One look at the Velar and you too would be captivated by its beautiful looks. While it’s the new model from Range Rover it’s slotted in between the Evoque the full-size Rover.
Looking at the Velar it certainly is beautiful. With sleek lines and swooped back headlights it’s a stunning vehicle to admire. It looks to be worth a hundred thousands dollars, luckily with all the options on this, it’s only $90,000.
Moving inside the Velar, it’s bathed in the luscious leathers and high-quality trim pieces. Everything that you can put your hand on feels of utmost quality and design.
And designed they have. The interior features three digital displays. With this much information at first, it can be a bit overwhelming. There’s time needed to really dive into to all the controls to figure out which panel does what.
The display within the cluster is able to show the vehicle’s speed, engine rpm as well as configurable to show multimedia and map information.
Above is a heads-up display that shows speed, engine RPM as well as advanced driver aids.
The bottom screen is mounted a bit low and will take the most time to get used to. There are three rotary dials to control climate, seat heaters as well as volume. However, with the lack of physical buttons, it can be hard to utilize all of the options when the vehicle is in motion. Taking the eyes off the road just to adjust the climate control can cause some problems. With so many options on the lower display, it’s very confusing. Take for example the picture above, while the display is in vehicle settings. It takes multiple clicks and turns to adjust the driver’s temperature. As the left rotary dial can currently only be used to change drive modes.
While the displays are state-of-the-art it’s responsiveness can be improved. There were times in which functions were delayed or even missed due to the sensitivity of the display.
Up front for the driver and passenger, they are treated with a pair of very soft and supple leather seats. While most vehicles have heated seats, the Velar steps it up by adding Ventilated seats as well as a massaging function. Terrific for road trips these massage capable captain seats offer plenty of support and lateral grip thanks to adjustable cushions.
As for the rear passengers, they aren’t as lucky. With just heated surface they will not be treated as nice as the front occupants. However, there is still a power-operated recline feature for the rear bench.
As for the trunk, there’s plenty of space back here. The power liftgate does help accessibility however it does lacks an automated function of kick to open. Liftover height is rather tall and the rear bumper has an odd lip edge that can get caught and damaged.
Driving the velar is not as surprising as one may think. This being the R-dynamic trim it is supposed to be the sportiest of the bunch. While the 3L Supercharged V6 borrowed from the Jaguar makes all sorts of pops and bangs, it’s rather hushed in the Velar. At 380hp and 332lb-ft it feels a bit lacking as the torque curve is between 3500-5000rpm. Make no mistake the Velar is quick. Taking only 5.7 seconds to reach 100km/h. It’s just the lack of low-end torque which makes the Velar feel sluggish at lower speeds. Another factor is the weight. At a porky 4700olbs, this is not a lightweight contender. Combining the two gives us mediocre fuel consumption. At 15L/100km in the stop-n-go city traffic and managing about 10L/100km on the highway. For those looking for something a bit more frugal the D180 with it’s Diesel four-cylinder is worth looking into.
While all the underpinnings of the Velar are shared with Jaguar’s F-pace. Land Rover has taken it in a completely different direction. The ride is smoother and more compliant for everyday roads. Cornering is softer than the more agile Jaguar counter-part and it shows. The Velar feels less involved than a sport-ute, especially in tight turns where the Velar does produce some roll. Lastly, the ride itself can be a choppy even at comfort mode no thanks to big 22″ wheels that are optional extras in this trim.
Overall, the Velar is not only an incredible looker but it’s downright refined. Sadly not all is good, while this Velar was in our procession with only 5000km on the odometer, the rear left blinker was shorted out. With no rear blinker and being the midst of Winter, we had to solve this problem by making a lot more right turns to compensate.
That being said the Velar will still be high in our hearts as the overall charm of the vehicle outweighs the any of the faults it may have.
Big thanks to Land Rover Canada for the experience. www.landrover.ca