4.1 out of 5 4.1
Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1

Super-stylish Range Rover is well worth considering

Land Rover Range Rover Velar SUV (17 on) - rated 4.1 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £46,265 - £71,315
Lease from new From £559 p/m View lease deals
Used price £29,785 - £87,695
Fuel Economy 23.0 - 128.4 mpg
Road tax cost £480 - £490
Insurance group 31 - 50 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Great-looking SUV that oozes class
  • High-tech, premium interior
  • Fabulous long-distance capability
  • Drives better than taller rivals

CONS

  • Uninspiring four-cylinder engines
  • High price tag and costly options
  • Not particularly roomy inside
  • Question mark over reliability

Land Rover Range Rover Velar SUV rivals

BMW
X4
3.5 out of 5 3.5

Written by Keith Adams on

Is the Range Rover Velar any good?

Judging by the sheer number you see on the roads, the Range Rover Velar has certainly proven popular with buyers. And that's no accident. Land Rover has been building prestige off-roaders since (arguably) 1970s, and the company has rather perfected the art of it. So, yes, it's good.

The Velar was conceived to plug the gap between the Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Sport, and was designed to combine a more driver-focused attitude, and a premium-market feel you might expect from a full-sized Range Rover. It also looks the part – it sits low and wide, but is underpinned by Land Rover's undoubted expertise in 4x4 technology.

It's up against some very impressive rivals – Porsche MacanBMW X4 and Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe spring to mind. But it has the looks with its tapered tail and raked-back windscreen, and it makes the other Ranger Rovers, as well as its rivals, look positively frumpy in comparison.

Read the Range Rover Velar verdict

What’s it like inside?

Fabulous. Like the exterior, the Velar’s interior is a design triumph. The dashboard is dominated by two 10-inch colour touchscreens that work in tandem: the upper one is a more conventional sat-nav screen, while the lower one is integrated into the centre console with curved edges like a modern phone screen.

The rotary dials are multifunctional, their graphics changing according to the settings you’re changing. They’re tactile and grippy, modelled on camera lenses. Despite a sleeker roofline and a more reclined screen, the driving position is pure Range Rover – you sit high with great visibility, hands gripping a sculpted, chunky wheel.

Options to maximise the lightness of the interior include a panoramic glass roof, which comes in a £1,115 option. Another option is a vegan-friendly wool-based trim material, developed with Scandinavian textile company Kvadrat. It softens the interior while maintaining a premium feel.

Read more on the Range Rover Velar's interior

What’s it like to drive?

There are five engines in total, all hybrids. There's the D200 and D300 mild-hybrid diesel, the P250 and P400 mild-hybrid petrols, and the P400e plug-in hybrid (the numbers equate to their rough horsepower). Even the entry-level four-cylinder D200 diesel and P250 petrol are reasonably quick off the mark (0-62mph in 8.4 and 6.5 seconds respectively), but if you want a more effortless drive, the six-cylinder D300 and P400 are much better.

The Velar is based on the same floorpan as the Jaguar F-Pace, with double wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear for an excellent ride and decent handling. There's no escaping its size on the road, and although it's agile you'll need to be careful threading it through tight city turns and single-track lanes.

The plug-in hybrid P400e works well, too. Combine its powerful engine/electric motor with the aluminium-intensive monocoque, which keeps the weight down, and four-wheel-drive grip, and it delivers strong performance – how does 0-62mph in 5.4 seconds grab you?

Read more on how the Range Rover Velar drives

What models and trims are available?

As is the way with all Range Rovers these days, the Velar range is split into two varieties – standard Velars and the sportier R-Dynamic versions. 'Normal' Velars are available as they come, or with S, SE or HSE equipment packs. The R-Dynamic comes as it is, or in S form – and all have larger wheels and a more aggressive-looking front bumper.

They're all well-equipped, with even the entry-level Velar featuring LED headlights, heated front seats. leather steering wheel, twin-screen Pivi Pro infotainment system, keyless entry and 3D Surround Camera. The S models adds in-built navigation and a Meridian premium audio system, making this the one to go for.

What else should I know?

Land Rover ensures that all of its SUVs can cut the mustard off-road, and the Range Rover Velar is no exception. While the Velar probably can’t manage the full swamp-driving, boulder-climbing trick that a full-size Range Rover can still do (it doesn't have the wheel articulation and ultimate ground clearance), it’s nevertheless an off-roader like any other Land Rover product.

The spec carefully lists approach and departure angles, Terrain Response along with the optional air suspension can jack the car up till it looks like it’s on stilts, and of course there are a million (almost) electronic systems on board. One is the Intelligent Driveline Dynamics (IDD), which uses sensors that measure steering wheel angle, throttle position, yaw rate and lateral acceleration to continually estimate the amount of grip, and distribute torque accordingly.

So, would you have one over and above a Porsche Macan, BMW X4 and Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe? In terms of showroom appeal, the Velar has a great deal going for it – but this is a very tough crowd.

Click through the next few pages to read everything you need to know about the Range Rover Velar including its practicality, how much it costs to run, what it's like to drive – and whether we recommend buying one.

Range Rover Velar (2021) rear view, driving

Land Rover Range Rover Velar SUV rivals

BMW
X4
3.5 out of 5 3.5