Reader rated: Range Rover Velar

Reader rated: Range Rover Velar
Reader rated: Range Rover Velar

What do readers make of the mid-size Range Rover?

It’s the fourth Range Rover, slotting in above the Evoque and below the Sport. It looks incredibly contemporary yet still has the styling cues we’ve come to expect from the Solihull giant. And it’s going to be huge – advance orders are running higher than for any other Land Rover vehicle. Ever.

At first glance the price seems reasonable, since it starts at £44,380 but you know how it goes. You tick a few option boxes and the price starts to rise. And if you want the First Edition you see here the price has risen rather a lot. To £88,630 in fact.

So what would potential buyers make of it? We rounded up some readers, and took them to a studio to crawl over, under and in a First Edition Range Rover Velar. Here’s what they thought.

Management consultant Chris Burne, who normally drives a BMW X3, and the Velar certainly scored points for being built with much higher-quality materials. And what was built he really liked, from the clean design to the digital displays. He also picked up on the fact that this is the most road-biased Range Rover ever: “I think the Velar comes back a little bit from the ‘pure SUV’ and migrates more towards a luxury limousine kind of feel – although it still has its off-road capability.”

He felt the vehicle was ahead of the Evoque and the Sport in both design and technology terms. So he liked it then?

“The Velar is a bit of an aspirational model for me, so if I’m impressed, I may well buy one.”

Discovery driver Maria Carlton thought the Velar was “beautiful”, everything from the “amazing” clamshell bonnet to the “fantastic” tri-screen dashboard. This is in contrast to the new Discovery which she thinks is “odd” when viewed from the side and back.

But it’s not all about looks. She owns horses so the towing capability is a big plus, aided by the powerful engines. Which engine would she go for? “It’s the more cylinders the better for me.”

Jamie West has an Audi A5 and needs more room for life’s little essentials: children, dogs, bicycles and everything else. So the five split-folding big seats and ample boot space score well as well as the panoramic roof which adds light – unlike the rather sombre cabin of his Audi.

In fact the cabin scored very highly here. “Range Rovers already had great interiors, but the Velar moves things on a couple of notches with a new infotainment system and sat-nav and a second touchscreen. It makes some other new cars already look dated. Teslas have a huge 17-inch touchscreen that controls everything, but it looks like it’s just been nailed on; the Velar’s is far better implemented.”

Unlike Maria Carlton, Jamie reckons the four-cylinder diesel engine would be enough, with one eye on tax and fuel figures.

So, any downsides? “The big downside is that the price can quickly run away with itself. When I specced it how I’d like, the price got well into the £60,000s, which is a bit much, really.”

Much like Jamie West, Joe Alexander is looking for more space, but he’s starting from a smaller benchmark. He’s got a Mini estate but he needs more space now he has a toddler and all her kit. And, at 6ft 6ins, he needs some space for himself. Given the apparently low roofline of the Velar he was impressed and surprised to find he could sit comfortably front or back.

With his young daughter in mind – who isn’t yet 6ft 6ins – he appreciated the “large door openings, which would make it far easier to get her in and out, and the rear seats are roomy. And the Velar’s boot is absolutely enormous – it’s plenty big enough for family days out – even though the car looks quite compact. And the door sills open as part of the door, so you won’t get muck on your trousers when getting in.”

Still very much with his daughter in mind, he also appreciated the electronic safety aids and airbags. It looks like she’ll be in safe hands.

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