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

Super-stylish Range Rover for townies is well worth considering

Land Rover Range Rover Velar SUV (17 on) - rated 4.1 out of 5
Enlarge 42 photos

At a glance

New price £45,710 - £86,725
Lease from new From £569 p/m View lease deals
Used price £25,325 - £65,710
Fuel Economy 23.0 - 42.0 mpg
Road tax cost £475
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

CONS

  • Uninspiring four-cylinder engines
  • No hybrid option until at least 2020
  • Premium price, and costly options

Land Rover Range Rover Velar SUV rivals

BMW
X4
3.5 out of 5 3.5

Written by Lawrence Cheung on

The Range Rover Velar was conceived to plug the gap between the Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Sport, and be sprinkled with the premium-market stardust that makes these cars to stand out from the crowd. It's worked, too – it sits low and wide, with almost estate-car proportions, but despite this car-like stance, it's underpinned by Land Rover's undoubted expertise in 4x4 technology.

If you're after a good-looking hunkered-down SUV that can off-road with the best of them, the Velar should fit the bill. It's aimed squarely at the Porsche Macan, BMW X4 and Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe. Yet, it still has an elevated seating position  that leaves the driver imperiously lording it over more humble cars – core to the appeal of a Range Rover.

Before the arrival of the Range Rover Velar, it's likely you'll have questioned the need for a fourth model in the company's line-up. But the sales success of this intriguingly named premium SUV has proved the doubters wrong.

What kind of Range Rover is the Velar?

The average Evoque with a few optional extras added leaves the showroom as a £45,000 car; the typical Range Rover Sport costs around £70,000. Land Rover reckons there’s a gap there, and the Velar is aimed squarely at it.

It's priced between around £45,000 for the entry level diesel and £85,000 for the top model with all the bells and whistles. But the Velar is more than just an exercise in market segmentation, it’s a stunning new interpretation of the Range Rover brand.

As such, it's the latest step in the long evolution from the utilitarian 4x4 of 1970 (with plastic seats!) to a 21st-century luxury GT. It's also clear proof that Land Rover is pushing its Range Rover off-shoot as a standalone premium marque to do battle with some of the best cars in the world.

>> Browse used Range Rover Velar SUVs for sale

Range Rover Velar: a gorgeous-looking SUV

The move from off-road to premium begins with the way that the Range Rover Velar looks like, and how the company has evolved the way its products look. With the Velar, it's been a conscious process of smoothing the look – stripping away fussy details to create a futuristic look. It’s also the most aerodynamic car Land Rover has ever produced.

2020 Range Rover Velar headlight

There’s a wealth of lovely details, such as the slender LED headlights (above), and the flush-fitting door handles that pop out when you unlock it. These felt cheap on early cars, but careful development now means that these door handles operate with the chunky precision of its most premium rivals.

It looks dynamic too, with its tapered tail and raked-back windscreen. Altogether there’s a resemblance of a concept car in the Velar’s purity, and it makes the other Ranger Rovers look positively frumpy in comparison.  

What’s under the Range Rover Velar's skin?

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. Land Rover’s air suspension is an option on the four-cylinder models and standard on the V6s.

There are six engines in total, three turbodiesels with 180hp, 240hp and a 300hp 3.0-litre V6; and three petrol engines, a 250hp four-cylinder, a 300hp V6 and a top of the range supercharged V6 that puts out 380hp.

Combine that with the aluminium-intensive monocoque, which keeps the weight down, and four-wheel-drive grip, and the Velar delivers strong performance. The most powerful version will sprint from 0-62mph in 5.3 seconds.

What’s the Range Rover Velar like inside?

Range Rover Velar interior

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 ina £1,115 option. Another option is a brand-new vegan-friendly wool-based trim material, developed with Scandinavian textile company Kvadrat. It softens the interior while maintaining a premium feel.

>> Read about the limited edition R-Dynamic Black

Can the Range Rover Velar go off-road?

You bet. 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 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 MacanBMW X4 and Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe? In terms of showroom appeal, the Velar has a great deal going for it – but they are a this is a very tough crowd.

Read on for the full Parkers Range Rover Velar review

2020 Range Rover Velar rear view

Land Rover Range Rover Velar SUV rivals

BMW
X4
3.5 out of 5 3.5