Range Rover Velar review

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

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4
Out of 5

Pros

  • - Stylish looks
  • - Tech-laden interior
  • - Comfortable and refined

Cons

  • - Not particularly practical
  • - Top spec versions are expensive
  • - Touchscreens can be fiddly to use
  • MPG

    0 - 0

  • CO2

    0 - 0 g/km

Model Review

Few SUVs have managed to grab the spotlight quite like the Range Rover Velar did when it was unveiled in 2017 thanks to its stylish looks.

The Velar name came from the tag given to the original Range Rover prototype in the 1970s, and is designed to sit in the Range Rover line-up between the Evoque and Sport. However, it is priced closer to the Sport, particularly as it has higher specs.

The designers took a minimalist approach to the interior. Deciding to strip away many of the interior features, they replaced them with a new twin touch touchscreen setup, known as Touch Pro Duo. The system has since been rolled out to the full fat Range Rover, the Sport and the second-generation Evoque. Other features included new slim LED headlights and pop-out door handles.

It’s a car that’s fashionable above all else, although Land Rover hasn’t forgotten about its off-road roots, with the Velar coming as standard with a host of rugged terrain assists—including Terrain Response and hill decent control.

Standard models and sportier-looking R-Dynamic versions are offered across the range, along with a number of petrol and diesel engines.

Latest model

Sales for the Velar started in the middle of 2017, and while no styling changes have been made in that time, the manufacturer has added new engines to the line-up.

The first additional engine to join the line-up was the ‘P300’—a turbocharged 296bhp 2.0-litre petrol unit which became the most powerful petrol engine in the line-up, with a claimed 0-60mph time of 5.7 seconds.

Main changes to the line-up came in May 2018, when Land Rover announced a new 272bhp 3.0-litre diesel engine is badged as D275, while a number of new driver assists were also added , including adaptive cruise control that can bring the car to a standstill. This system can also steer the car itself.

Other adjustments included more equipment fitted as standard such as front and rear parking sensors and emergency braking. Drivers of certain engines could pay for a larger fuel tank to increase the amount of time between fill-ups, if necessary.

Value for money

Those looking to buy the Velar will likely let the fashionable Range Rover’s style do the talking and will probably only look at the price afterwards. It’s certainly not the cheapest car in its class, with prices starting from £44,375. Sadly, this gets you a rather underpowered diesel engine. Standard equipment is good, but not overly generous, with all models coming with front and rear LED rear lights, parking sensors with a rear-view camera, heated front seats and 18-inch alloys.

But it’s very easy to get drawn into the many option packs on the Velar, with top-of-the-range models costing nearly £70,000, even before you add any extras on.

Used models have held their value impressively well, with even 2017 versions retailing at £40,000 at the time of writing (a year after going on sale). Long waiting lists have largely been why Velars haven’t depreciated much, while top-spec versions have held onto their value too. Expect to save a few thousand pounds off a nearly-new vehicle, but not a lot more.

Looks and image

The Velar is perhaps the most style-conscious SUV out there, as it’s a very image-focused car. From the slim LED headlights through to the pop-out door handles and chunky rear wheelarches, the Velar is arguably the best-looking SUV around. With a host of style packs, roof finishes and alloy wheels available, there’s plenty of room for personalisation, too.

The style continues to the cabin, where the undoubted star of the show is the touchscreen setup which is made up from 10-inch screens positioned one above the other. There’s hardly any traditional buttons in sight, with the vast majority of the car’s functions controlled with the screens. While this might make the interior look flawless, these screens can be fiddly to use on the move and are perhaps a case of style over substance.

As for displays, the top screen shows the sat nav, music and phone information, with the bottom one looking after the climate and temperature, but both screens can be used to display either sets of information. While the build quality is excellent, the materials used don’t feel luxurious enough for the Velar’s price in places, with a few too many cheap-feeling plastics for a luxury SUV.

While the Velar majors on luxury and comfort, it’s a surprising amount of fun to drive. It’s the same car as a Jaguar F-Pace underneath—one of the most dynamic SUVs on the market —which means there’s little body roll in the corners, with well-weighted steering too. It’s certainly not a nimble car and as soon as you press on you can tell you’re driving a heavy SUV. Cruising is what the Velar does best though, with little engine noise and largely refined engines.

Video Review

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzgtRlqoF28
Space and practicality

It’s practicality where you feel the expense of the Velar’s glamour, particularly its sloping roofline.

For such a long car, there’s a remarkably small amount of rear space. It’s by no means compact, but any taller adults will struggle for both legroom and headroom in the back—particularly if the car is fitted with the optional panoramic roof. It won’t be much of issue if you infrequently carry adults, but if you do, it might be an idea to look elsewhere.

On the plus side, the boot is an excellent size. With all seats in place, it offers an impressive 673 litres, with a long and practically-sized load bay. Folding the rear seats down increases the load space to 1,731 litres.

Depending on the engine you choose, the Velar can tow between 2,400 and 2,500kg.

The Velar has also been awarded a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating in which it scored highly for both adult and child safety categories. Alongside the standard array of airbags, all models benefit from autonomous emergency braking and lane keep assist, although it’s a bit stingy of Land Rover that you have to pay for more expensive models before features such as traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitoring are included in the price.

Engines

A broad range of petrol and diesel engines are available across the Range Rover’s line-up and two petrol engines are offered on new models—the P250 and P300. Both are 2.0-litre units, producing 247bhp and 296bhp respectively. A range-topping P380—using a 375bhp- 3.0-litre unit was available for a time, and was capable of an impressive 0-60mph time of 5.3 seconds and a top speed of 155mph. This model is no longer offered on new vehicles.

Four diesel engines are provided, the D180, D240, D275 and D300. The first two are powered by turbocharged 2.0-litre units, which produce 178bhp and 237bhp respectively. The D180 engine is the only unit in the range that feels underpowered. The D275 and D300 use a 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine, which develop 272bhp and 296bhp between them. The latter is the quickest diesel in the range, with a 0-60mph time of 6.3 seconds.

All engines come with an eight-speed automatic transmission, as well as all-wheel-drive.

Running costs

In the SUV class, there are cheaper cars to run than the Velar, but it’s still quite efficient for its size. The lowest-powered engine (the D180) is the most efficient with an economy figure of 47.9mpg and CO2 emissions of 152g/km in its cleanest guise. The thirstiest diesel (the D300) can manage 42.8mpg and CO2 emissions of 173g/km. Even the petrol engines aren’t much thirstier, the most powerful returning a claimed 34.4mpg and emissions of 185g/km.

All Velars will cost £450 per annum to tax between two and six years of registration, £310 more than they would have done if they had a list price under £40,000 — such is the latest level of taxation on more expensive models.

Insurance groups vary between 31 and 48, so while the Velar won’t be a cheap car to insure, it’s not much worse than similarly-sized rivals.

Things to look for

All Velars will be covered under manufacturer warranty until 2020 at the earliest (providing they stay under the manufacturer limit of 60,000 miles) so there shouldn’t be too many concerns about reliability until after then. That said, neither Jaguar or Land Rover vehicles are famed for their reliability, so we’d be a bit more cautious about its reliability after that time. An aftermarket warranty could be a wise investment.

Rivals

The Velar’s most notable rival is probably the cars it shares its underpinnings and factory with – the Jaguar F-Pace. Other important rivals include the Audi Q5, BMW X4, Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Mercedes GLC Coupe, and Porsche Macan.

Depreciation

As we’ve mentioned earlier, strong demand for new models has kept used values high on the Velar, so while savings can be had on certain versions, these won’t be a lot in respect of the model’s original list price. This demand can only last so long, though.

Summary

  1. 1. Fantastically stylish SUV
  2. 2. Luxurious and techy interior
  3. 3. Large boot…
  4. 4. But limited rear seat space
  5. 5. Great range of petrol and diesel engines
  6. 6. Limited depreciation
  7. 7. Largely well-specced
  8. 8. Great safety rating
  9. 9. Comfortable and refined
  10. 10. A classy, luxurious and glamourous SUV, but with compromised practicality

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