Hi-tech, new Range Rover Velar offers cutting-edge luxury
Jack Evans drives Range Rover’s latest hi-tech, cutting edge luxury sport utility vehicle – the Velar.
Those looking to buy a Range Rover used to have three main options – the Evoque, Sport and standard Range Rover at the very top. Now, sitting between Evoque and Sport, is the Velar, a mid-sized sport utility vehicle.
Fitted with Range Rover’s latest tech, it’s the most cutting-edge car the brand has ever put to market.
Looks and image
The front end is unmistakably a Range Rover but with a twist, featuring full Matrix LED headlights that are almost razor thin. The side profile is rather raked but still has a ‘floating roof’ and door handles which electronically retract flush with the bodywork are neat.
Inside, the cabin is dominated by a new Touch Pro Duo infotainment system with dual 10.2in touchscreens giving easy access to navigation, media and phone functions via the top monitor, or climate control settings and driving mode selections through the lower one. It’s just as good to use as to look at and is a huge step forward for the brand.
Space and practicality
The huge, square boot is impressive at 632 litres, rising to 1,731 litres with the rear seats folded flat, and very useable but quite high when loading but there’s not much of lip which makes things a little easier.
In contrast, rear legroom seems somewhat mean. With two average-sized adults up front, there wasn’t much space in the back, although head and shoulder room levels were just right. In truth, a little less boot capacity could have given a little more legroom. That said, the cabin’s airy nature means it feels spacious overall.
At the wheel
The first thing that strikes you – before you’ve even started the engine – is how vast the Velar feels. It’s near impossible to see the very front of the car – a little disconcerting at first.
The Velar – fitted with the turbocharged V6 diesel in our test car – pulls away cleanly with more than enough urgency for a car this size. The eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox, with a rotary gear controller, shifts without any fuss or you can use the steering wheel-mounted paddles.
An impressive 700Nm of torque makes for swift, easy overtaking and the Velar never feels out of puff.
The light steering does not have a huge amount of feel, but it’s not a hard car to place to on the road, and smaller wheels do wonders for ride quality.
The Velar is exceptional when it comes to tackling tricky conditions with the latest Terrain Response system allowing it to scrabble up incredibly steep gradients and handle all manner of slippery surfaces. If you’re looking for a car for all conditions, the Velar more than lives up to Range Rover’s ‘go anywhere’ ethos.
Who would buy one?
The Velar will be perfect for those who want elegant looks and the latest tech wrapped up in a true go-anywhere package. It’s likely many drivers will be tempted to Range Rover from other brands – and we couldn’t blame them.
TECH AND SPEC
Price: From £44,830
Engine: 2,993cc, 300hp, V6 turbo diesel
Performance: 0-60mph 6.1 seconds; top speed 150mph
MPG: 44.1 combined
CO2 emissions: 167g/km