Compact luxury crossovers are a cliquey bunch. The Porsche Macan is the hot hatch, the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class is the luxury choice, and the Audi Q5 is the nondescript sales winner. Land Rover’s Range Rover Velar is the stylish one, leveraging the brand’s signature rectilinearity against slim lights and a tapering roof for visual pop. Two new touchscreen displays wow occupants and drastically reduce the cabin’s hard-button count. All-wheel drive and a turbocharged four-cylinder engine are standard; a diesel four-cylinder and a supercharged V-6 are available.
What’s New for 2018?
The Velar is all new for this year. Land Rover aims it at the space between the smaller Evoque and the (barely) larger Range Rover Sport in the 2018 lineup. Sharing its bones and four- and six-cylinder engine choices with the Jaguar F-Pace, the Velar is similarly plus-sized for the compact luxury segment.
- Base: $50,895
- S: $55,695
- SE: $61,095
- HSE: $68,595
- First Edition: $90,295
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Every Velar model gets an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, but those features get paired with one of three flawed engines. The base 247-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four is well behaved enough, but it struggles to move the Velar’s substantial heft. The available 180-hp turbodiesel four-cylinder makes up for its relaxed power delivery with substantial torque, but its clattery soundtrack disappointingly penetrates the Velar’s cabin. Ditto the supercharged 380-hp 3.0-liter V-6, which is powerful but drinks plenty of fuel and transmits a gritty song through the dash, too. The Velar goes down the road in a generally comfortable and competent manner, without the sporty edge that defines its close cousin, the Jaguar F-Pace. Much like the Velar’s acceleration, its handling is by no means sporty, but the suspension ably returns a firm, well-managed ride.
EPA fuel-economy testing and reporting procedures have changed over time. For the latest numbers on current and older vehicles, visit the EPA’s website and select Find & Compare Cars.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Velar’s cabin is among the nicest and best-styled in its class. The materials used throughout are high quality and deployed in interesting ways. Perhaps the stunning interior’s greatest success is that its haute look comes at no expense of practicality. Standard equipment is generous and includes power front seats, dual-zone climate control, and futuristic-looking dual dashboard touchscreen displays. The Velar’s profile might be more swept than other Range Rovers, but it’s still a Range Rover, meaning it is fundamentally a large box. Such shapes are a boon to headroom and cargo space, both of which the Velar has plenty of. To further increase cargo room, the seats fold nearly flat, both via seatback levers and trunk-mounted release handles.
Infotainment and Connectivity
It is particularly ambitious of Land Rover, a company that has historically struggled with infotainment performance, to introduce the dual-screen InControl Touch Pro Duo system. Alas, the system is prone to glitches and suffers from menus that take time to decipher and use. InControl Touch Pro Duo is standard on every Velar and includes two 10.0-inch touchscreens, Bluetooth connectivity, voice control, eight speakers, an auxiliary audio-input jack, and two USB ports. A better audio system with more speakers, navigation, and SiriusXM satellite radio requires adding options or moving up through trim levels.
Safety Features and Crash Test Ratings
For more information about the Land Rover Range Rover Velar’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites.
Some older vehicles are still eligible for coverage under a manufacturer’s Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program. For more information visit our guide to every manufacturer’s CPO program.