Range Rover Velar Review & Prices
The Range Rover Velar bridges the gap between the smaller Evoque and larger Range Rover Sport. It’s stylish, good on and off road and comes with lots of kit, but top versions are pricey
Find out more about the Range Rover Velar
Think of the Range Rover Velar as the SUV equivalent of technical trail-running gear, versus the wax jacket Land Rovers of old. The Velar will still go further off-road than its alternatives, but will look better doing it.
Even entry-level cars come with a clever dual-screen infotainment system that should impress you and passengers alike, while R-Dynamic SE models and up get fully digital dials. These replace the normal speedo and rev-counter dials, a bit like the Audi Q5’s Virtual Cockpit.
Unfortunately, the Range Rover Velar’s controls aren’t as intuitive as the Audi’s and it doesn’t feel quite as well built. The big kicker is that you don’t even get satellite navigation as standard in entry-level cars, which is a bit mean on a car costing well over £45,000.
Passengers will find getting comfy in the Velar a pretty easy task, particularly in the front. Those in the rear won’t have major complaints, but if you want to carry three adults back there then a Mercedes GLC is a better bet. The small rear windows mean the Range Rover Velar can feel a little dark in the back for example. Thankfully, fitting a child seat is dead easy.
With a 568-litre boot (reduced for the plug-in hybrid model due to the battery pack), the Velar is well up to taking all the stuff that family life demands, and there are plenty of handy hooks and tether points dotted around for securing smaller items. You can also press a button to lower the back in Velars with air suspension to make getting heavier items in and out that bit easier.
The back seats can be dropped in a three-way (40:20:40) split. This means you can carry a couple of passengers and some long luggage at the same time. Drop all three seats down – easily done from the back of the car thanks to the handy levers in the boot – and you’ll open up a 1,731-litre load bay that will easily hold a bicycle with both wheels attached.
The Velar name comes from the very first Range Rover prototypes, but there is nothing old-fashioned about this modern car with its stunning looks and tonnes of high-tech features
The Range Rover Velar comes with a choice of two petrol and two diesel engines, plus a petrol-powered plug-in hybrid. If you are doing lots of town driving then go for the smallest P250 petrol option: it’s quick enough, refined and will nudge 30mpg on a run.
If you’re planning on spending more time on the motorway then the big diesel is well worth considering. Using a straight-six engine , the smooth and punchy D300 is easily quick enough to keep up with fast-moving traffic and returns around 37mpg on average.
If your Velar is a company car, the P400e plug-in hybrid is a great choice, because it has emissions as low as 50g/km, which makes for a really low benefit-in-kind payments. Basically that means cheap company car tax. It will also be exceptionally economical as long as you use it as intended by charging it up at every opportunity – if you don’t, it won’t be.
To ensure your Velar is as comfy as possible the optional air suspension will really help soften jarring bumps in the road, but it’s only available as part of an optional pack and you can’t get it on the entry-level engines. You also cannot specify it on the plug-in hybrid because the battery pack takes up the necessary space.
But the Range Rover Velar should be a very safe place for you and your family – it picked up five stars in the Euro NCAP test in 2017 and all models come with automatic emergency braking that’ll brake the car for you if it senses an obstacle ahead.
That sort of standard-fit technology is a big part of the Velar’s appeal, and it’s well worth a look if you want a premium SUV that comes with plenty of high-tech gadgets, even though it does slightly favour style over outright passenger space.
The Land Rover Range Rover Velar has a RRP range of £54,455 to £80,230. However, with carwow you can save on average £2,933. Prices start at £52,037 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £644. The price of a used Range Rover Velar on carwow starts at £26,120.
Our most popular versions of the Range Rover Velar are:
|Model version||carwow price from|
|2.0 D200 MHEV S 5dr Auto||£52,037||Compare offers|
At these prices, the Velar looks expensive next to the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. Then again, the Velar is positioned as the most stylish and sporty model in the Range Rover line-up, in which case perhaps the Audi Q5 Sportback and BMW X4 are closer comparisons. These SUV-coupe models are nearer to the Velar on price.
It’s worth remembering that there’s a very big jump from the entry-level model (simply badged ‘Velar’) to the S, which has a much better spec. We’re talking several thousand pounds. The petrol models are also a lot more costly than the entry-level diesel, and the plug-in hybrid is big bucks. You won’t make up the premium in fuel savings alone unless you drive to the moon and back, so that one is mainly for the company car drivers looking to cut tax bills.
Great to drive, but you need air suspension to enjoy the Velar at its best
There’s a downside to the Velar’s catwalk-ready style – the rakish windscreen and the small rear window mean there are big blind spots to contend with around town. You get a rear-view camera and front and rear parking aids on the most basic model, and boy do you need them.
If you forgive the iffy all-round visibility, the Velar is easy to drive around town. Unsurprisingly every Velar comes with an automatic gearbox, which shifts with the unobtrusive efficiency of a country-house butler.
Every Velar has plenty of performance, so you can easily nip into gaps in traffic, and the ride is mostly serene. There is some fidgeting at low speeds, especially if you choose a car with big alloy wheels, but overall the Velar lives up to Range Rover’s reputation for comfort. Choose air suspension for the smoothest and most cosseting ride.
It’s hard to see any two-tonne 4x4 as a green option, but the P400e plug-in hybrid is a lot greener than most and will complete many urban journeys running on electricity alone.
On the motorway
There was a time when 4x4s were hopelessly noisy and crude on the motorway, but the original Range Rover was one of the first cars to change all that. Ever since, Range Rovers have been cars that can handle themselves off road while being more than capable on long motorway journeys.
The Velar is stable and secure at motorway speeds, and the further up the engine range you go the more punch there is to quickly blast back up to speed after being caught behind slower traffic.
Whether you are driving with the standard or air suspension, the Velar is very comfortable, although the air suspension is that bit more forgiving of imperfect surfaces. And aside from some wind noise from around the door mirrors, the Velar is quiet while cruising along at 70mph.
On a twisty road
For the most rewarding drive, you want a Velar with air suspension and the Configurable Dynamics option. Then choose ‘Dynamic’ mode and you have an SUV that’s really enjoyable on a favourite B-road.
And yet it isn’t quite on the same level as a Porsche Macan. It’s a big and heavy car, and you never quite escape from the sense of bulk and inertia that brings. As such, the Velar handles best on open, sweeping routes rather than narrow roads with tight corners. It’s a comfy express rather than a sports car in disguise.
With its 400hp engine, the P400 mild hybrid is the pick of the range for getting your kicks on an empty road. Just don’t check the mpg on the trip computer.
Roomy up front and in the boot, but not great for three in the back
Something would really need to go wrong for a 4x4 that’s almost five metres long to be short of space in the front. So it will surprise nobody to confirm that there’s plenty of room in the front of the Velar.
Most drivers should be able to find a sound and supportive driving position, but things could be better still. For one thing, the centre console and transmission tunnel are really wide, which means there’s not as much room for your left leg as you might think. For another, the entry-level model has less scope for adjustment than the rest of the range. It makes do with eight-way movement and no lumbar adjustment, whereas Velar S and up have 14-way adjustment (including adjustable lumbar support) and the high-spec R-Dynamic HSE has 20-way adjustment. This range-topping model’s seats will heat, cool, and even massage you as you drive.
Storage space is more than adequate, with good-sized door bins and a reasonable amount of room in the glovebox. You’ll find more room for odds and ends under the driver’s armrest, although this space is smaller than the equivalent cubby in plenty of other SUVs.
There are three cupholders between the front seats, although oddly one is square rather than round.
Space in the back seats
Two passengers will be happy enough in the back. There’s enough headroom for adults even with the panoramic sunroof fitted, and legroom is okay too. However, the sloping roof and high window line mean the rear window isn’t very large, and you sit with your head next to the very thick rear pillar. It means you feel a bit hemmed in.
Three passengers are a bit of a squeeze. There’s a hump in the floor which gets in the way of the middle passenger’s feet, and the cushion is firm and higher than the seats on either side.
ISOFIX mounting points for child seats are fitted to the outer seats, and fitting the child seats should be easy enough.
The Velar’s boot is very large, not least because Land Rover has resisted any temptation to make the Velar a seven-seater – there are other models in the range, such as the Land Rover Discovery or Defender, for owners with large families.
With the back seats upright there’s 568 litres of space (although the plug-in model has less room thanks to the battery packaging), and plenty of tie downs and other features to help you make the most of the room.
The back seats split in three parts rather than the more usual two, which is great if you have a long item to take with you but need to have space for two passengers in the back.
Although the boot is very high from the ground, another plus to ordering air suspension is the ability to lower the back of the car so lifting in heavy bags puts less strain on your back.
Fantastic-looking cabin, but there are some issues with ease of use
The Velar is all about style. Looks are very subjective, but to our eyes it’s a bit of a stunner, and that goes for the interior as well as the exterior.
For the full effect you’ll want a car with the digital instruments, in which case there are few SUVs that can match the Velar for its blend of modern tech and luxury. The higher the spec, the better the quality of the leather, and the more opulent the ambience.
On the other hand, go lower down the range in cars with conventional instruments and less plush leather, and you don’t feel quite so spoiled.
Instead of the single infotainment screen you get in most cars, the Velar has twin screens. Range Rover calls the system Pivi, or Pivi Pro when it comes with satellite navigation. Most of the functions you associate with infotainment, such as sat nav, are taken care of by the top screen. The lower screen is for some climate control functions and tweaking the Range Rover’s Terrain Response settings, which adjust the car’s systems to suit different terrain.
Sit on your driveway and tinker to your heart’s content, and you will love Pivi Pro. It looks stunning, with rich, deep colours and eye catching graphics.
Head out for a drive, though, and you may revise your opinion. It’s just too fiddly to use on the move, with the lower screen in particular forcing you to take your eyes a long way from the road ahead.
We prefer BMW’s iDrive system with its rotary controller. This makes the infotainment easier to use with just a quick glance across to the screen.
As a rule, the BMWs you might consider as alternatives to the Velar are also better finished. Look at the lower dash and doors in the Range Rover and you’ll find some hard and scratchy plastics.
The petrol Velars are pretty thirsty, none more so than the P400. This 400hp six-cylinder model is addictive to drive, but only returns up to 28.8mpg in official tests. That’s despite having mild hybrid help for the engine.
The P250 doesn’t have any electrical assistance, so even though it gives away 150hp to the P400, it’s not a lot more economical. In official tests it returned a best of 30.1mpg.
That kind of economy may persuade you to ignore recent fashion and choose a diesel. The entry-level D200 returns up to 44.8mpg. The more powerful D300 knocks 1.6 seconds from the 0-60mph time but fuel economy worsens to 38.2mpg.
If those numbers put you off, then the plug-in hybrid could be for you. Badged P400e, it has 404hp but achieves an official 128.4mpg figure. That sounds like amazing economy, but in reality there are other plug-in SUVs like the Mercedes GLE 350de that are considerably more efficient, and it will require a lot of charging up and running within the electric-only range to achieve those figures. The all-electric range of 33 miles is also shorter than the distance some similar cars can travel without using fossil fuel.
For a company car driver, the P400e is clearly the pick of the range, as it sits in a much lower benefit-in-kind tax band than other Velar models.
Safety is a given with the Range Rover Velar. The crash-test gurus at Euro NCAP ran the rule over the Velar when it was launched in 2017, and awarded the maximum possible five stars.
The car scored 93% for adult occupant protection, 85% for protecting child occupants, 74% for pedestrian safety, and 72% for its safety assistance systems.
Autonomous emergency braking is standard on all specification levels, along with lane keep assist and a driver condition monitor.
All cars come with a tracking device with a 12-month subscription included, after which you’ll need to pay yourself to keep using the system. An intrusion-sensing alarm is also standard, whichever Velar you buy.
Let’s not beat around the push – Land Rovers are usually close to the bottom of most reliability surveys. Diesel models in particular often suffer from faults. If you are not ready to accept some unscheduled trips to your local dealer, take a close look at the Lexus RX instead.
On the other hand, some owners are ready to forgive cars like the Range Rover Velar because of their looks, driver appeal, and luxury ambience.
The Velar comes with a three-year unlimited mileage warranty. Just don’t be shocked if you need to use it.
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*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.