on optional 21-inch tires, it can handle nearly 2 feet of water, with ultrasonic sensors on the side-view mirrors monitoring the depth. JLR hasn’t announced pricing yet, but the outgoing Evoque starts at $41,800.
The coolest features, though, aren’t meant for taking the Evoque for a romp in some rural paradise. They’re for taking it through the parking lots America has paved over such places. The marquee bit is “ClearSight Ground View,” which pipes the feed from cameras in the grille and side-view mirrors to show (in the central touchscreen) the driver what they’d see if the hood were transparent. It’s the production version of the “transparent bonnet” concept Land Rover showed in 2014.
Back then, JLR pitched it as a handy tool for off-roading. Now the automaker is acknowledging a more likely use case: The press release says the feature will “help the driver maintain visibility when negotiating extreme terrains as well as high city curbs.” And that’s a good thing: If you’re paying more than $40,000 for a car, you don’t want to shred the fender on a concrete bumper block.
When the shopping’s done and it’s time to escape, the “ClearSight Rear View Mirror” uses a camera on the back of the car to turn the rearview mirror into an HD feed of what’s happening back there. (GM pioneered this clever tech in the Cadillac CT6 and Chevy Bolt EV.) So no matter how many boxes you’ve piled up in the trunk, you can find your way out of the spot and home again, ready to rest up for the next adventure.