Motoring expert Stuart M Bird takes the Range Rover Velar R Dynamic HSE D300 out for a spin!

★★★★☆ | Range Rover Velar R Dynamic HSE D300

What Have We Got?

We have a puzzler this week. This is Range Rover’s mid-sized concept-cum-cross over that fits between the Evoque and Range Rover Sport. The puzzler is that the Velar is quite large in the visuals and dimensions. 

 

Driving

It’s a silky blend of driving styles. The 3-litre V6 diesel pushes out 300hp at 4000rpm. 700nm of torque is from 1500rpm. From a standing start, it will thunder the slippery shaped Velar to 60 in 6.1 seconds. To be honest, it feels quicker and there is grunt available from whatever speed. 

Sport mode, comfort or economy, throttle response is quick. There is no hunting for a gear or waiting for the ECU to decide what to do with the EGR valve etc. Quick rapid progress is one of the key features of the Velar. 

The Velar shares a platform with the Jaguar F-Pace and yet feels better planted, better poised on the road and all the more fun. The AWD system puts the power down more evenly around the vehicle. 

 

Inside

The layout is all familiar with the Range Rover Sport we reviewed in 2017. Touch screens for the controls split on to 2 screens. There are 2 buttons. The stop-start, hidden by the facia panel and another on the centre console that hides a cup holder. This button does not work with the fluidity of the rest of the Velar’s interior.

Other than that, it is well thought out. The seats have so many bits that move, that it is impossible to get uncomfortable and there is space for everyone, even the tallest of both drivers or passengers or both.  

Living With It

Sheer size doesn’t translate to bulk on the move. The Velar is reasonably agile on its air ride and easy to navigate around country lanes. Thankfully this model came with the 360-degree angle camera pack and I can’t recommend it enough, especially when parking in tight spots like supermarkets or your own driveway where someone has decided to park their car like it’s the largest car in the world.

The Verdict

I was unsure of the Velar at first. I couldn’t make up my mind if I liked them or not. Its sleek looks lack the blunt Range Rover bulk but this doesn’t distract from it. You could call it a ‘designed’ Range Rover Sport. It certainly doesn’t feel any cheaper than the top model. But that isn’t necessarily a good thing. 

Its road manners are rather exemplary and it lacks the wobble of the Range Rover Sport. This alone makes the Velar more big estate car than SUV or cross over but this is what it is, a cross over and it does it all very well. Dare I say it, I liked the Sport and all that it stood for, I like the Velar more. It’s just, the Velar, this Velar, is expensive. Range Rover Sport price expensive.  

Love

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Smoothness of engine

Fit and finish

Ride

Loathe

Price

Cup holder cover

Plastics around dashboard 

The Lowdown

Car –  Range Rover Velar R Dynamic HSE D300

Price – £73,330 (as tested)

MPG – 44.1mpg (combined)

Power – 300hp

0-62mph –  6.1 seconds

Top Speed –  150 mph

Co2 – 167 (g/km)