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Land Rover Range Rover Velar review 2020

Find out more about the Land Rover Range Rover Velar in the latest Motors.co.uk Review

£45,411
Average Price
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4
Out of 5

Pros

  • Beautiful design
  • Drives well
  • Very luxurious

Cons

  • Old V6s
  • Higher trims can be expensive
  • No plug-in hybrid or electric versions yet
  • MPG

    23 - 48

  • CO2

    152 - 270 g/km

Model review

The Range Rover Velar, still in its first generation, began production in 2017. It was built to fill the gap between the compact Evoque and larger Range Rover Sport, therefore tapping into the popular mid-size SUV market.  

 

For context, the name Velar comes from when Land Rover used it for a series of pre-production Range Rovers back in the ‘60s. The idea being that the British brand wanted to conceal the car’s identity, it derived Velar from the Latin word ‘velare’, meaning to hide 

 

Now the mysterious-sounding name has returned for the 21st century, in the form of a sleek and stylish SUV. Apart from sitting in the middle size-wise when it comes to Range Rover models, the car is also less rugged and more road-focused than what’s usually seen from Land Rover 

 

That’s not to say it can’t get through tough terrain (the Velar is still a very capable off-roader) but to look at, you still get the impression that luxury, style and desirability are the main areas Land Rover is using to sell this vehicle.  

Current model

As mentioned previously, the Velar is still in its first generation. Furthermore, at the time of writing, the model hasn’t received a major facelift yet either – just minor updates. However, considering it only arrived in 2017 and even today is a thoroughly modern vehicle, this isn’t too much of a problem. 

 

For model year 2019, the Velar received new engine choices and better safety tech. In terms of the former, it involved the introduction of 3.0-litre V6 diesel option, and the latter, adaptive cruise control and steering assist joined a limited range of safety upgrades.  

 

Other even smaller changes were made as well, such as a larger fuel tank for a number of petrol models, better standard equipment and a particulate filter for its petrol engines. 

 

In addition, it’s worth noting that, for 2019, Land Rover put out the limited-run, 5.0-litre V8-powered SVAutobiography model variant, which combined sporty performance with an upmarket interior finish. 

 

The Velar shares a platform with the Jaguar F-Pace and it’s predominantly made from aluminium in order to keep things light. On the road, the Rover handles bumps and imperfections in the road as good as any other model in the range – excellently. The car wafts down roads, all the while keeping you cocooned in peaceful luxury.

  

Value for money

New Range Rover Velars start at £45,260, and that’ll get you into the base, entry-level trim. It comes with a generous amount of standard equipment throughout the trim levels though, resulting in an appealing package. 

 

It must be mentioned, however, that options can stack up and model variants will differ throughout the range. For example, the V8 SVAutobiography starts at £86,685. So just be careful when building your Velar, as it might end up costing a lot more than you originally thought.  

 

If preferred, the used market is also a great place to look for Velars. Prices start at around £33,000 and, because of the model’s limited time on sale, there are plenty of choices in great condition and with low-mileage.  

Looks and image

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but we think the Velar looks fantastic. It has a long, smooth silhouette and a beltline that’s nice and high, giving the car a bold stance and a real presence on the road. It’s elegant, yet somewhat aggressive, especially if you opt for a sportier trim.  

 

And it seems others agree, because the sleek SUV was named World Car Design of the Year at the 2018 World Car Awards. We believe it’s one of the best-looking cars, let alone SUVs, on sale today. 

Space and practicality

The Velar doesn’t just impress on the outside, but on the inside too. Cabin space is plentiful, there’s no shortage of cubby holes, and boot space is pegged at 673 litres – that figure rises to 1,731 with the rear seats down.  

 

One small complaint is that the passengers in the rear are a little short on room, compared to those in the front. This is due to the sloping roofline that, while adding to the Velar’s sleek appearance, robs a bit of headroom.  

 

You can’t get the model with seven seats – an option many of its competitors are offering these days. Although, it would be a tight squeeze taking into account the headroom at the rear. We’d still prefer the choiceas it could prove useful for short journeys and come in handy for parents wanting the extra seats to carry children.  

  

Engines

The model is available with a decent selection of engines. At the bottom end there’s a few petrol and diesel 2.0-litre units – these are offered with differing levels of power, ranging from 178bhp to 296bhp. 

 

There are two diesel 3.0-litre V6s as well, coming with either 271bhp or 296bhp. We’d recommend to stick to one of the 2.0-litres though, as they’re newer and more efficient, while still packing a considerable amount of punch.  

 

Last but not least, there’s the 542bhp supercharged 5.0-litre V8 petrol in the SVAutobigraphy. This raucous motor aids a 0-60mph time of just 4.3 seconds, meaning this is the one to go for if you have money to spend and a desire to own a rapid SUV.  

Running costs

The 2.0-litre units, particularly the diesel ones, are the cleanest and cheapest to run. For example, the 180bhp diesel is able to achieve 42mpg on a combined cycle. 

 

On the other hand, just for some perspective, the 271bhp V6 diesel is capable of 38mpg – a respectable number, but not as good as its lower capacity counterparts. The two petrol 2.0-litres aren’t so great either, with the 296bhp powerplant only able to get 29.8mpg. Expect the 5.0-litre V8 to be even more thirsty. 

Things to look out for

The Velar should serve you well. We’re still reasonably early in the car’s lifecycle, so issues could arise, but so far so good. It’s done rather well in owner surveys, and nothing serious has seemingly posed a serious problem. 

 

In addition, all Velars come with a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty, so if you buy new, just keep that in mind. 

 

Rivals

The mid-size premium SUV segment is a popular one that is crowded with closely matched competitors. Not all of them can match the style of the Velar, but most are generally well-rounded and objectively great cars. There’s the BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE and Audi Q5for instance. Prices can vary a lot in this class, but luckily the Velar sits in and around the middle for the most part. 

 

Depreciation

Depreciation has proved bearable in the reasonably short time span since the Velar began production. It seems the car has become quite desirable, which is keeping used values afloat for now.  

 

The long-term may take a different turn, as the model’s appeal dies down, but for the foreseeable future, the Velar is likely to fair well 

Which Range Rover Velar to Pick

Cheapest to Buy When New

2.0 D180 5dr Auto

Most MPG

2.0 D180 5dr Auto

Fastest Model (0-60)

5.0 P550 SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition 5dr Auto

Trims Explained

The Velar comes with three trim levels, which then split into multiple ‘specification packs’. Focusing on the trim levels, you have Velar, R-Dynamic and SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition.

'Velar'

The base trim, just dubbed Velar, comes with coil suspension, hill launch assist, roll stability control, cornering brake control, LED headlights and rear fog lights as standard.

Starts at £45,260

'R-Dynamic'

R-Dynamic, adds some sporty features, such as the R-Dynamic Exterior Pack, bright metal pedals, metal front treadplates with R-Dynamic branding, shadow aluminium trim finisher and ebony morzine headlining.

Starts at £47,680

'SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition'

A step up from that is the SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition, featuring the beastly 542bhp supercharged 5.0-litre V8. It adds adaptive dynamics, an electronic active differential with torque vectoring by braking, configurable dynamics, sports suspension, matrix LED headlights with signature daytime running lights and a black contrast roof.

Starts at £86,685

Summary

  1. The Range Rover Velar is a stylish SUV that looks fantastic
  2. 2019 saw the model receive minor updates
  3. New models start at £45,260
  4. Used models start at around £33,000
  5. Good selection of engines
  6. 2.0-litre diesel units are the most efficient
  7. Running costs are good, not great, and will vary significantly throughout the range
  8. Drives well – very comfortable and luxurious ride
  9. Cabin and boot space is decent, except rear headroom
  10. The car’s still fairly new, so aspects of reliability and depreciation are hard to judge

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