Range Rover Velar

HSE D240

Range Rover Velar, front
Range Rover Velar, profile
Range Rover Velar, rear
Range Rover Velar, dashboard
Range Rover Velar, interior

ADDING a sense of theatre to its vehicles has served Jaguar Land Rover well during its resurgence over the past decade or so - and the newest addition to the Range Rover stable certainly keeps up the tradition.

Before you even get in, you can't help but be impressed by the way the self-deploying handles emerge from the door panels with a satisfying whirr in order to let you open the car and then disappear again as the auto-lock kicks in when you pull off.

Once inside, the wow-factor continues with not one but two high-definition 10-inch touchscreens that make up JLR's new Touch Pro Duo infotainment system.

The tilting upper screen controls functions such as navigation, audio, Bluetooth and mobile phone connectivity while the raked lower one allows access to such things as climate control, heated and ventilated seats, the all-terrain traction system and various other vehicle settings.

Admittedly, all this technological trickery is a little gimmicky but it makes a bold statement - and that's what Range Rover ownership is all about.

It's also, to some degree, about what you can have, bank balance allowing, rather than what you need - and when the Velar arrived there were certainly those who questioned the need for it.

The obsession in the car market, however, is to fill any perceived niche, this motor does just that for Range Rover, plugging the gap between the compact Evoque, and the more imposingly proportioned Sport.

That's not to suggest that the Velar in any way lacks presence. This is a substantial SUV that offers sleek upmarket styling, genuine luxury and good internal space.

The floating roof and clamshell bonnet are familiar design cues but the continuous rising belt line, short front overhang, narrow LED headlights and longer rear overhang, incorporating twin chrome tailpipes in the bumper, create a dynamic stance characterised by clean, flowing finishes.

In fact, so striking did World Car of the Year 2018 judges find the Velar that they gave it the World Car Design Award.

Four well-equipped trim grades are available with prices starting from £45,135, although the outlay increases to in excess of £60,000 for range-topping HSE cars - and more if you want to add a few high-end options.

All versions can also be had in R-Dynamic specification, which adds more aggressive body kit.

Power comes from a wide choice of JLR's well-regarded engines across petrol and diesel options, including efficient 2.0-litre Ingenium units and 3.0-litre V6 supercharged ones.

The D240 sits one rung above the entry-level 2.0-litre diesel and offers a claimed 48.7 miles per gallon but still delivers some impressive performance.

Like all Velar power-packs it is mated to a smooth-changing eight speed automatic transmission and will propel you from 0-60mph in seven seconds and on to a top speed of 135mph.

With figures like that it's no surprise that the Velar is a consummate cruiser, eating up the miles on A-roads and motorways while the supple suspension and well insulated cabin ensure that passengers are wafted along in suitable comfort and quiet.

Understandably, given its size, it is not the nimblest of cars and there is some body roll if taking bends enthusiastically. That said, Land Rover's sophisticated all-wheel drive system offers plenty of grip and it always feels firmly planted.

Naturally, being a Range Rover, it will take you off-road with considerable aplomb too, with a variety of all-terrain systems and settings on board.

And while it's difficult to imagine many Velar buyers will be venturing too far off the beaten track, for those who are interested in such things, Land Rover claims class-leading approach, breakover and departure angles as well as a wading depth of up to 650mm.

FAST FACTS

Range Rover Velar HSE D240

Price: £64,160

Mechanical: 240ps, 1,999cc diesel engine driving all wheels via 8-speed automatic transmission

Max Speed: 135mph

0-62mph: 7.0 seconds

Combined MPG: 43.5

Insurance Group: 42E

C02 emissions:171g/km

Bik rating: 37%

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