Unravelling The Secrets Of Velar
Andy Harris, Motoring and Property Editor
Jaguar Land Rover sales are on the rise with 2017 seeing a 20% increase across the group. The demand for premium vehicles shows no sign of abating, fuelled by affordable Personal Contract Plans and attractive lease deals.
The Range Rover Evoque has been one of the Group’s undoubted stars, but sensing a gap between it and the much larger Range Rover Sport, the British brand now offers the Velar.
The name has its origins in the 1960s when it was used as an alias to disguise prototypes.
Rivals in this sector are plentiful, with the Porsche Macan, Volvo XC60 and Jaguar’s F-PACE the most notable.
The rakish roofline gives the Velar almost coupe-like styling, the downside being slightly less interior space than you might expect. However, when that interior has an undoubted wow-factor, I doubt that many will be put off.
Velar pricing starts at a reasonable £45,000 or thereabouts, but it is doubtful that many will leave the showroom at that sort of money. Witness my R-Dynamic HSE test car with powerful 300hp diesel engine, on your driveway for £70,530 before options.
Most Velars will get their power from an extensive range of 2.0-litre Ingenium petrol and diesel engines, but if you must have the best, you can’t beat the refined 3.0-litre diesel motor.
Boasting twin turbochargers, this refined V6 unit can propel the weighty Velar to 60mph from rest in a tad over six seconds and will continue to pull strongly right up to and way beyond the UK national speed limit.
Aiding brisk progress is the eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox which kicks down briskly when required, ensuring all 700Nm of torque is instantly on tap.
Land Rover quotes 44.1mpg for the combined economy cycle and whilst I was only able to attain a little over the 30mpg during my time with the car, most of my driving was local running. Expect mid 30s if driven with a little restraint.
I’m told the Velar is intended to be the most dynamic Range Rover ever and on my challenging local test route it did not disappoint. Body roll is well contained and the weighty steering allows the driver to place the car accurately through the bends.
In reality though, comfort is more the Range Rover way and the Velar is happiest wafting along at a reasonable pace. Doing so, you can appreciate the generally comfortable ride. Low speed bumps can intrude with some blame no doubt attached to the optional 21” alloy wheels.
Thrill seekers may well be better off with an F-PACE, so I guess it is all a matter of priorities.
Despite being a more style-led product that is usual from Land Rover, all Velar models are four-wheel drive. A little light off-roading was easily accomplished, so you are unlikely to get stuck towing a horse-box across a muddy field or when the roads turn wintery.
The interior is one of the Velar’s highlights. Up front you sit a little lower than in bigger Range Rover models, but still as comfortably. Electric adjustment for the seats and steering wheel in higher spec models ensures an excellent driving position.
Taller rear passengers may find head and leg room a little tight and the middle seat is somewhat cramped.
Boot space on the other hand is generous, with a capacity of 558 litres with the rear seats up and 1,731 litres folded down. Storage space for odds and ends is plentiful too.
Technology lovers will love the three screen set up. Ahead of the driver sits a 12.3-inch display, whilst in the middle of the dashboard sits a 10-inch touchscreen housing the latest Touch Pro Duo system. Below this sits the third touchscreen with controls for the heating, air conditioning and the Terrain Response system.
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Land Rover still do not offer Apple Car play or similar which does seem to be a glaring omission.
All Velar models come with a three-year unlimited mileage warranty and with a couple of small glitches occurring during my time with the car, you may need it.
My time with the Velar was over all too quickly and if I were in the market for a Range Rover, I would undoubtedly choose it over one of the bigger models. Stylish, desirable and as capable as ever, Velar is yet another accomplished product to emanate from Gaydon and I look forward to spending time with other variants in the months to come.
Fast Facts (as tested)
Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic HSE D300
Base Price £70,530
Price as tested £73,520
Firenze Red paintwork
Light Oyster/Ebony trim
3.0-litre 300hp twin-turbo V6 Diesel engine
700Nm of torque (1500-1750rpm)
0-60mph in 6.1 seconds
Top speed 150mph
Economy 44.1mpg (combined cycle)
Emissions 167g/km CO2
Unravelling The Secrets Of Velar, 17th March 2018, 15:36 PM