The new Range Rover Velar nicely sits between the Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Sport line-up. It is considerably bigger than the Evoque but smaller than the Sport. Compared to other Land Rovers this is more road-focussed than off the road. It shares the underpinnings with the Jaguar F-Pace and mostly made of aluminium with a healthy mix of magnesium and steel to balance weight and strength. In size it nicely slots say between a BMW X4 and X6, Merc GLC and GLE and between an Audi Q5 and the bigger Q7. Does it mean business for the Landy?
The Velar has got a fast and neat theme for its exteriors. The car gets a smooth and flowing silhouette rather than trying too hard to ‘show-off’ its design prowess. These elements are integrated seamlessly that it appears like carved out beautifully from a single piece of metal. At the front, the mean but beautifully sculpted LED lamps, the large grille with the signature green oval logo and the bumpers blend together to give the car a gorgeous and domineering look devoid of any ‘loud’ elements.
The super clean approach continues onto the side profile. There are no sharp creases or muscular elements, but the whole execution gives the car a classy thoroughbred SUV lineage. Even, the door handles sit flush with the body and will only pop-out when the car needs to be unlocked (super cool!). All the pillars are painted in glossy black including the thick C-pillar which just flows into the rear windshield to give that floating roof feel. The wrap around LED taillight starts right from the upper belt line. The rear bumper base points upward and gives a neat tucked up and modern look to the rear. In short, Land Rover has done a great job to make this a real looker on Indian roads.
The 'clean-keep it simple' yet stunning philosophy continues inside as well. The basic layout is unmistakably Range Rover, however, Velar has got a whole host of elements to keep you excited. The shapes are mostly straight, flat and devoid of any quirky elements. However, the quality of the materials and level of execution can leave you spellbound.
The centrally mounted Touch Pro Duo infotainment system catches your attention immediately. The system consists of two 10-inch HD touchscreens stacked one above the other on the central console. The top panel can be electrically adjusted as per your view of preference. This one is used for sat-nav, telephony, music and other frequently used functions. The lower one (nonadjustable) is used for climate control and drive mode selections. Also, the lower panel has three control knobs seamlessly integrated into the lower panel. Even the driver mounted controls are touch sensitive. But, we are grossly disappointed to note that this hi-tech system doesn’t have either Android Auto or AppleCarPlay smartphone connectivity. The driver also gets configurable set of TFT instruments and an optional head-up display.
The front seats are set low compared to other Land Rovers. Still, you get a good commanding view. The front seats are huge and have all possible electrical adjustments. The rear passengers also get sufficient legroom and shoulder room. However, sitting three at the rear is not desirable. Also, the rear passengers sit low (compared to SUV standards) and blame it on the high-set and relatively small windows at the rear. The optional panoramic roof, however, brightens up things for the passengers at the back. For its size, the boot space is tight as it is pretty shallow and also houses a full-size spare below the loading floor.
Engine and Performance
Velar comes to India with a wide variety of petrol and diesel and petroleum engine options:
- 2.0 l D180 Auto (Diesel)
- 3.0 l D300 Auto (Diesel)
- 2.0 l P250 Auto (Petrol)
- 2.0 l P300 Auto (Petrol)
The engine spread as seen above is quite broad starting with the least monstrous 2.0-liter D180 unit that pumps out 180hp and the larger 3.0-liter V6 dishes out 296hp and 700Nm torque. The 2.0 l D180 is a silent operator and has the reasonable oomph to keep the car moving at triple digits on the highway with ease. If you want that EXTRA oomph, we suggest you go for the larger V6 diesel.
The other two petrol engines are the 247hp/365Nm 2.0-liter petrol and the more powerful 296hp/ 400Nm Ingenium engine shared with the Jaguar F-Type. This one employs a twin-scroll turbo setup which delivers 26% more airflow for added performance. All the variants are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The shifts are smooth and seamless, except during some enthusiastic driving where we noticed some delay when cogs change in a hurry. The driver can also shift gears manually with the paddle shifters.
Independent suspension setup (double wishbone at the front and multi-link setup at the rear) is employed on the rear. The V6 diesel variants get the air suspension and other lower variants employ steel springs. The springs are tight and the ride is a little on the stiffer side compared to other cars in the Land Rover family. Also, being a top heavy SUV there is considerable body roll. Slotting the car into Dynamic improves the handling considerably. The car can comfortably wade up to 600 mm water.
The safety aspect is covered comprehensively with full set of front, rear and side airbags. The car also gets rear parking aid and cruise control with speed limiter.