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One of the most elegant, luxurious, and polished vehicles on the market today the Velar is a work of art. In an ever growing highly-competitive class which features the Jaguar F-pace, the Maserati Levante, and the BMW X6 to name a few, sitting in the Range Rover Velar is something unique. The Velar just oozes that Range Rover feel. Perhaps it’s the just the posh sense of self entitlement impression the Velar imprints. This high-tech SUV is accompanied with a 380-hp supercharged 3-litre V-6 engine. Supported by countless features, an adaptive suspension makes driving on any road surface indistinguishable.
The exterior design is purely compelling. Its handcrafted body style complemented by the low-angle roof make the Velar a sight for sore eyes. Shaped bigger than the Evoque but, slightly smaller than the Audi Q5; this Range Rover fills that happy medium. With its integrated deployable door handles, blacked-out badges, slick LED headlights and taillights, dapper vents, and optional 22-inch wheels give this Range Rover a striking look. The R Dynamic that was tested featured a stunning Black Package®, making the Velar look like a shadow ripping through the city. An exaggerated rounded shape to the front end is an acquired taste that I’m not sure how I feel about. I often notice the amount of dead space and gap hidden underneath the plastic paneling which throws me off slightly, however from a distance where you notice that less, the shape definitely works. I will leave the debate open.
The interior is simplicity at its finest from Range Rover. I would expect nothing less since luxury has become Range Rover’s moniker. In order to match the polished look to the outside the Velar was designed using high-end materials like wood or aluminum to give the cockpit a stunning look. The leather seats are plush and comfortable as you would expect. There is a generous amount of space for the rear passengers as well as a tremendous amount of cargo room. The all-new dual display InControl Touch Pro Duo operates the seat controls, climate, and driving modes on a lower panel, while the upper panel controls the audio, settings and navigation. This very well could be overwhelming and confusing at first but, it sure does look impressive and high-end.
Weighing a surprisingly 4676 pounds, the Velar is anything but bulky in the looks and performance department. With a V6 supercharged engine producing 380 horsepower the Velar moves quite swiftly and smoothly, reaching 0-60 in 5.7 seconds. The suspension is tight and vigorous around every corner. The drive is smooth and dynamic on all terrain, with help from a series of drive modes ranging between six different configurations. You will notice that the ride is seemingly quiet as Range Rover has made the Velar’s interior soundproof from wind, road noise, and exterior sound. You do however; get to hear that crisp exhaust sound that this Velar produces.
The fuel economy in the Velar is something that I wish wasn’t an afterthought. This SUV remains identical to its Jaguar F-Pace counterpart; however this was a missed opportunity to gain an edge over its rival. This 6-cylinder’s 13L per 100km city and 10L per 100km highway aren’t spectacular especially with gas prices the way they are. For comparison sake, the Velar ranks lower than the Mercedes GLC43 AMG.
The drive was impressive to say the least. I’m not going to bore you with the typical it handled well, great power, highly recommend. I took it upon myself to test this Range Rover how anyone else would expect. This top heavy SUV with a thirst for power (and apparently fuel) was tested strictly on performance standards. With this in mind, the Velar controlled every turn immensely. This due in large part to the dynamic and adaptive suspension accompanied by added air springs. Agility-wise race mode engages the body by lowering itself by a couple inches, and shifts most of its power to the rear. The supercharged engine does well to jolt you back into your driving seat as you would expect. This is just one of the pillars of this Range Rovers ability. The latter being the various off-road modes. This capability raises the body, changes the powertrain, traction and differential; handling any situation from wet, muddy, or unstable road conditions with ease. It surely is an ode to the craftsmanship, engineering, and design from Range Rover. It truly is a work of art.