Driving this new Range Rover Velar for a review is giving me great satisfaction. Fresh winner of the “World Car Design of the Year” award at the 2018 World Car Awards, the Range Rover Velar is a car with a unique look. Made to fill the gap between the Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Sport, this SUV has been created to redefine new luxury and technology standards.
The model we are testing is the First Edition D300. This exclusive version is characterised, in addition to some special recognising logos, by the presence of 22-inch wheels, matrix-led headlights with laser technology, leather seats and steering wheel, a high quality audio system made by Meridian and the head-up display.
The exterior is beautiful. The refined design makes it aggressive, elegant and unique. On the road it does not go unnoticed, the Range Rover Velar is made to amaze, to be a head turner. The Flux Silver colour, present in the model of this test drive, embellishes its already pleasant design. This colour, made with ultra-thin aluminium flakes, gives a beautiful matt finish to the car.
Outside everything is taken care of in every detail, even the door handles disappear in the car body for better aerodynamics. The bicolored livery with shiny black roof and bronze details is a perfect combination, Range Rover Velar is one of those cars that even fascinates when it’s parked. Following with the eye the lines that draw this SUV are really pleasant.
Inside we find the usual attention to details. You will find yourself surrounded by high quality leather and precious materials. Black and white leathers cover the interiors, almost recalling the two-tone livery of the exterior. Very comfortable, the seats seem to be designed to pamper, thanks to the perforated leather with heating/cooling and massage functions. The steering wheel, also in leather is heated. The buttons on the steering wheel can be pressed or touched and have different layouts depending on the context of the on-screen menu.
Speaking of screens… On the Velar, Range Rover debuts the Touch Pro Duo technology, a state of the art infotainment system with 2 screens in the central area and a completely digital dashboard. the first time you sit down you have the feeling to be the pilot of a spaceship. The colours of each screen are brilliant, well contrasted and always easily readable thanks to a stunning resolution.
At the centre you can control navigation, off-road driving aids, sound system, air conditioning, seat functions and driving modes. CarPlay and Android Auto are not present, they would have been the icing on the cake. In the dashboard in front of the driver you can also choose various layouts for displaying driving information. To assist in parking and off-road manoeuvres, 4 cameras are present that also allow a 360° view. Really complete!
We have admired her so much, it’s time to drive! Pressing the button make Range Rover Velar come to life. The top middle screen tilts for easy reading, the gear selector knob comes out of the central tunnel, the huge glass panoramic roof is unveiled by the opening of the curtain and the car positions itself in the standard ground height thanks to the air suspensions. Only when turning on the car all these perfectly coordinated movements impress the driver. Ready to go!
Let’s talk about the 300HP V6 that moves the Range Rover Velar of this road test. What I’m reviewing is a 3.0L bi-turbo diesel capable of pushing the car up to 241 km/h and go from 0 to 100 km/h in just 6.5 seconds. Outstanding performance for a car this size! Fuel economy is good too, the 13 km/l is not a mirage and an average of 11 km/l is the most probable as long as you do not press the throttle too much.
The combination with an efficient 8-speed automatic transmission allows smooth accelerations with almost imperceptible gear changes. The soundproofing on board is really good, both for the engine and for the external noises. The high quality Meridian audio system is capable of satisfying the most passionate audiophiles.
Driving assistances in city driving and long motorway journeys are precious: autonomous emergency braking, blind spot assist, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, driver condition monitoring, reverse traffic detection, traffic sign recognition and adaptive cruise control with queue assist and intelligent emergency braking work together for maximum comfort and safety.
The comfort on board is very high, also thanks to the air suspension that can guarantee not only an excellent damping of the of the road asperities but also a contained body roll in the corners. To think that the Range Rover Velar, being so luxury and comfort oriented, has lost its off-road soul is a big mistake.
Once the selector is activated to switch between GRASS-GRAVEL-SNOW, MUD-RUTS or SAND driving modes, the Range Rover Velar turns from a comfortable “living room”, for relaxing journeys or city driving, to a real off-road beast. The electronics of the car calibrate the distribution of torque, gearbox and locking of the differentials to always have maximum grip. The air suspensions raises the ground clearance to allow easier approach angles. For the more adventurous there is even a wading assistant who, through various sensors, allows you to understand if the outside water level is too high.
These two “souls” so different but so perfectly merged together by the Land Rover’s engineers give the driver of Range Rover Velar a car so comfortable in the city and on the highway as it is effective off-road. In every situation this car was born to give its best. When the night comes the LED matrix lights with the latest LASER technology illuminate the road with an unimaginable depth. In the evening, the interior comes to life with a soft light, which can change colours manually or automatically.
Nothing is left to chance on the Range Rover Velar and the award that it managed to win is proof of this. Driving this car is a rewarding experience from every point of view. Whether you are returning from work in city traffic, driving on a motorway for a family trip or even on an off-road path in the mountains, you would not want to be anywhere other than driving your Range Rover Velar.
Article: Edoardo Mascalchi
Pictures: Edoardo Mascalchi, Sam Vanbrabant