24-01-2020

Range Rover Velar Driven

REVIEWS

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Life has been good! Life has been so good that you feel that you could finally go ahead and have that mid-sized luxury SUV in your life. And if you are considering picking up the mid sized luxury SUV’s then options are many, and moment there are many options, things start to get confusing.

But, if you are in such a good space in your life and are looking for that extra special mid-sized piece of luxury, then your search is over. Rather, your search is so over that you will not only find an SUV that is in amazing, but is also stylish!

Recently, LandRover has taken it upon itself to give you a “just my kinda mid-size luxury SUV” with the Range Rover Velar.

To go back in history, this car is the first of the Velar name plate as a production model before this the name Velar had previously been used for a series of pre - production first gen range rovers in 1969.

The Velar was originally launched in 2017 and ushered in a new design language for Land Rover.

But when it was launched in India in 2018 it was not successful because it was a CBU import because of which it commanded a price that no one (in India) was really willing to pay. However, now it is a CKD i.e. assembled in India so the prices have significantly reduced, and people have suddenly found interest in this SUV. Should we also then, take a look at this SUV?

Design Language - Exteriors

The Range Rover Velar is the perfect mix of old-school styling blended with modern design language. It is unmistakably Range Rover; the front is reminiscent of its older sibling the RR Sport but the side stance and the rear are what set it apart from the rest of the Land Rover line-up. The side stance is quite lovely and almost has a coupe like feel to it with its sloping roof giving it a stylish overview and great looking body lines, also complimenting the side view is the wrap around tail-lamps.The car from the rear seems a little narrow and it could have really done with a little more width there. However, by saying that we do not mean the car looks bad from rear, in actuality the car is quite handsome from the back.

The Velar only comes in the R-Dynamic S variant and now comes with a new sporty bumper and 20 inch wheels. The front bumper also now has bronze accent pieces which makes the car look aggressive and anything but mainstream.

The Velar’s party piece are definitely its ‘pop out’ door handles.They pop out to greet you, when the car is unlocked and pop back in when the ignition is switched on.

A sliding panoramic sunroof and a gesture-controlled tailgate comes as standard kit on the Velar.

Design Language- Interiors

The interior of the Velar is a clean and happily no fuss. As you enter the car you are greeted with the R-Dynamic logo being flashed at the virtual cockpit display. Also, the dual screen design, the Touch Pro Duo infotainment system, on the center console, is something that brings a warm feeling to your heart.

The upper screen is the infotainment screen and the lower one controls the vehicle functions. The infotainment screen has a tilt function what is does is that, it allows the driver to select a tilt angle for the screen for ease of usage. The infotainment screen houses the usual media functions (Bluetooth, Multi-Media, Navigation etc.). The second screen allows the driver to play with car settings, climate control, different driver aids etc.

The second screen is amazing to use when you are at a standstill but becomes a distraction and makes you take your eyes off the road, when you want to use it on the move. The dual screen setup allows for a clutter free dashboard.

The conventional steering mounted controls are replaced with touch sensitive buttons.While the seats, the steering wheel, rear seat and almost everything feels premium, some of the plastics around the center console and the door cubbies feels a little cheap and takes away a little from the luxurious feel of the car.

The powered steering wheel adjustment, powered front and back seats, a four-zone climate control, a 360-degree parking camera, park assist and many more such features make life easier in the Velar.

The Velar’s gets a white leather interior with perforated seats giving it an airy feel. It does however miss out on heated and cooled seats.

Stepping inside the middle row, the panoramic sunroof does make it look airy and roomy in the middle row. However, owing to the sloping roof line, if you are 6ft or 6 ft plus tall, there are chances that your head may brush against the sunroof line. The seats are extremely comfortable and hold you well in place, when your chauffeur is in the mood to enjoy the dynamics of the Velar.

In Car Entertainment

Velar comes with Jaguar LandRover’s tried and tested audio system from Meridian. The 380 watts system, with woofer and 11 speakers setup, sounds if not anything less, phenomenal. The only problem that we have with the system is that it is too much of bass biased. Even with the subwoofer set to zero, the system develops bass heavy output. While it does not irritate you as a listener, but we would have loved if LandRover could de tune the bass a little bit, so that the lower notes could be heard as crisply as the bass notes.

Considering the fact that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are common today, we would have loved if Velar could get wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

Performance- Engine & Gearbox

JLR offers Velar in two engine options; a 2.0-litre petrol making around 250bhp and 365Nm of torque and a 2.0-litre diesel which puts out around 180bhp and 430Nm of torque.

The one we drove was the 2.0-litre petrol variant. The petrol engine is punchy and eager to get up to high speeds but is occasionally let down by its 8-speed transmission due to it getting a little confused under hard acceleration. For city driving and highway cruises, the D mode does phenomenal job at keeping the car and the gearshifts smooth.But if you are looking for a little more grunt and want to drive a little spirited, the S mode is the way to go. In the S mode the gearshifts get a little quicker and the car becomes more responsive and more fun to drive, especially while driving in the ‘Dynamic’ mode.

Even after being a petrol, the engine is a little on the nosier side, one might say noisier than some of the diesels in its class, but none of that noise filters inside of the cabin. The noise however is very prominent when you are outside and that is a little surprising as you don’t expect it from a petrol motor.

Performance- Ride, Handling & Drivability

Velar is quite fun and an enjoyable drive. It is a stable, confidence inspiring SUV with great steering feedback and amazing road presence.

Velar is designed to be road-biased which shows in the way it drives, but that does not take away from it the fact that it is a pretty good off-roader too. It is capable of taking on imposing climbs that too with ease and elegance.

The Velar comes equipped with Terrain Response 2 which monitors the terrain conditions and selects the most appropriate settings for the Engine, Gearbox, Steering, Suspension etc. It also comes standard with Land Rover’s All-Surface Progress Control, which is basically a low speed cruise control which can be used in low-grip scenarios.

In city driving, the Velar is as easy to drive as any other SUV and can putter around at city speeds without much drama. Park assist makes parking the Velar very easy to park in the city. Occasionally the gearbox gets confused as to what gear to engage, which makes exploiting the gaps in city traffic a little tedious, as the car is not able to decide whether to downshift or not which results in you mashing the throttle to cover the gap and the car taking a few seconds to decide to downshift, till then the gap is filled and you have to brake hard to prevent the car from crashing into the car ahead.

Out on the highway is where the Velar glides as it puts all of its 250 horses to work. Mash the throttle and triple digits are achieved in no time and can be cruised at, for hours on end with ease and comfort. At no point does the Velar feel strained or out of its element at higher speeds.

The Velar is built on a light-weight aluminum-intensive monocoque, this makes the Velar light and mated with the double wish bone setup in the front and Integral Link rear suspension, makes it an agile handler. But even with Velar’s light-weight monocoque and front and rear suspension setup, during high speed cornering and quick overtakes, you feel the car’s weight as body roll is quite prominent.

The Verdict

Velar is kind of a unique offering in its segment. It is one of the only cars in the segment which can actually be taken for proper off-roading and it does not hurt that its easy on the eyes too. It is almost at the top with its stylish looks in its segment, while still retaining true blue SUV style characteristics.

But who is Velar actually for? Velar is for the person who keeps with the current trends. It is for someone who wants to get noticed and complimented for his/her choices, because the world is filled with boring, straight arrowed, 9 to 5 meeting hauler Mercedes’ and Bimmers. What world needs is a little heady approach, someone who likes to have a little fun in their life and not just boring routine stuff.What the world needs is more of the VELAR.

If you do consider the Velar as your next car purchase, I urge you to take a look at the Firenze Red Metallic colour before considering any other colour. The red accentuates all that is beautiful about the Velar’s exterior styling and is in my opinion the best colour spec to have. White on the other hand just blends in and hides all the car’s curves and is as interesting and imaginative as white really can be.

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Land Rover

About Author
Sunit Berry
Sunit Berry

With a passion for driving, appreciation for fast machines and a love for the tuning culture, Sunit tries to engage people by creating a bond and making them experience his passion and emotions for cars through his writing and humour. 



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