Tech Feature Friday: Range Rover Evoque’s Surround Camera System
A view around the vehicle via built-in cameras helps make up for its limited rear visibility.
The 2012 Range Rover Evoque is a radical departure from the boxy Range Rover styling of its predecessors, and a bold new design direction for an auto brand that has traditionally valued function over form.
But the Evoque’s sleek tapered hindquarters have a distinct disadvantage: The tiny back glass and elongated-but-squashed rear side windows seriously hamper rear-facing visibility. That’s where the vehicle’s Surround Camera System comes in.
The Evoque’s Surround Camera System gives the driver a view of all sides of the vehicle via an in-dash monitor. Infiniti does the same with its Around View Monitor feature on its SUVs, though Evoque’s Surround Camera System adds a bit more control and a couple of cool new features.
For example, the system allows users to select and enlarge two of the camera views. This could come in handy when parking in tight spaces and keeping an eye on objects close to the vehicle is key.
While the target market for the Evoque probably isn't exactly the trailer-towing crowd, the Surround Camera System also adds a unique feature for hooking up a hitch: The rearview camera automatically switches on when the vehicle is shifted into reverse, as in many other vehicles, but in the Evoque the driver has two extra options with Hitch Guidance and Auto Tow-Ball Zoom. Select these modes and the camera switches to a wide-angle view. As the driver reverses toward a trailer, a line is superimposed on the screen, making it easier to align a tow ball with a trailer. Then, when the vehicle comes within 2 feet of the trailer, an auto zoom feature kicks in to enlarge the view to better line up the vehicle’s tow ball yet again.
Camera systems that let you view a vehicle’s blind zones are not just convenient, but are also an important safety feature that can help save lives by preventing "backover" accidents. And they’re essential on larger vehicles like the Evoque, although they should never serve as a substitute to checking with your own eyes -- or, we must say, having good rear visibility built into a vehicle in the first place.
I guess if you can afford one of their products then you can afford the cost to keep it in good running order. I have an LR3 in my fleet (only because it was donated to us) and it has been fairly reliable but when there is an issue, it's very expensive to fix. Last year it had an electrical problem that was affecting about six different areas so I took it to the dealership and they charged me $800 to change a shorting tail light bulb! I felt stupid for it being something that simple but who would think that a bad bulb could throw the whole vehicles electrical system into a frenzy? Who would design such a vehicle???
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