The Velar—its name a nod to the brand’s history—is a luxurious, high-tech SUV with eye-catching looks that make it stand out from the herd. A 247-hp 2.0-liter inline-four, a 380-hp supercharged 3.0-liter V-6, and a 180-hp turbo-diesel 2.0-liter inline-four are offered; an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive are standard, as is a dual-screen infotainment system. Interior trim made of sustainable materials is optional. Like all Rovers, the Velar is as adept off-road as it is on the freeway.
Compact luxury crossovers are a cliquey bunch. Porsche’s Macan is the hot hatch, Mercedes-Benz’s GLC-class is the luxury choice, and Audi’s Q5 is the nondescript sales winner. Land Rover’s Range Rover Velar is the stylish one, leveraging Range Rover’s signature rectilinearity against slim lights and a tapering roof for visual pop. Two new touchscreen displays wow occupants and drastically reduce the cabin’s hard-button count. All-wheel drive and a turbocharged four-cylinder engine are standard; a diesel four-cylinder and a supercharged V-6 are available.
What’s New for 2018?
The Velar is all new for this year; Land Rover aims it at the space between the smaller Evoque and the (barely) larger Range Rover Sport in the 2018 Range Rover lineup. Sharing its bones and four- and six-cylinder engine choices with the Jaguar F-Pace, the Velar is similarly plus sized for the compact luxury segment. At least, it is outwardly; inside, it is spacious but not as much as its exterior dimensions suggest.
Trims and Options We’d Choose
Land Rover complicates the process of ordering a Velar by mixing overlapping trim structures. As in, one can mix the engine of their choice with either base, R-Dynamic, or—for 2018—a First Edition launch trim. That is only the first layer of trim levels, however. Each engine carries its own name that alludes to its power output—four-cylinder P250 (247 horsepower and P for petrol, or gasoline), four-cylinder D180 (180 horsepower, diesel), or V-6 P380 (380 horsepower, petrol)—and can be further combined with S, SE, and HSE trims depending on your first trim selection. The P250 can be had in an unnamed base trim, too—one that has almost no available options. Given the V-6’s graininess and the Velar’s overall emphasis on style rather than performance, we’d stick with the gas turbo four (P250!) and spring for the mid-level SE trim in R-Dynamic guise. That’s a mouthful, but it nets buyers a decent mix of style and features; for $61,095, it includes:
• 20-inch wheels
• Leather interior
• 825-watt 17-speaker Meridian audio system
• Power liftgate
Source: Car and Driver