Should you buy the new Range Rover Velar?
- Credit: Archant
Velar, the fourth member of the Range Rover family, reveals an exciting new era and direction for the luxury brand, says motoring editor Andy Russell
Half a century ago the model that launched Range Rover was code-named Velar, from the Latin ‘velare’ – to hide. The all-new, fourth Range Rover revives the name and unveils a distinctive new look for the brand that’s worth showing off.
Looks and image
The mid-size Velar SUV plugs the £30,000 gap between the cheapest Evoque and Sport models. It’s the most streamlined, road-biased Range Rover, but still capable off it. It also features the brand’s slimmest ever headlights and door handles that glide out, then retract flush, for better aerodynamics.
Under the bonnet
An all turbo line-up with four-cylinder, 2.0-litre 250 and 300PS petrol and 180 and 240PS diesel and 3.0-litre V6 300PS diesel and supercharged 380PS petrol engines, all with eight-speed automatic transmission. The 240PS diesel is refined once warm, propelling 1,841kg of SUV along briskly and returning 35 to 40mpg.
Standard four-wheel drive, with Terrain Response modes to tweak the engine, gearbox and drive systems to match the conditions, will meet most needs. More advanced off-road technologies are optional. V6 models get standard air suspension, rather than coil springs, which is a £1,140 option on four-cylinder models.
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How it drives
Air suspension sees the Velar wafting along motorways and soaking up rough roads, even with 21in wheels. In comfort and eco modes body roll is more pronounced, dynamic sharpens things up, but the ride is more sensitive. It’s a satisfactory trade-off and makes the Velar quite nimble on cross-country routes, but can’t disguise its size.
Space and comfort
The interior is exquisitely finished with top-notch materials and lots of leather, squidgy trim and twin stitching. Headroom is plentiful, but there’s not as much rear legroom as you’d expect – six-footers can cope, but won’t have much spare space in the cosseting, supportive seats.
The 632-litre boot sounds impressive, but that’s to the roof – in reality it’s quite shallow. Rear seat backs split 40/20/40.
At the wheel
Another area where the Velar raises Range Rover’s game with two high-definition 10in touch-screens – Touch Pro Duo – to adjust functions, settings and infotainment.
SE models upwards also get a 12.3in virtual instrument cluster to display traditional dials and information panel or a full navigation map with a small speed-o.
The Velar is a modern interpretation of Range Rover – the sleek, rakish exterior styling grows on you, but the hi-tech, digital fascia is an instant hit. The Velar reveals Range Rover is reinventing itself for the future.
SPEC AND TECH
Price: Range Rover Velar HSE D240 from £64,160 (range £44,830 to £85,450).
Engine: 240hp, four-cylinder turbo diesel, eight-speed automatic.
Performance: 0-60mph 6.8 seconds; top speed 135mph.
MPG: Urban 39.2; extra urban 55.4; combined 49.7.
CO2 emissions: 154g/km.
Will it fit in the garage? L 4,803mm; W (including door mirrors) 2,145mm; H 1,665mm