- Super suave
- Interesting to drive
- Very practical
- Tonnes of tech on offer
If Range Rover models were lined up on a fashion cat walk, the latest Velar would be the glamour girl to steal the show.
While there is no doubting the stunning lines of the Solihull-based carmaker’s range, the Velar is the one whose curvy lines and tapering coupé-like roof break away from the chunky mould of its siblings.
It is the one model in the range that prioritises style over substance.
Having said that, any model wearing the coveted green and silver Land Rover badge on its grille and rump is guaranteed to perform well off-road, and the Velar is no exception. It is in its DNA.
Like all Range Rover models, the Velar is equipped to tackle the rough stuff, with a touch screen programme giving access to a choice of settings including grass, gravel, and snow, as well as mud ruts and even sand – in case you fancy taking your pride and joy to the desert.
For most Velars, however, the toughest surface they are likely to encounter are city streets after a snowfall, most owners buying one more for its luxury than its ability to tackle untrodden terrain.
In addition to off-road, the Velar offers a choice of driving modes, including eco, comfort and dynamic.
And while the car driven here is powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine rather than one of the 5.0-litre models, it can still live up to the latter mode's promise.
With 250bhp, this powerhouse will take the Velar from rest to 62mph in just 6.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 135mph.
When you want power, the Velar R-Dynamic really will deliver. Ensure you have selected dynamic, slip the gear shift into sport, and hold onto your hat.
Use the paddles behind the steering wheel, and it is thrill a minute driving.
Amongst other things, dynamic mode firms up the suspension on the Velar and allows for much tighter handling at speed. In comfort, the car lives up to the classification, but I found this softer setting meant a little too much roll on corners. Dynamic is just right.
Land Rover says the average fuel consumption is just under 31mpg but during a week’s motoring the best I managed was near 25mpg, although with a weight of around 2.5 tonnes, perhaps that is to be expected.
Interior and Technology
Step inside and the cabin is a world away from your average 4x4.
Luxury leather seats with contrasting cloth trim and a full length glass sunroof help to create an upmarket image.
And until you press the push button starter, all of the three screens on the dashboard – yes three – remain a swathe of black glass.
But as the engine starts, the sharp white on black dials appear in front of the driver while a 10-inch centre screen illuminates and revolves to a more upright stance to show everything from satellite navigation to the choice of radio stations.
Below it, the third screen features the climate control settings, the heated seats programme and the aforementioned off-road options.
The Velar sits between the Evoque and the Range Rover Sport and offers generous interior space with noticeably more rear legroom than the Evoque.
The space beneath the powered tailgate is more than ample too, with some 558 litres of luggage room available, rising to 1,731 litres with the rear seat backs lowered.
In fact, the Velar is a highly practical family car, but it is that glamorous image – which includes exterior doors handles which retract to give a flush finish as the car reaches 5mph – that really sells it.
With its seamless coupé-like lines, it does not get much more elegant than the Velar. In R-Dynamic trim, refinement is enhanced even further, featuring a range of equipment and extras to ensure you stand out for all the right reasons. It is not the famous brand's most capable car off-road, but it is certainly one of the best-looking.