Range Rover Velar review - Engines, performance and drive
The Velar comes with Jaguar Land Rover’s latest range of efficient 2.0-litre petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid engines.
The Velar is positioned as the most dynamic Range Rover in the range. It uses the mostly aluminium platform from the Jaguar F-Pace and shares a large amount of componentry with that very car.
While the ride on standard steel springs is harsher than on any other Range Rover, the Velar still feels more comfortable and refined than the F-Pace. This only improves with the more expensive V6 and V8 models, as they come with air suspension as standard. Velars fitted with air suspension ride very well indeed and don’t feel remotely bouncy. Nor do they lend the car to excessive body roll, with plenty of control through tight bends.
The ride is made even more comfortable with small wheels, as the biggest 21- or 22-inch rims can send small shockwaves into the cabin. However, the Velar looks best on large wheels, so most people will put up with a small amount of discomfort in order to look good on the road.
You’d be hard pushed to tell the Velar is related to the Jaguar F-Pace because Land Rover has succeeded in making the Velar feeling very ‘Range Roverish’ to drive. The steering is meaty but languid and the Velar’s natural character is to waft rather than thrill – this is despite it being supposedly the most dynamic Range Rover model ever. The feeling is helped by the standard eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox which, depending on which engine you go for, can feel super sharp or a little lost when it comes to choosing the right gear.
The sportiest offering in the Velar lineup is the SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition. Its 5.0-litre V8 offers huge performance, while uprated air suspension and brakes help give a solid and reassuring feeling through corners. It's a fast and capable luxury car rather than an out-and-out sports SUV and is a perfect companion for long-distance, high-speed cruising. It sounds fantastic, handles well and still retains the off-road ability that every Range Rover should have, with all-season tyres fitted as standard.
Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed
The Velar is available with Jaguar Land Rover’s latest 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines built at its new Wolverhampton factory in the West Midlands. The 296bhp P300 offers decent performance, taking 6.2 seconds to go from 0-62mph and sounding relatively hushed as it accelerates. The new 398bhp P400e plug-in hybrid is a quicker, more efficient model, taking 5.1 seconds for the same sprint.
However we think the 247bhp P250, which is around £2,500 cheaper, less than a second slower to 62mph and also has four cylinders, makes more sense.
Unless you want a diesel, of course. The D240 2.0-litre sits ahead of the D180 and 201bhp D200, with 237bhp and 500Nm of torque on offer. It's not quite as smooth as any of the six-cylinder options on the table, and the quoted performance figures feel a little optimistic, but it's respectably refined and balances pace with a decent return on fuel economy.
Most buyers will be persuaded to go for the V6 engines. Though older than their four-cylinder counterparts, they still offer desirable amounts of power and torque – the 296bhp 3.0-litre turbocharged diesel is a highlight. Though somewhat costly to run, it nicely matches the Velar’s part-luxury, part-sporty nature, and is quiet and smooth on the move.
Those looking for the ultimate in performance from their Velar will be best served by the SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition. Powered by the same supercharged 5.0-litre V8 as the Jaguar F-Pace SVR, performance is impressive: 0-62mph takes 4.5 seconds and top speed is 170mph.
In this review
- 1Range Rover Velar reviewBridging the gap between Range Rover’s Evoque and Sport models, the stylish Velar is a desirable alternative to sporty German rivals
- 2Engines, performance and drive - currently readingThe 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