Range Rover Velar

R-Dynamic HSE 300

Range Rover Velar, front
Range Rover Velar, front
Range Rover Velar, front
Range Rover Velar, side
Range Rover Velar, side
Range Rover Velar, rear
Range Rover Velar, rear
Range Rover Velar, interior
Range Rover Velar, interior

THE motivations to buy a Ranger Rover are hugely diverse.

For some it's the image of sitting behind the wheel of one of the few genuine rural aristocrats. Others choose it because it allows them to follow their sporting pursuits and go hunting, shooting and fishing in style.

Then are the city poseurs who never venture beyond the supermarket, high street or maybe the golf club, but they can't resist the image.

The one common denominator shared by owners is their appreciation of Range Rover style.

And no model in the line-up illustrates panache and design prowess more than the Velar, which slots in between the Evoque and the Range Rover Sport.

Jaguar Land Rover big-wigs recognise that many of the Range Rover buyers never drive further off-road than the grassy verge, so the Velar is the most road-based model - despite having full time four-wheel-drive and being hugely capable over the rough terrain.

With an emphasis on design - just look at those hidden door handles which pop out when the car is unlocked - it is up against some slick competition from the Mercedes GLE Coupe and BMW X6.

With a decent choice of diesel and petrol engines, it's still the oil burner than comes out top of the pops, and the pick of the bunch in this driver's view is the 3.0 V6 turbo diesel.

Sure the 2.0-litre diesel has better economy but it lacks the mid-range clout of its bigger brother and the smoothness associated with the V6 can never be matched by a four-pot.

Not only is the 296bhp engine unduly refined and hushed, but it delivers the sort of punch you might get from a hot hatch with the 62mph dash being covered in a mere 6.1 seconds. So when you feel inclined to get a wiggle on, the Velar is happy to oblige.

Obviously, it's a heavy vehicle and even clever suspension design and all-paw drive can't defy the laws of physics. So cornering, while being grippy and confident, is accompanied by some body roll which tends to restrict enthusiasm.

The ride standard over poor and indifferent surfaces is exceptionally good. Even deep road scars and potholes have little effect on disturbing the Velar's composure. Various ride/suspension modes allow you to alter the set-up according to the surface quality and your driving style.

With 632 litres of cargo space - that's up to roof height - most families will find the Velar roomy enough for holidays. The rear seat fold flat to further expand carrying capacity, but the platform is quite high to lift in heavy items. Models with air suspension drop down a few centimetres for easier loading.

The cabin is luxurious with a capital L. High grade plastics for the dash, soft leather seating and a large 12-inch touch screen plus plenty of cubbies, pockets and lockers for clutter make the blend between practicality and comfort about right.

The touchscreen, however is quite sensitive and requires a number of links to be gone through before some simple operations, such as altering the temperature of the heated front seats.

No problem finding a comfortable driving position with an option of 20 seat settings.

FAST FACTS

Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic HSE 300

Price: £70,530

Mechanical:296bhp, 2,998cc, 6cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 150mph

0-62mph: 6.1 seconds

Combined MPG: 44.1

Insurance Group:46

C02 emissions: 167g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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