Range Rover Velar review
Bridging the gap between Range Rover’s Evoque and Sport models, the stylish Velar is a desirable alternative to sporty German rivals
The Range Rover Velar is the SUV of the moment. Its slippery shape and stunning interior make it ultra desirable, but it’s the first Range Rover to heavily prioritise form over function. There’s a good selection of engines, but be aware of tight rear seat passenger space and high list prices. The Velar may well start at a shade over £45,000 but you’ll be spending a lot more than that for a Velar with all the kit you’d want. That said, who said style and fashion come cheap?
About the Range Rover Velar
The rakishly elegant Range Rover Velar is the most recent addition to Land Rover’s Range Rover line-up. It slots into what used to be a yawning chasm between Range Rover’s Evoque and Sport models, giving the Indian-owned JLR group a premium contender in a segment that’s proved lucrative for rivals.
The Velar does battle with a variety of highly-rated competitors including the BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE, not to mention the Porsche Macan, Jaguar’s own F-Pace and Volvo XC60. All of these offer great driving performances with a dash of modern contemporary style, although with its crisply tailored clothes the Velar can’t be dismissed as a country bumpkin.
Land Rover hasn’t followed BMW and Mercedes down the sporty coupe route with its latest SUV offering, but it’s the closest the Range Rover line-up gets. The Velar’s rakishly tapered roofline and elegant rear quarters are clearly not designed for maximum practicality.
Car group tests
The interior of the Velar is just as appealing to connoisseurs of elegant design. Although lavishly equipped and comfortable the Velar takes a somewhat minimalist approach in the cabin, with swathes of leather adorning dashboard and doors, and an elegant central console with the twin stacked digital screens of JLR’s Pivi Pro system and a digital instrument pack creating a cool, high-tech ambience.
There’s a wide range of different engines and specifications, which some might find a little confusing at first - especially anyone trying to navigate the options on the Land Rover website, where at the time of writing 2021 and 2020 cars are being promoted simultaneously. We have the pandemic to thank for that, but it’s possible to get to the bottom of things with a bit of diligent web browsing.
Basic Velar models score that attractive entry-level price tag, while seven more versions slot in above – S, SE, HSE cars plus sporty looking R-Dynamic, R-Dynamic S, SE and HSE models. At the top of the range sits the Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition – a sportier model that shares its 5.0-litre V8 with the Jaguar F-Pace SVR.
There’s a wide spread of diesel and petrol choices when it comes to engines, although the most basic and cheapest Velar is only available with a 178bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel. Powertrain options further up the range include the 201bhp D200, followed by a 237bhp 2.0-litre diesel and a 3.0-litre V6 diesel, producing either 271bhp or 296bhp, badged D275 and D300 respectively.
Petrols kick off with two 2.0-litre four-cylinder engines, one producing 247bhp (badged P250) and the other making 296bhp, named P300. The P400 uses a 3.0-litre unit generating 394bhp, while the P400e plug-in hybrid utilises a 2.0-litre petrol engine and electric motor for a 398bhp total output.
The 5.0-litre V8 found in the SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition is badged P550 and boasts 542bhp.
In case you’re wondering about the Velar name, it goes all the way back to the 1960s when it was used as an alias to disguise original Range Rover prototypes. It’s derived from the Italian verb ‘velare’ meaning ‘to veil or cover’.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingBridging the gap between Range Rover’s Evoque and Sport models, the stylish Velar is a desirable alternative to sporty German rivals
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Velar comes with Jaguar Land Rover’s latest range of efficient 2.0-litre petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid engines.
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsAlthough a little more expensive to buy, the Velar plug-in hybrid model delivers reasonable running costs
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Velar is the most stylish Range Rover in the line-up. With a focus on form rather than function, it's laden with tech
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThere’s plenty of room up front in the Velar along with generous boot space, but rear seat passengers will find things a little more restricted
- 6Reliability and SafetyCustomer service and reliability is still an issue, but the Velar should be a seriously safe family car