JLR's focus on lifestyle tech as a brand differentiator, explored by Paul Myles.

In keeping with Range Rover’s most ‘life-style’ focus model, the Evoque HSE Dynamic Lux features one of the most advanced connectivity suites available on a mass market vehicle today.

Its compact dimensions and gutsy 2.0-litre turbo diesel 180HP engine make it an ideal general runabout for the style conscious urbanite who dreams of wild and woolly weekends away in the countryside.

The Evoque clearly targets this new breed of younger consumer whose life revolves around his or her digital footprint as a ‘sharing native’ eager to keep hooked up to their social media contacts. To this end the list of connectivity is impressive: USB and Bluetooth connectivity, eight-inch high resolution touch-screen with dual view, DAB, InControl touch plus Meridian 825W hi-fi, with radio with 17 speakers and subwoofer, sat-nav with hard disk drive audio server, dynamic route guidance and voice control. Naturally for a connected car, there’s wifi hotspot functionality to keep all the passengers’ social networking needs satisfied.

However, top of the digital native’s attraction is Range Rover’s InControl Protect which comes free with a three year subscription. This provides a remote smartphone app, Land Rover road-side assistance and SOS emergency call. It also allows you to check your fuel levels remotely, find the car in a crowded car park, record your journeys and check there were no windows left open in the car.

On a test run to the in-laws in Cheshire, I found that the connectivity of the systems with an Apple iPhone was probably the easiest and most intuitive that I have come across so far. Hooked up to the zonal dual view TV, offering different screens depending on the angle of view, it certainly kept my seven-year old entertained on the four hour trip!

That said, probably the only annoyance with the technology was the voice commands. That part proved to be very indecisive both for my own London working class twang and my wife’s best Cheshire patois. Requiring several commands just to make a simple phone call.

That said, there is a wealth of ADAS technology with this car including front and rear park sensors with visual display back up, rear camera parking aid including hitching guidance and rear junction view, lane assist with lane departure warning, emergency braking and attention assist estimation. And let’s not forget the life-style convenience tech like park assist featuring parallel park, parking exit and perpendicular park and surround camera system with towing assist.

But what I was most impressed with was the level of branding the system employed to tie the user to the Range Rover experience. It’s just this sort of tailored technology that will engender brand loyalty in the same as the marque’s off-road prowess has been doing since 1970.

Naturally, the base standard ticket price for the Evoque HSE Dynamic Lux at £47,800 doesn’t exactly make this a budget proposition but, in tech terms, it’s a lot of car for such a small package.

All-in-all, the technology suite backs up the car’s premium capabilities perfectly and that will warm the hearts of the marketeers hoping to build on one of the world’s top auto brands today. 

Connected Car Insurance Europe 2017

19 Apr 2017 - 20 Apr 2017, LONDON, UK

This is the largest and most comprehensive forum in Europe dedicated to connected car insurance. With over 400 attendees from across 25+ countries globally and 50+ executives speakers, this event will address the technological challenges and new business models to impact the motor insurance industry as it converges with the connected car.

Related Reads