Range Rover Velar review
The Range Rover Velar is Land Rover’s most desirable product yet. Rivals are arguably better value, but the stylish Velar remains tempting
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 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?
The Velar name goes back to the 1960s, when it was used as an alias to disguise original Range Rover prototypes. As such the new Velar wears possibly the oldest name in the Range Rover line-up.
It plugs the gap between the Evoque and the Range Rover Sport, meaning that there’s now less of a gulf between Range Rover’s entry-level offering and its larger SUVs. It also cuts a more individual shape compared to the rest of the line-up, with a new design language and a rakish roofline. It doesn’t quite occupy a new coupe SUV position, but it’s easily the closest Land Rover has come to filling that niche.
The Velar’s position in the range and its overall shape means that it covers plenty of bases, and as such it enters the market with a wide variety of rivals in its sights. This is a car that goes up against the likes of the Porsche Macan, Jaguar F-Pace and Volvo XC60 as well as the BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE Coupe.
Land Rover offers a broad range of engines and specs. 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 open up further up the range with 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 5.0-litre V8 found in the SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition is badged P550 and boasts 542bhp.
While the styling will be one of this new car’s biggest draws, the cabin and tech is all-new as well. The Velar boasts the latest Jaguar Land Rover infotainment systems, with the new Touch Pro Duo system the highlight. Twin 10-inch touchscreens stack on top of each other in the centre console and dashboard, while digital dials also mean that the Velar’s interior is fresh and modern.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Range Rover Velar is Land Rover’s most desirable product yet. Rivals are arguably better value, but the stylish Velar remains tempting
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Velar comes with Jaguar Land Rover’s latest range of efficient 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines. The V6 versions are more familiar, but fit just as well
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsFour-wheel-drive only means economy figures aren’t exceptional, but they’re still respectable for an SUV of this size and weight
- 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 spaceDespite the large exterior dimensions, it’s a bit of a mixed bag inside. There’s plenty of room up front and in the boot, but rear seat passengers will struggle for space
- 6Reliability and SafetyCustomer service and reliability is still an issue, but the Velar should be a seriously safe family car