- Sleek design
- High driving position
- Luxury performance
- Unsettled feel at low speeds
- Not as intuitive to drive
- Some features are only available to higher trims
What's the Ranger Rover Velar like?
What a long way Land Rover has come, eschewing the rough and ready of off-road mudplugability for the height of luxury and tarmac-rippling performance.
But even today’s sumptuous models almost all come with four-wheel drive and will go just about anywhere if the owner doesn't mind a few scratches!
That's probably a very small minority of course, but I've done it more than a few times, and believe me these are vehicles that will get you through just about anything.
The Range Rover shape is still very much the same as when it first came out and the smaller Evoque is much sleeker. Judging by the numbers I see on the roads, it’s probably Land Rover's biggest seller.
But the sleekest and most aerodynamic car the company has produced is the Velar, fitting between the Evoque and the Range Rover Sport.
As you would expect - this is a Range Rover after all - and despite those sleek, gorgeous looks with the low roofline, it still has the high driving position, so many people love, giving an imperious view down onto the roofs of lesser cars.
Driving Experience and Practicality
Both petrol and diesel engines are remarkably smooth and quiet, and offer more than enough urge for the car's fairly heavy weight.
The smooth changing eight speed automatic gearbox has three drive modes - Drive for normal use, Sport to give a more immediate response, and Manual, when the gears can be changed using up and down paddles behind the steering wheel.
Oddly though, there is no 'Manual' button that I could see and so to make manual changes, you simply start using the paddles.
The ride is excellent over almost all surfaces, only spoiled occasionally by an unsettled feel at low speeds on rougher roads in town.
Velars are brilliant to drive, dynamically superb for a vehicle about the size of a small barn. They don’t roll much – which is something I didn’t expect - and they stick to the road surface beautifully even when pushed very hard through a series of corners.
Refinement is right out of the top drawer, and helps to make it a very enjoyable car to drive and to live with.
There’s a wide range of engines in the lineup, but all models are four-wheel drive, and they all use the same switchable eight speed automatic gearbox.
But remember, not all the models and specifications are available with all the engines.
Petrol power starts with the P250, which has a 245bhp 2.0-litre turbo. This one is good enough for a 0 to 60mph time of 7.3 seconds and can still achieve 35mpg.
Next comes the P300 295bhp. This brings the sprint down to 6 seconds and is still capable of 33mpg.
Then there is a plug-in hybrid rated at 148mpg called the P400e. It has a total of 398bhp from a 2.0-litre petrol engine and electric motors, giving a sprint best of 4.9 seconds and very low emissions.
And the top dog is the P550 – which comes with a supercharged V8 and that amount of power – and it can sprint to 60mph in just 4.4 seconds.
On the diesel front things start with the D180. This has 177bhp and can do 49mpg while covering the sprint in 8.6 seconds.
The D240 reaches 60mph in 7.2 seconds and is rated at 44mpg, while the D300 has a best of 40mpg and gets to 60mph in 6.3 seconds.
Most of the engines are 2.0-litre turbos, but the D300’s are 3.0-litre units.
The interior is beautiful, plush and sophisticated with interesting touches all around and lovely leather covered, heated and electrically adjusted seats.
It oozes class and quality with a high tech premium feel, and digital controls on the steering wheel control a number of functions.
But the best way to adjust almost anything is to use the excellent voice activation system.
The mid-range R-Dynamic SE comes with sat nav, loads of airbags, lane keeping aid, parking sensors, keyless entry and starting, traction control, cruise, a heated windscreen and leather covered seats with electric adjustment.
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The Range Rover Velar is a very special, superb looking machine that is hugely accomplished and more than a match for the best of the rest.
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