Raise your hand if you are reading this and you live in an Amazon Jungle or Alaska. If you are raising your hand right now, skip to the next article. If you are NOT raising your hand right now, keep reading… You likely don’t need the full off-road capability of a traditional Range Rover. I am guessing that your daily commute involves beautifully paved roads and well manicured lawns to go beside them. And that is why Land Rover gave birth to their newest creation, the Velar. The engineering team was given a clean slate to produce a luxury SUV for the road. The Velar still has Land Rover DNA for getting you out of sticky situations, but it is first and foremost an on-road vehicle versus its older brothers, the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. Editors Note: The Evoque isn’t mentioned here, because it is technically a crossover.
The Velar offers a comparatively supple ride and limited body roll as you go around a tight corner. You also, don’t tower over vehicles on the road as much, which in my opinion is a good thing. My test vehicle offered three ride heights for city driving and limited off-road use. But because the Velar is design for high speed driving on tarmacs, the SUV will lower itself at high speeds in order to improve its aerodynamic design. This both increases fuel economy and stability of the vehicle.
There are a number of other unusual aerodynamic features, unusual for Land Rover anyway, that have made its mark on the Velar. My two favorites are the pop out door handles and a dynamic rear spoiler. Both of these items are traditionally reserved for high-end sports cars, but they are extra special when seen on an everyday luxury SUV. The door handles remain hidden within the body in order to maintain a sleek appearance (and improved aerodynamics) when the car is parked or in motion. But as you approach the car with your key in your pocket, the door handles magically pop out to greet you.
Once inside you are then greeted by the Range Rover design team with an all new interior. Three custom configurable screens on the dash and center console control near every aspect of the vehicle. Preferences and settings are controlled by either touching the screen or using the steering wheel controls – these controls have been enhanced over the Velar’s older siblings. The Range Rover team replaced the buttons on the steering wheel with a pressure sensitive light up pad, which allows you tap or swipe. As an example, turning up the music is more intuitive because you simply swipe your thumb in a circular motion left or right to change the volume. The only traditional controls on the vehicle are your window buttons, mirror buttons, turn signals, and a small volume knob. Even the gear selector is extra special, with a rotary dial to change from park to reverse to drive.
As you would expect from a Range Rover, the seats were dressed in ultra-soft leather and are available with cooling, heating, and massaging elements interested into them.
The Velar is priced slightly below the Range Rover Sport. Not because it is any less of a vehicle – the Velar is actually a better on-road vehicle than the Sport in my opinion. Land Rover was able to save you a few pennies because the Velar doesn’t need the advanced off-road capabilities of its older brother. It doesn’t need locking differentials and a low-speed transfer case for example.
So unless you typically have an African giraffes crossing the road on your way to work, my pick for the best everyday Range Rover is the Velar.
Visit your local Land Rover dealer or click here for more information.