Aug 23, 2019

What we're driving: 2020 Range Rover Evoque

2020 Range Rover Evoque. Photo: Range Rover

I'm driving the 2020 Range Rover Evoque, a compact, wedge-shaped SUV that looks like it belongs in the future.

Why it matters: Styling has always been the big selling point for the Evoque, first introduced in 2012. It's all been updated for 2020, including new retractable door handles, which are cool but take an extra second to open the door.

  • The Seoul Pearl Silver paint job on my tester adds to the allure.

What's new: For the 2020 model, there's a 48-volt mild-hybrid powertrain, which shuts off the engine when coasting at speeds below 11 mph.

  • The result, unfortunately, is an initial hesitation when starting from a stop, then a huge burst of power as the engine kicks in.
  • And the fuel economy is not great: 21 mpg city and 26 highway.

What's cool: The Evoque is loaded with new tech that's worth investigating...

  • The rear view mirror transforms into an HD video screen at the flip of a switch if rear visibility is obstructed.
  • It also features a "ground view" system that lets the driver see virtually under the front end of the car to negotiate tough parking spaces, curbs or off-road terrain.
  • It's the first Land Rover to use AI to learn the driver's preferences and automatically set the seat position, media settings and climate control.
  • It can also receive wireless over-the-air updates for infotainment and vehicle systems.

Standard safety features include driver-assistance technology like adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, traffic sign recognition, and a head-up display.

The bottom line: It's a Land Rover, so expect it to be expensive. The base model starts at $42,650. But add more than $11,390 in options to the Evoque HSE, and the sticker soars to $67,190.

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What we're driving: 2020 Kia Soul

This week I'm tooling around in a $22,000 Kia Soul X-Line, a toaster-shaped compact that oozes personality.

Why it matters: This is the third-generation Soul and somehow, its quirky style just keeps getting better with age.

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What we're driving: 2019 Volkswagen Arteon

2019 Volkswagen Arteon SEL. Photo courtesy of VW

This week I'm driving the 2019 Volkswagen Arteon, a pretty car with a funny name.

Why it matters: VW is trying to revive its brand in the U.S. after its devastating diesel-emissions scandal. Having car names that customers can latch onto certainly helps.

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What we're driving: 2020 Kia Telluride

Last week, I drove from Detroit to Columbus, Ohio, in a 2020 Kia Telluride, the Korean carmaker's first vehicle designed specifically for U.S. customers, and boy, did they nail it.

Why it matters: Kia has come a long way in terms of quality and customer satisfaction. The new Telluride, its largest vehicle ever, checks all the boxes: bold styling, smooth handling, a sharp interior and appealing technology.

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