Range Rover Velar review

Our Rating 
2017 model
By jumbo-bg Test TeamComments

The Range Rover Velar is Land Rover’s most desirable product yet. Rivals are arguably better value, but the Velar has more style dynamism

Hugely desirable, great to drive, beautiful interior
Rear-seat practicality not as good as some rivals, expensive to buy, no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto

The Range Rover Velar is the SUV of the moment. Its slippery shape and stunning interior make it ultra desirable, but it’s the first Range Rover to heavily prioritise form over than function. There’s a good selection of engines but be aware of tight rear seat passenger space and high list prices. The Velar may well start at just under £45,000 but you’ll be spending a lot more than that for a Velar with all the kit you’d want. That said, who said style and fashion come cheap?

Our Choice 
Range Rover Velar SE D300

The Range Rover Velar is the latest addition to Land Rover’s Range Rover line-up, and it’s an all-new entry with a name that might be familiar to those in tune with Land Rover’s history.

The Velar name goes back to the 1960s, when it was used as an alias to disguise original Range Rover prototypes. As such the new Velar wears possibly the oldest name in the Range Rover line-up.

Best SUVs and 4x4s

It plugs the gap between the Evoque and the Range Rover Sport, meaning that there’s now less of a gulf between Range Rover’s entry-level offering and its larger SUVs. It also cuts a more individual shape compared to the rest of the line-up, with a new design language and a rakish roofline. It doesn’t quite occupy a new coupe SUV position, but it’s easily the closest Land Rover has come to filling that niche.

The Velar’s position in the range and its overall shape means that it covers plenty of bases, and as such it enters the market with a wide variety of rivals in its sights. This is a car that goes up against the likes of the Porsche Macan, Jaguar F-Pace and Volvo XC60 as well as the BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE Coupe.

Land Rover offers a broad range of engines and specs. Basic Velar models score that attractive entry-level price tag, seven more versions slot in above – S, SE, HSE cars plus sporty looking R-Dynamic S, SE and HSE models. At launch there’s a range topping, limited run ‘First Edition’ Velar too, which comes loaded with kit.

There’s also a wide spread of diesel and petrol choices when it comes to engines, though the most basic and cheapest Velar is only available with a 178bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel.

Powertrain options open up further up the range with a 237bhp 2.0-litre diesel and a 296bhp 3.0-litre V6 diesel. Petrols kick off with a 247bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder, sitting beneath two six-cylinder 3.0-litre options. One of these engines matches its diesel counterpart with 296bhp, though the range topping P380 car packs an impressive 375bhp. This flagship engine is only available on HSE and R-Dynamic HSE models.

While the styling will be one of this new car’s biggest draws, the cabin and tech is all-new as well. The Velar boasts the latest Jaguar Land Rover infotainment systems, with the new Touch Pro Duo system the highlight. Twin 10-inch touchscreens stack on top of each other in the centre console and dashboard, while digital dials also mean that the Velar’s interior is fresh and modern.

Engines, performance and drive

The Velar comes with Jaguar Land Rover’s latest range of efficient 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines. The V6 versions are more familiar, but fit just as well.

The Velar is positioned as the most dynamic Range Rover in the range. It uses the mostly aluminium platform from the Jaguar F-Pace and shares a large amount of componentry with that very car.

While the ride on standard steel springs is harsher than on any other Range Rover, the Velar still feels more comfortable and refined than the F-Pace. This only improves with the more expensive V6 models, as they come with air suspension as standard. Velars fitted with air suspension ride very well indeed and don’t feel remotely bouncy. Nor do they lend the car to excessive body roll, with plenty of control through tight bends.

The ride is made even more comfortable with small wheels, as the biggest 21 or 22-inch rims can send small shockwaves into the cabin. However, the Velar looks best on large wheels so most people will put up with a small amount of discomfort in order to look good on the road.

You’d be hard pushed to tell the Velar is related to the Jaguar F-Pace because Land Rover has succeeded in making the Velar feeling very ‘Range Roverish’ to drive. The steering is meaty but languid and the Velar’s natural character is to waft rather than thrill – this is despite it being supposedly the most dynamic Range Rover model ever. The feeling is helped by the standard eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox which, depending on which engine you go for, can feel super sharp or a little lost when it comes to choosing the right gear.  


The Velar is available with Jaguar Land Rover’s latest 2.0-litre petrol and diesels built at its new Wolverhampton factory in the West Midlands. We've yet to try a 2.0-litre petrol, but we have sampled the D240 2.0-litre diesel model. It sits ahead of the D180, with 237bhp and 500Nm of torque on offer. It's not quite as smooth as any of the six-cylinder options on the table, and the quoted performance figures feel a little optimistic, but it's respectably refined and balances pace with a respectable return on fuel economy.

Most buyers will be persuaded to go for the V6 engines. Though older they still offer desirable amounts of power and torque – the 296bhp 3.0-litre turbocharged diesel is a highlight. Though slightly costly to run, it nicely matches the Velar’s part-luxury, part-sporty nature, and is quiet and smooth on the move.

Many potential buyers will take one look at the 375bhp 3.0-litre supercharged petrol’s running costs and be put off immediately, however we suspect a few buyers will still plump for it, as it allows the Velar to easily rival cars like the Porsche Macan GTS. It’s the same engine used in the Jaguar F-Type and offers similar levels of aural delight – even if the Velar is naturally slightly quieter thanks to its larger body, better sound insulation and more hushed exhaust system. It’s a seriously quick car, though, and can haul the two-tonne Velar along at a decent pace.

MPG, CO2 and running costs

Four-wheel drive only means economy figures aren’t exceptional, but they’re still respectable for an SUV of this size and weight

The Range Rover Velar is different from more attainable Land Rover models such as the Evoque and Discovery Sport because there is no front-wheel drive version offered. Even the entry-level diesel is 4WD only, which fits with the car’s high-end target market.

It does, however, mean that the 178bhp diesel manages a respectable but not outstanding 52.5mpg on the claimed combined cycle, with CO2 emissions of 142g/km. That’s only marginally less than front-wheel drive versions of the BMW X3, for example, which shows how efficient Land Rover’s four-wheel drive system is.

If you want to step up to a the 237bhp twin-turbo 2.0-litre diesel, the economy penalty isn’t too bad, either (it manages 48.7mpg and emits 154g/km). More impressive is the V6 diesel, which despite the extra two cylinders and a substantial 700Nm of torque still claims 44.1mpg and 167g/km. Regardless of CO2, however, all Velars are subject to the £310 a year road tax supplement for cars over £40,000.

Unsurprisingly, the petrols fare less well when it comes to efficiency. The most frugal 247bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder manages 37.2mpg combined and emits 173g/km, while the 296bhp V6 is very nearly as good. The top-spec supercharged 375bhp V6 petrol only manages 30.1mpg combined, and emits 214g/km of CO2. Ultimately, buyers at this price point are more worried about range than fuel consumption, and it’s the diesels which offer a greater distance between fill-ups.

Insurance groups

The Velar’s insurance looks to be roughly on a par with rivals from Audi and BMW, and cheaper than cars such as the Porsche Macan, which is a good achievement when you consider the Velar’s cost and desirability. The base diesel starts at group 31, and it rises to group 45 for top-spec supercharged V6 models.


Land Rover hasn’t released residual value data for the Velar just yet, but we’d be surprised if it fared any worse than other JLR products. Smaller siblings like the Range Rover Evoque offer residuals that are well ahead of many premium rivals, so we’d expect to see the same again here, with the Velar rivalling the Porsche Macan for retained value after three years.

Interior, design and technology

The Velar is the most stylish Range Rover in the line-up with a focus on form rather than function. It’s still bristling with tech but the Velar is a design-led car.

One of the highlights of the Range Rover Velar is its interior. It showcases the next wave of Range Rover interiors with its three-screen set-up and minimalist interior design. Ever since the launch of the fourth-generation Range Rover in 2012, all subsequent models have had beautifully made and tastefully designed interiors, but the Velar moves things on a notch with a level of technology and tactility we’ve not seen on a Land Rover before.

It’s not just the interior that shows the future either. While the sloping roofline will be very much a Velar ‘thing’ in the range, you can expect the sleeker headlamps, restyled grille and pop-out door handles to make their appearances on other forthcoming Range Rovers like the next Evoque due in 2018.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

One of the most striking features of the Range Rover Velar is its interior. Not only is it minimalist and elegantly designed but there’s a focus on technology that we haven’t seen before from Land Rover.

All but the entry-level ‘S’ get three screens as standard – there’s a 12.3-inch display ahead of the driver just like you’ll find on the Range Rover, and Land Rover’s new Touch Pro Duo System which consists of a 10-inch touchscreen in the middle of the dash. When you get in and touch the starter button, the screen tilts forwards as much 30 degrees and it looks very smart as it does its business. Below it is a 10-inch display where the buttons would normally be on the facia.

Apart from two rotary controls, there no physical buttons for the screens – but by using these circular switches you can flick through the different menus. These buttons allow you to choose which mode you’d like for the Terrain Response system, as well as letting you adjust the temperature for the air-con.

It all looks smart and ultra modern but, with the lower screen in particular, it does involve you taking your eyes off the road to prod the display. German rivals offer more intuitive systems, and while Jaguar Land Rover’s InControl Touch Duo system looks and works well enough, there’s no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto which is a glaring omission when virtually every one of the Velar’s rivals offers this type of convenience.

Practicality, comfort and boot space

Despite the large exterior dimensions, it’s a bit of a mixed bag inside. There’s plenty of room up front and in the boot, but rear seat passengers will struggle for space

The Velar sits between the Evoque and the Range Rover Sport and as such its dimensions fall neatly between those models. When lined up in size order the Velar looks to be a large car, though it’s not the same inside. While there is plenty of room up front, helped by the minimalist design and the panoramic sunroof (if fitted), space for rear seat passengers is a little tighter than it should be. Boot room is good though – it sits between the Audi Q5 and the Audi Q7 for outright space with the seats up or down.

Cabin storage is average – there’s a large glovebox and a usefully sized cubby under the central armrest, but the doorbins are rather small. That said there are a couple of nicely designed storage spaces to match the design-led interior, such as the space behind the 10-inch touchscreen on the dash and the cupholder in the centre console that is hidden from view until the Land Rover badge near the gearknob is pressed.   


The Velar is quite a large car and as such it tends to sit between the mid and large-SUV segments. It’s roughly the same length as a Porsche Cayenne but only just a little taller than a Porsche Macan. The Velar is relatively easy to get into compared to other larger Range Rovers thanks to its lower driving position; go for air suspension or a V6 model and the Velar can automatically go into ‘Comfort access’ mode to make getting in and out easier.

Leg room, head room & passenger space

It’s very easy to get comfortable up front. There’s a slightly sportier driving position than other Range Rovers and sitting up front is not quite as majestic as the large Range Rover due to the thinner, sportier seats that have no pull down armrests. There’s plenty of adjustment in the seat - especially if you have electric seats – as well as in the steering column, so getting a good driving position is easy.

It’s a slightly different story in the rear. Due to that sloping roofline six-footers will find their heads touching the roof, and they may struggle for legroom if the two passengers up front are tall. The Velar is more of a four-seater, too, as the middle seat in the back is small and there’s not much foot room for a third passenger due to small footwells. That said, there’s plenty of room for children.


While space in the back seats is a little tight, the boot makes up for it. It’s of a good shape and the rear seats fold down and lie down nearly completely flat. At nearly 120cm wide and nearly a metre deep, the boot is surprisingly practical. There’s 673 litres with the seats up and 1,731 litres with the seats down, meaning it sits somewhere between the Audi Q5 the Audi Q7. If you go for a space saver spare wheel is robs you of underfloor storage.

The boot lip is quite large though making loading items a little trickier than it should be and unlike the big daddy Range Rover there is no split-tailgate.  

Reliability and Safety

Customer service and reliability is still an issue, but the Velar should be a seriously safe family car

The Range Rover Velar is so new that we’ll need to wait a little longer before forming any real verdicts on reliability. However, it uses plenty of tried and tested parts from cars like the Discovery and Range Rover Sport, so any potentially serious issues should have been ironed out by now. That said, the brand didn’t fare too well in our most recent Driver Power survey, placing just four spots off the bottom (24th overall) - only MG, Citroen and Dacia came off worse. Owners cited poor reliability as the main issue, while connectivity (the Velar doesn’t get Apple CarPlay or Android Auto yet), infotainment and electrics are among other problem areas.

Safety should be pretty good, though. The Velar hasn’t been crash tested by Euro NCAP, but the latest Land Rover Discovery gained a full five-star rating with a 90 per cent score for adult occupancy. And while the Velar lacks any real autonomous tech, it comes with automatic braking, adaptive cruise and lane-keep assist. For these reasons, the Velar is likely to be a very safe family car.


All Range Rover Velar models come with a three-year unlimited mileage warranty, which is on par with rivals. A BMW X5 offers the same guarantee, but a Audi Q7’s warranty is limited to 60,000 miles.


Service plans for the Range Rover Velar haven’t been revealed yet, but Land Rover offers an inclusive setup on the Discovery and the brand’s latest model should be no different. For reference, a five year plan with a 50,000-mile limit costs from £725 on the 2.0-litre diesel Disco, rising to £825 for the 3.0 V6 models. Higher mileage drivers are covered, too, paying a little more for a higher limit.

Last updated: 20 Dec, 2017