Nine Things to Know About the 2018 Range Rover Velar - THE SHORT LIST
Velar is the fourth member of the Range Rover family. Size-wise, it slots in between the smaller Evoke and larger Sport model.
With multiple powertrain options, a swanky interior and TONS of tech, there’s plenty to talk about, but here are nine of the most important things to know about this midsize luxury crossover.
9. It’s Stunningly Beautiful
And right out of the gate, the very first thing you’ll ever notice about this utility vehicle is that it’s simply gorgeous, and from just about every angle. Clean, elegant, sophisticated, it looks like something from 50 years in the future. And this isn’t just my opinion; thanks to its sleek-and-sexy body, Velar was also honored with the 2018 World Car Design of the Year award.
8. THE DOOR HANDLES ARE SO COOL!!!
Helping enable its impossibly smooth flanks are unique retracting door handles, perhaps this Range Rover’s signature design element. Not only do they look so cool, quietly motoring in when the vehicle is locked, they also help improve aerodynamics, however slightly, by retracting at speeds greater than 5 miles an hour. Undoubtedly, this is a frivolous touch, and one that raises long-term reliability questions, but I still love it!
7. A High-Tech Interior
As you might expect, the Velar’s cabin is just as breathtaking as what you see outside, dominated by a pair of 10-inch high-definition screens on the dashboard and center console, both of which are home to the InControl Touch Pro Duo infotainment system. These two displays replace myriad physical buttons and switches with a slick digital interface.
Powering all this is an Intel quad-core processor and a high-speed solid-state drive, though none of this cutting-edge tech responds with immediacy; everything seems just a whisker slower than it should be. This is all a bit overwhelming to use, especially at first, but poke around for a little while and you soon learn there’s a method to the apparent madness.
6. It’s Luxurious, Too
Of course, there’s more to the Velar’s interior than just screens, even if our top-of-the-line First Edition test model also features a 12.3-inch reconfigurable digital instrument cluster. Seriously upping the luxury factor, there’s creamy soft leather on practically every surface, though the white cow hides fitted here probably aren’t going to stay that way for very long given the wear and tear of daily life. There are also available 20-way adjustable front bucket seats with heating, cooling and massage functionality. A surfeit of driver-assistance tech including lane-keeping assist, traffic-sign recognition, adaptive cruise control that works in stop-and-go traffic and more enhances safety while reducing fatigue.
5. There are Three Engine Choices
As for mechanicals, American motorists can choose between three different engines in the Velar. A 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline unit serves base duty and delivers 247 horses. There’s also a diesel of the same displacement and layout with 180 ponies on tap.
But the powerplant you’ll most likely want is the top-level supercharged 3.0-liter V6 that packs a 380-horse kick in the pants. Torque clocks in at 332 pound-feet. No matter the powerplant, a responsive and slick ZF eight-speed automatic transmission is standard. Six-cylinder Velars can accelerate to 60 miles an hour in as little as 5.3 seconds smoothly building speed and providing a hint of blower whine to boot.
4. It Looks Smaller Than You Might Expect
In person, the Velar is smaller than you might expect. For whatever reason it looks HUGE in photos.
With an overall length of about 189 inches it’s a touch shorter than rivals like the Audi Q7, Acura MDX or Mercedes-Benz GLE. Luggage capacity is likewise similar to these competitors, with more than 34 cubic feet (974 liters) of space available behind the second row and around 70 (1,985 liters) with the backrests dropped, which you can’t seem to do from the cargo hold, which is a questionable design decision.
3. It’s Still a Range Rover
Despite its concept-car styling, the Velar can still go just about anywhere thanks to cutting-edge four-wheel-drive technology. Models equipped with the top-level V6 engine feature air-suspension that can raise and lower the body, providing up to 9.9 inches (25 cm) of ground clearance. At max lift, the vehicle can wade through nearly 26 inches (66 cm) of water.
Providing refined ride quality with stable handling, adaptive dampers are standard across the board, monitoring wheel movements 500 times and body movements 100 times per second.
Terrain Response 2 is the top four-wheel-drive system offered. It’s standard on First Edition models and optional on every other. Ensuring you never get mired is a laundry list of features like Intelligent Driveline Dynamics, an Active Locking Rear Differential, All Terrain Progress Control and much more.
2. It’s Not Necessarily as Expensive as it Looks
Even though the top-shelf First Edition model tested here stickers for nearly $92,000, the Velar isn’t necessarily as expensive as it looks. This is because you can get a base version for less than $51,000, a figure that includes $995 for delivery. Since it looks like a million bucks, buying one means you’re instantly going to save more than $949,000. WHAT A VALUE!
1. It’s the Most Popular JLR Model
With looks to kill and a reasonably attainable price tag it should be no surprise Velar is doing well in the marketplace. So far in 2018 it’s the top-selling Land Rover product and is second in the overall JLR portfolio only to Jaguar’s F-Pace utility vehicle, with which it shares a. Not bad for a vehicle that hasn’t even been on the market for an entire year yet.
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Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for AutoGuide.com. When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).
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