The Velar’s interior looks high-tech and luxurious, but only if you avoid entry levels models. The car’s infotainment systems look cool, but they’re not very intuitive to use
Mid-range Range Rover Velar cars come full of high-tech features but entry-level models have to make do with a slightly disappointing equipment list. You don’t get leather seats or satellite navigation as standard (which seems a little mean on a £45,000 car) and lumbar support (to help reduce back ache on long journeys) is only standard on range-topping HSE versions that cost around £62,500
Thankfully, all models get a futuristic-looking dual-screen infotainment system and a smart, minimalist dashboard with plenty of leather and soft-touch plastic trims. High-spec Range Rover Velar SE cars and above get an additional digital screen in place of conventional analogue dials while top-spec HSE versions come with plusher leather upholstery too. Unfortunately, you’ll still find some brittle, scratchy surfaces around the door bins and under the centre console.
You can get a range of aluminium, ash and carbon fibre trims to personalise the cabin but they’ll set you back anywhere from less than £100 to more than £1,000 depending on the materials you pick.
The optional sliding panoramic glass roof helps make the cabin feel as airy as possible. It’s standard on First Edition cars but a £1,395 option on every other Range Rover Velar. If you don’t want to stretch to the sliding version, there’s a slightly more affordable £1,115 fixed option.
The Velar’s stylish cabin comes packed with more glossy screens than an Apple store, but they can be a little confusing to use when you’re driving
Every Range Rover Velar come with a dual-screen touchscreen infotainment system built into the dashboard and centre console. All the car’s infotainment and heating functions are controlled through these two 10-inch screens so there’s no need for a multitude of ugly buttons.
The top screen is dedicated to Bluetooth, DAB digital radio and (in S models and above) satellite navigation features. The numerous menu icons are quite small and there aren’t any physical shortcut buttons so you’ll have to take your eyes off the road for some time to make sure you press the right part of the screen.
The screen itself is reasonably responsive but the slightly illogical menu layouts mean it’s not particularly easy to input a destination into the sat nav. Thankfully, it’s much simpler to add a waypoint or swipe across the map to preview your route.
Adjusting the cabin temperature using the lowermost infotainment screen isn’t quite as easy as using a Range Rover Sport’s conventional dials and knobs. You’ll have to first select which feature you want to tweak before using the large circular dials to bump the temperature up or down. This doesn’t just take longer than you might be used to, it means you’ll have to spend quite some time staring down at the centre console when you should be concentrating on driving.
Unfortunately, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring cost extra across the Range Rover Velar range, but you do get Land Rover’s own basic smartphone integration as standard on S cars and above. It’ll allow you to use a selection of apps, such as Spotify, through the car’s screens but it’s not quite as easy to use as the more mainstream Apple and Android systems.
A more modern-feeling feature is the digital driver’s display you get as standard on Range Rover Velar SE and HSE models. It replaces conventional analogue dials with a configurable high-resolution screen. It certainly compliments the rest of the Range Rover’s futuristic cabin but the odd touchpad-style controls on the steering wheel mean it isn’t quite as user-friendly as the Audi Q5’s similar Virtual Cockpit system.
If you have £2,225 burning a hole in your pocket (and you regularly carry passengers in the back) you might want to consider adding the rear-seat infotainment screens. This option comes with two eight-inch displays on the backs of the front headrests and some HDMI video inputs behind the rear armrest. Rather annoyingly, you’ll have to hand over an extra £880 if you want to be able to watch digital TV and they don’t come with touchscreen controls – instead you have to use a rather old-fashioned (and easy to lose) TV-style remote.
The Range Rover Velar‘s standard eight-speaker stereo sounds OK for an upmarket SUV but the upgraded Meridian systems in all but entry-level models are a marked improvement. S models have 11 speakers, SE versions come with 17 and there’s a 23-speaker system available from £1,550 if you fancy pumping out Glastonbury-volume tunes in a Waitrose car park.