By Mike Torpey on 2022-10-29 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Range Rover Velar
D300 R-Dynamic S
THE Range Rover Velar is the epitome of the stylish, distinguished premium SUV - and more so than any of its stablemates it screams glamour with a capital G.
Elegantly designed, perfectly proportioned and laden with luxury, it possesses that rare quality of being able to convey a feeling of superiority to those who drive it.
Sitting between the Range Rover Sport and smaller Evoque in the Range Rover line-up, the Velar also creates something of an illusion as it looks appreciably larger than the mid-size category into which it officially falls.
As for powertrains, electrified efficiency comes in the shape of four and six-cylinder diesel and six-cylinder petrol mild hybrid engines while the P400e plug-in hybrid offers an all-electric range of up to 33 miles.
Of course enjoying the Velar experience doesn't come cheap, with our diesel variant in a sporty high spec R-Dynamic S trim grade costing a tidy Â£60,255 before options - and this model came with 14 of those, hiking the tab to Â£70,600.
Big numbers certainly, but buyers are receiving plenty for their hard-earned with this car. For starters, tech like all-wheel drive, adaptive damping, hill descent control and the brand's trademark multi-mode terrain response system come as standard on all models.
And higher spec Velar variants, like our tested Portofino Blue metallic model, also get air suspension, while there's a full suite of advanced safety systems including autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, reverse traffic detection and driver condition monitoring across the board.
The Velar experience begins as the driver approaches the car and a touch of the key fob tells the door handles, which are set flush to the bodywork, to pop out before retracting when you reach 5mph.
Move inside and the Land Rover's cabin oozes class - from the pair of pin-sharp 10-inch touchscreens to the ‘secret until lit' controls.
The 14-way heated memory seats are a soft ivory-coloured perforated suede with a speckled grey fabric surround, while a subtly patterned leather dominates the dash and fills the door inserts.
Otherwise, those two touchscreens, the dials, gearshift, door openers and other fittings are fringed in a gloss black finish.
The steering wheel also really catches the eye, wrapped in ivory leather, and R-Dynamic S also sports an enormous glass sunroof, though the atmosphere is kept fresh via a cabin air ionisation filter.
Passenger space is also more than adequate with ample room up front and sufficient even for three across the back, though the centre passenger's legs do have to contend with a wide transmission tunnel.
The boot is huge though, ranging from 632 to 1,731 litres which is pretty good for a mid-size SUV, and the rear seats also split/fold 60:40 to open up more load space should you need it.
In all conditions the Velar is a superb and engaging car to drive, sweetly flicking through the eight-speed auto gearbox and riding smoothly on its 21-inch five-spoke gloss sparkle silver wheels (a £1,680 option).
Various drive programmes can be selected via the lower touchscreen and Land Rover's Terrain Response 2 and All Terrain Progress Control systems ensure that the Velar is a vehicle capable of negotiating everything from fast-flowing rivers to rocky outcrops.
Range Rover Velar D300 R-Dynamic S
Mechanical:300bhp, 2,996cc 6-cylinder diesel engine driving four wheels via 8-speed automatic transmission
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