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2020 Land Rover Range Rover Velar

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2020
The Car Connection
2020
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Andrew Ganz Andrew Ganz Senior Editor
July 6, 2020

Buying tip

The base Range Rover Velar tempts with its reasonable price, but we’d spend up for the supercharged V-6—and the divine cloth interior.

features & specs

P250 R-Dynamic S
P250 S
P340 R-Dynamic S
MPG
21 city / 27 hwy
MPG
21 city / 27 hwy
MPG
18 city / 24 hwy
MSRP
$58,500
MSRP
$56,300
MSRP
$64,400

The 2020 Land Rover Range Rover Velar delivers impressive performance and a stylish design.

The 2020 Velar doesn’t quite bring Range Rover-level opulence to the masses, but it comes awfully close. This luxurious five-seater is stunning to behold and a delight to drive. We rate the 2020 Land Rover Range Rover Velar at 7.6 out of 10, and certain configurations would score even higher if looked at individually. (Read more about how we rate cars.) 

This year, the lineup swaps out a frugal turbodiesel for a powerful V-8 paired with a buttoned-down suspension in the SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition (SVO) for a one-year run. It joins base S trim and R-Dynamic trim in S and HSE. The Velar S starts at $57,325, including $1,025 destination fee, and the top SVO jumps to $91,815. Before options, that is. 

Power outputs range from 247 to 380 horsepower in Velars intended for mere mortals, while the new for 2020 SVO cranks out 550 hp. All-wheel drive and an 8-speed automatic transmission are standard fare across the lineup. The Velar shares its bones with the Jaguar F-Pace, and while it’s not quite as sharp as its fellow Brit, this Range Rover goes down the road wonderfully. The optional air suspension swallows bumps better than the stock coils and can be raised or lowered for off-roading or to improve highway fuel economy. 

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The dignified exterior gives way to a gorgeous, high-tech interior. A pair of touchscreens handle virtually every vehicle function, and Land Rover offers a digital instrument cluster for those who simply need another screen. Beautiful details and an array of high-grade trims help elevate the Velar above its F-Type cousin, not to mention SUVs costing even more than the already pricey Range Rover.

The Velar doesn’t try to be a family hauler like the seven-seat Range Rover Sport, and that’s just fine with us. Its two rows offer decent space and its cargo space is usefully arranged. 

Equipment is good across the line, with active safety tech, smartphone integration, and other niceties all standard. Fuel economy isn’t a bright spot after the departure of last year’s turbodiesel, but a base Velar isn’t a huge guzzler.


10

2020 Land Rover Range Rover Velar

Styling

Few crossover SUVs are as balanced as the 2020 Range Rover Velar.

The 2020 Land Rover Range Rover Velar has become a common sight in some areas, but that hardly diminishes its appeal. Its profile is a natural evolution of Range Rover’s circa-1970 lines, and it avoids the modern trend of excessively large grilles or overstated chrome. The overall shape is balanced and attractive, with little unnecessary bling other than the door handles that retract when not in use. 

This year’s new SV Autobiography adds some go-fast styling along with its go-very-fast engine. It’s not as pure as the standard Velar, though one stomp of the accelerator pedal makes its extra bling just fine in our eyes. 

Minor flourishes such as the copper accents on some trim levels may not be to every buyer’s taste, but a wide range of trims and design packs mean it’s easy enough to tailor one to your liking. 

The 2020 Velar is perhaps at its best inside thanks to a nearly unmatched attention to detail. Leather can cover just about every surface if a checkbook is opened wide enough, but we can’t stress enough how much we prefer the optional wool upholstery. Shop closely as that textile isn’t available in every configuration.

Review continues below

8

2020 Land Rover Range Rover Velar

Performance

The 2020 Range Rover Velar pushes the performance envelope even more this year.

This year, the 2020 Land Rover Range Rover Velar drops its fuel-sipping diesel engine in favor of a supercharged V-8 that guzzles fuel almost as quickly as it chews up pavement. Fair trade? That’s for you to decide, but we’re happy enough with the 2020 Velar in standard form. Starting at 5, we add points for its good handling, supple ride, and solid grunt. It’s an 8 out of 10 on our scale. 

At the entry to the lineup, power comes from a 2.0-liter turbo-4 rated at 247 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque, which are figures more than sufficient to propel the Velar to 60 mph in a smidge under 7 seconds. A 340-hp supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 is on the options list for around $6,000 more, and it slices half a second or so from the 60 mph sprint. Either engine can be had in base S and R-Dynamic S trims. 

The R-Dynamic HSE trim upgrades to a 380-hp version of the supercharged V-6 that improves acceleration even more, though no Velar could reasonably be considered slow. An 8-speed automatic transmission operated by a mildly frustrating control knob on the center console doles out power with grace. A stab at the throttle wakes up the gearbox as it hurtles down a cog or three to propel the Velar forward with a quickness.

It may have a Range Rover badge affixed to its front end, but the Velar is not a serious off-roader. The optional air suspension can rise the Velar enough to slip over 9.9-inch obstacles without nearly a tap of the undercarriage, though the SUV is more tuned for pavement than it is for serious four-wheeling. Stick with 20-inch wheels at the largest and you’ll find a comfortable, composed ride quality. 

The Velar can tow up to 5,500 pounds when properly equipped. 

This year, a 550-hp supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 makes its way under the new SVAutobiography’s hood. It’s certain to provide jaw-dropping acceleration, though we haven’t had time to get behind the wheel just yet. We’ll update this space when we’ve had some seat time.

Review continues below

8

2020 Land Rover Range Rover Velar

Comfort & Quality

Exceptional materials and good front seats help the 2020 Range Rover Velar live up to its name.

A blue-blooded lineage means the 2020 Land Rover Range Rover Velar has a properly luxurious feel inside. Its front seats are supremely comfortable and it can haul plenty of cargo, too. We score it at 8 out of 10 for its comfort and quality.

The 2020 Velar is strictly a five-seater, not a mid-size SUV masquerading as a not-minivan. Front-seat riders have the best thrones in the house, not to mention a commanding view out. Base versions are draped in leather, but the optional woven wool upholstery represents Land Rover at its best and is an appealing natural alternative. The textile is paired best with heating and massaging features. 

Rear-seat riders will find adequate space for two, but three had better be close friends. The available power-reclining rear seatbacks help alleviate the limited-head room situation.

Cargo space is acceptable at around 34 cubic feet with the rear seat up right and just over double that with the back seats folded down. 

Hard plastic bits are in short supply inside the Velar, which is largely draped in real hides and metals inside. Close attention to detail with surface detailing—such as patterns on the standard leather designed to recall the Union Jack flag—elevate the Velar well above its price tag.

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2020 Land Rover Range Rover Velar

Safety

The 2020 Range Rover Velar has not been crash tested.

With a face this pretty, it’s no surprise that the 2020 Land Rover Range Rover Velar has not been crash-tested. It’s still a shame, though, that we can’t assign it a rating here. 

Standard gear includes automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, and lane-departure warnings. Adaptive cruise control, driver attention monitors, and active lane control can be added for an extra cost.

Outward visibility is excellent forward, but just OK rearward due to the uncharacteristically high belt line and beefy roof pillars.

Review continues below
8

2020 Land Rover Range Rover Velar

Features

A wide array of optional extras outfits the 2020 Range Rover Velar in custom tailoring.

Sure, you could order a 2020 Land Rover Range Rover Velar in beige with a tan interior and no options and call it a day, but you probably won’t. The automaker’s long list of optional extras extends well beyond convenience features to help well-heeled buyers make a 2020 Velar that feels as special as its hefty price tag indicates it should be.

We award the Velar 8 out of 10 on account of its good base and optional gear, and its fancy infotainment. It’s not a bargain, but when has a Range Rover ever been about value? 

For around $57,500, the base Velar comes with leather trim, 18-inch wheels, 14-way power-adjustable front seats, Meridian speakers, and a pair of 10.0-inch touchscreens that handle just about every in-vehicle function. 

At the opposite end of the lineup, figure upward of $90,000 for an SVAutobiography that includes an LCD instrument cluster, extra speakers, softer leather, heated, cooled, and massaging front thrones, and a whole host of other luxuries.

The best value lies somewhere in the middle. We’d pop for the $63,000 or so Velar S with its supercharged V-6 and then pay extra for metallic paint, upgraded interior trim, swankier audio, adaptive cruise control, and a few other niceties to wind up just north of $70,000 for an SUV that spoils more than some rivals costing 50 percent more.

Infotainment

One of the Velar’s biggest draws is its dual-touchscreen dash. The top display handles audio, navigation, and extended vehicle functions, while the bottom one is mostly there for climate, seating, and off-road functions. The screens are bright, crisp, and respond quickly to taps, though they may require some acclimation to operate safely while driving. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are included. 

The optional 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster imitates analog gauges but with far more display flexibility. A head-up display is also available. 

When all of the above are ordered, they cover 32 inches of real estate, or about the size of a San Francisco apartment.

Review continues below
4

2020 Land Rover Range Rover Velar

Fuel Economy

Though last year’s diesel is no more, the 2020 Velar is reasonably frugal given its prodigious power.

This year, we bid the previously available turbodiesel engine adieu. Still, the 2020 Range Rover Velar is thriftier than its proportions and power might suggest.

We rate it at 4 out of 10 based on the entry-level turbo-4. 

That version is estimated to achieve as high as 21 mpg city, 27 highway, 23 combined, according to the EPA. The supercharged V-6 is considerably thirstier, topping out at 18/24/20 mpg regardless of power output. 

This year’s new SVAutobiography is ferociously powerful and equally thirsty at a throwback 15/20/17 mpg. 

Plan to use premium unleaded, and don’t look for a hybrid. 

Review continues below
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$56,300
MSRP based on P250 S
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7.6
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 10
Performance 8
Comfort & Quality 8
Safety N/A
Features 8
Fuel Economy 4
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