The Car Connection Land Rover Range Rover Velar Overview
The Land Rover Range Rover Velar is a luxury mid-size crossover SUV that understands that not every Range Rover will need to bake in the craggy desert for weeks. The Velar is sleek and elegant, more at home on pavement than off.
Introduced for the 2018 model year, the Velar added Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility for 2019. For 2020, Range Rover ditched the turbodiesel and introduced the high-powered (and high-priced) SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition (SVO). The $91,000 SVO uses a 550-horsepower supercharged 5.0-liter V-8, but catch it while you can during its limited one-year run.
Slotted between the steel-bodied Range Rover Evoque and the aluminum-bodied Range Rover Sport, the Velar shares attributes with both—though it's most directly related to the Jaguar F-Pace.
With the Velar, Range Rover design into its next generation with even fewer details and a more sophisticated shape. The headlights are slim LEDs, the roofline tapers quickly to LED taillights, and the door handles fold away into the body, a trick Land Rover might remember from the days when it was related to Aston Martin.
MORE: Read our 2020 Land Rover Range Rover Velar review
The Velar's fashion-forward mix of formal lines and edgy details can be altered with a black roof or a body-color panel that gives it a Mini-like flair.
The Velar's interior pares down the usual controls to just a few knobs and switches. The other functions incorporate into a pair of 10-inch screens at the center of the dash. One controls navigation and audio, the other ancillary climate and comfort functions. The screens substitute fingertip gestures for switches, with swipe, pinch, and touch control over everything from playlists to air flow. Dubbed Touch Pro Duo, it has permanent touch-sensitive icons devoted to functions such as fan speed and defrosting.
For performance, the Velar ponies up a trio of gas powerplants. A 247-hp turbo-4 slots into base models. A 380-hp supercharged V-6 hits 60 mph in 5.3 seconds, and top speed at 155 mph. At the peak of the performance lineup, the SVO has a 550-horsepower supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 that trims one second off the 0-60 mph time, in 4.3 seconds.
A steel-coil suspension and electric power steering can be upgraded to an air suspension. When so equipped, the Velar has 9.88 inches of ground clearance, and a fording depth of more than 25 inches. A drive-mode controller offers specific programming for the stability and traction control systems, spread across the usual gamut–mud, snow, rocks, and ice.
The Range Rover Velar can tow up to 5,512 lb. Wheel sizes range from 18 to 22 inches.
The Velar sits marginally shorter than the Range Rover Sport and its 115.1-inch wheelbase. The Velar's wheelbase is 113.1 inches, the same as that of the Jaguar F-Pace.
Land Rover delivers a useful interior with seats for five passengers, luggage space of 34.4 cubic feet behind the rear seat, and total interior space behind the front seats of up to 70.1 cubic feet. The second row may be cramped for tall passengers—grab the keys early.
Safety equipment includes adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warnings, automatic emergency braking, and a surround-view camera system.