The 23MY Range Rover Velar has been fully refreshed from the inside out and the result is an even more luxurious and efficient driving experience. This particular model is the top of the range, Velar R-Dynamic HSE P400 powered by the new mild hybrid engine.
Let’s start with the engine, it’s the 3.0 litre Ingenium 6-cylinder Turbocharged Petrol MHEV (Mild Hybrid) with E-SC. This technology uses an electric motor to harvest energy through deceleration and store it in a 48V battery. This energy can then be re-deployed through torque-assist, reducing emissions and the work load on the engine. To provide a real-world example of this technology in action, the official combined fuel use for this Velar is 8.7L/100km and for my week I used 12.7L/100km. This is almost the same amount of fuel used (12.4L/100km) in the older style 2.0 litre engine powering the previous Range Rover Velar that I drove.
The 3.0 litre Ingenium engine produces 294kW of power at 5,500 rpm and 550Nm of torque between 2,000 – 5,000 rpm. This can propel the 2,085kg plus Velar from 0-100km/h in 5.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 250 km/h. The 8-speed automatic transmission drives all four wheels, with the Velar getting a Single-speed transfer box with high range only. The Velar I drove had the optional Terrain Response 2 with Dynamic Program ($430) so the drive modes available included Eco, Comfort, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud ruts, Sand, Auto Terrain Response and Dynamic. The Dynamic mode was also configurable ($940 option) giving you the option to switch between Dynamic or Comfort settings for the Engine, Steering, Gear Shift and Suspension. I found the ride in the Velar was very comfortable regardless of the drive mode that I chose.
The Velar may be willing to head off-road thanks to a wading depth of 580mm and the ability to raise and lower the vehicle thanks to the air suspension, but the optional ($2,080) 22” Diamond Turned wheels with Satin Light Silver contrast and Reduced section spare wheel ($530 option) mean that this particular example may not be up to it. This is just one of the ways that the rugged intensions of the Velar clash with the opulent nature of this vehicle.
As you approach the Velar and the doors unlock, thanks to keyless entry, this becomes even more obvious in the cabin with the Dapple-Grey premium textile and Ebony suedecloth seats, the optional ($3,020) Argento Pinstripe veneer and the Premium Upgrade Interior Pack ($2,845) including Illuminated metal front treadplates with R-Dynamic branding, Premium cabin lighting, Premium carpet mats and Ebony Suedecloth Headlining. All of which would be hard to clean after a day driving through some muddy ruts with the kids, but they do look really elegant and the cabin smells nice as well. I also liked the perforated full leather steering wheel with power adjustment and Satin Chrome gearshift paddles for ‘manually’ changing the gears.
The luxury doesn’t stop there though with both front seats featuring power adjustment in every direction including seat height front and rear, front seat extension, side bolstering and 4-way lumbar support and once you have found your ideal position you can save it on one of the three memory positions available. The front seats are also heated and cooled and have five different massage settings/intensity, all of which focus on your back only. These functions are accessed by pushing the climate control knobs or via the climate settings is to use the lower of the Touch Pro Duo screens.
The upper screen is a Pivi Pro (Connected) infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto that easily connected to my smart phone. To keep your phone charged there is one USB-A and one USB-C port in the felt lined cubby under the split folding arm rest and a 12V outlet in the centre console. This gloss black surrounds on the centre console and the screens both attracted dust and fingerprints, so you may want to keep a microfibre cloth in the Velar to keep them clean.
The sat nav can learn your daily commute and tells you how long it will take to get there when you start the Velar in the morning, just like your own navigation butler. Or to assist you with operating the infotainment system the Velar has voice control, which is operated by pressing the button on the steering wheel with the feminine looking silhouette on it. The voice control worked well for me for changing the media source, making phone calls and setting the temperature on the climate control, but it would not set a destination for me on the sat nav.
The rear seats have ample head and leg room for two adults to comfortably travel in the back and for younger passengers there are two ISOFIX/three rear tether child seat restraint points and they will appreciate the optional sliding panoramic roof ($4,420). The centre seat can be folded down as an arm rest and has three different sized cup holders in it, which are a bit shallow but do have grippy sides to hold onto a drink bottle. There is also a hard plastic storage cubby in the rear doors, but this has no moulding specifically for a drink bottle so one may fall over if placed here. There are two central rear air vents with individual manual air speed on/off controls and direction control and below this there are two USB-C ports (part of the optional Power Socket Pack 2, $290) and one 12V outlet.
This Velar does have a gesture operated tailgate, but I was unable to make it operate despite numerous attempts. The powered tailgate can also be opened/closed from the button under the boot lid, the key fob and the button in the cabin. The boot is a good size for a family with enough room for a pram and the weekly shop and has four substantial tie down points, two hooks, two lights and one 12V outlet. The rear seats can be laid down to make more room with a 40:20:40 folding mechanism or the Velar has up to a 2,500kg braked towing capacity (max ball weight – 100kg).
All models in the current Range Rover Velar range (excluding the SV and the PHEV variant introduced in 2022) have a 5-star ANCAP (2017) safety rating. The Adult Occupant Protection ANCAP score is 93% (35.5 out of 38) and the Child Occupant Protection ANCAP score is 85% (41.9 out of 49). The Velar has front driver and passenger airbags curtain airbags, front seat side airbags.
Active safety features include Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Assist (Includes Blind Spot Monitor and Close Vehicle Sensing), Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist, Rear Collision Monitor and Rear Traffic Monitor. The Velar has a rear-view camera with a 360o vehicle outline on the right-hand side that displays the front and rear parking sensors and for convenience it also has auto lights and auto wipers.
All new Range Rover models come with a 5 years/Unlimited kms warranty with 5 years Roadside Assistance. The Service Plan for this Velar costs $2,250 and covers the servicing intervals for 5 years/130,000 kms (whichever occurs first).
The Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic HSE P400 offers a blend of robustness and indulgence that makes it perfect for a modern family. Prices start at $136,700 excluding on-road costs and as tested my Hakuba Silver Velar was $153,035 plus on-road costs. You can Find and Reserve a Velar online or visit your preferred Land Rover dealer for more information.
|Elegant exterior and interior design
|Gloss black interior elements gather dust
|Good performance from the engine
|Gesture open tailgate would not work for me
|Updated infotainment system
|Voice control would not set a destination on the sat nav for me
Photographs by Driven Women Magazine