Road Tests

First Drive: Range Rover Velar

Time 4 years ago

What’s new?

The Velar is a mid-sized SUV for those who want a little more space and a little more luxury. Featuring an all-new Touch Pro Duo infotainment system that consists of two high-definition 10.2-inch touchscreens and fitted with Range Rover’s latest tech, it’s the most cutting-edge car the brand has ever put to market.

What’s under the bonnet?

The base diesel pushes out 183bhp and 460Nm of torque and can achieve 52.5mpg. Above this is a more powerful 236bhp diesel, which still returns 48.7mpg. The lower-powered petrol version puts out 246bhp yet can hit 60mph in 6.4 seconds and return 37.2mpg, while the 296bhp unit still manages the same economy as the lower-powered version.

For those wanting a little more power, there’s a turbocharged V6 diesel that produces 296bhp and an incredible 700Nm of torque yet can still return 44.1mpg.

There’s also a powerful supercharged V6 petrol with 374bhp on offer.

What’s the spec like?

Prices for the Velar start at £44,830. For that, you get a base-spec vehicle with the four-cylinder Ingenium diesel engine. As standard, all cars get Terrain Response, 18-inch alloy wheels and heated front seats. Cruise control, autonomous braking and keyless entry are also included, as is the infotainment system. This base trim is available with the four-cylinder only.

Mid-range SE cars benefit from larger 20-inch alloy wheels, a 360-degree parking camera and a full 12.3-inch screen replacing the car’s traditional dials. You also get leather seats, of which the front two are powered and heated. However, these cars cost from £56,060.

Prices can go as high as £85,450 for top-spec First Edition cars, while the middle-range cars offer excellent value for money as they come with a good amount of standard equipment and enough luxuries to keep even the most avid button-pusher happy.


What’s it like to drive?

The first thing that strikes you when you get behind the wheel is just how vast the Velar feels. It’s near impossible to see the very front of the car, and this can be a little disconcerting to begin with.

It pulls away cleanly, though, and responds with more than enough urgency for a car of this size. The eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox shifts without any fuss, too.

The steering feels somewhat distant to begin with but you soon become used to it, and the Velar is also nothing short of exceptional when it comes to tackling tricky conditions.

What do the press think?

Autocar said: ‘The Velar looks like the very personification of a concept car.’ Auto Express said: ‘This is one of the most desirable SUVs you can buy.’

What do we think?

Those who want to stand out from the crowd will love its look, while those who want a safety net for when conditions get tough will be impressed by the way it can handle almost any situation. Add a cutting-edge interior and you have an SUV that’s hard to beat.

Jack Evans's avatar

Jack Evans is the head of editorial for Car Dealer parent company Blackball Media. An experienced motoring journalist, he covers the latest car launches, motoring news and produces a variety of features for this website.

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