Are you thinking about buying/leasing a Range Rover Velar? If so, stop reading, jump in your car and head on over to your nearest JLR dealership and sign! Sign quickly before they’re all gone. If you’re still here thinking about it, let me reassure you that it’ll do exactly what you want it to do. It drives great, looks totally badass and it’s a Range Rover! What more could you want?
Those of you who are still here, allow me to thank you and impress upon you how the Velar is the next step in luxury crossover transportation. The Porsche Macan is also part of this revolution. These vehicles have only their size as a “lesser” over their larger siblings. The art and the ability to include everything one expects in a Cayenne or Range Rover in a smaller truck raises their status, and the desirability factor.
Unless you absolutely want the Big Rover, go for the Velar. Oh, you want a V8? The supercharged 550-horsepower Velar SVR is on its way.
The bonus with the 2018 Range Rover Velar is that even at $62,000, the base truck looks fabulous. Essentially, the Velar is a fashion accessory. Think Gucci bag. You can buy one for $1,500 or spend three times that much. One way or another, you’ll be at the wheel of a mind-blowingly sexy Velar.
Aesthetically, the Velar could be the E-Type of crossovers. The profile is very telling. The low, long hood-line, swept-back roofline and narrow greenhouse make the Velar look as exotic as a Lamborghini Urus, but without the over-the-top in-your-face loud and obnoxious design. If you like that, and the attention, know that the Velar gathers loads of it despite its more civilized physique. The 22” wheels on my tester are perfection however the same cannot be said for the R-Dynamic Black Package which does nothing for me. Or for the truck.
It’s much of the same and you climb aboard. You’re surrounded by glossy surfaces, all of them dark, leathers and other classy accents. Turning on the Velar reveals beautifully detailed and high quality screens. While it will take a while to figure out how everything works, through trial and error, it’ll be a labour of love as it looks fantastic. It’s less than great when the sun hits the lower screen though but again, it’s easy to be patient with the Velar. You might want to leave a cloth in the glove compartment to clean off the screens once in a while.
The steering wheel also features mini screen-like control pods on each side of the air bag. The level of craftsmanship is big Rover-like – essentially, this is not a lower-end Rover, it’s just a slightly smaller one.
My tester’s massaging, heated and ventilated perches are wonderful. The rear bench is also cozy, and capable of holding three people side by side, for a short while anyhow. In all spots, when there are four on board, there’s plenty of leg- and headroom especially for the longer hauls. Even at speed, the cabin remains quiet.
The trunk is a decent size at 673 litres of total useable volume. The width upon opening is generous capable of taking up to two golf bags width-wise. Storage space throughout is good.
As I’ve said, even at $62,000, the Velar looks boss, and high-end. The pricing structure is somewhat complex but if you know which engine you want, you can start from there.
The “S” P380 is the least expensive supercharged V6 model and retails for $69,900. The Velar comes as the basic truck, the R-Dynamic or, for 2018, the First Edition. The latter is loaded and begins at $95k. For the first two trims, there are S, SE and HSE sub-trims and to they, more options can be added. I hope you’re not lost ‘cause I am… The R-Dynamic HSE P380 starts at $82,600 and with options such as the 22” wheels, Black Package, Climate Package and many more, my tester rolled in at roughly $95k too.
The basic Velar includes 19” wheels, LED headlights, ebony leather seats, power tailgate, Meridian audio and much more. What’s amazing about the Velar is that it’s one of the rare fully-customizable vehicles one can buy under a $100,000. From $62k, one can be optioned out to over $107k.
The best bet in my opinion would be a regular Velar SE P380 with 21” wheels for about $77k.
I’ve not said much about the Velar D180 engine option. I’ve not reviewed it and somehow, despite my appreciation for diesel engines, I’m not sold on a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder in this truck. Its 180 horsepower and 317 lb.-ft. of torque sound fine, but little more.
The supercharged 3.0-litre V6 and its 380 horsepower and 332 torques are very suited to the Velar. The power comes in at relatively high engine speeds so keeping your right foot in it to win it is necessary and rewarding. The truck is quick enough and if you can manage said right foot, you could average somewhere in the vicinity of 12L of petrol per 100 km.
With the V6 comes not only great power but the electronic air suspension. It plays a HUGE roll in what makes this truck so special. Parked in access height is all you need to really see to understand. Or, drive over anything essentially thanks to its 251mm (9.9”) of ground clearance when raised to its maximum height. In “normal” mode, it allows the Velar to glide through the typical drudgery that is the daily commute.
All said, the standard 8-speed is a proper ‘box capable of managing easy cruising, tearing up pavement or leaving it behind. The available Terrain Response 2 can conquer all, but nearly-perfect all-weather drivability is standard.
Driving the 2018 Range Rover Velar gives a sense of superiority that is nearly impossible to shake. It is quick, capable, good-looking and incredibly capable. Few other utility vehicles can pull this off without breaking a sweat. I’m thinking the two Porsche utes, and the other JLR crossovers.