What is it?
A very good question and one I asked myself as I couldn’t at first see where this smart looking model fitted into the Range River line-up or, indeed, the greater SUV world.
It’s bigger than the Evoque but smaller than the Sport, shares a platform with sister brand’s Jaguar F-Pace. So perhaps it’s in a niche all of its own.
Being different is not a bad thing as it grabs attention and as SUVs go, the Velar has a sleek, sporty look to it. Put it next to and Evoque and a Range Rover Sport and you will immediately spot the differences.
It’s not the full monty in terms of the Land Rover/Range Rover experience in that there is no low ratio transfer box or ant-roll; bars found on its siblings – so not fully specified for off-road, but it is more than capable.
Latest engine line-up includes a plug-in hybrid P400e version which is the model we tested. There is also a D300 diesel, 48-volt mild-hybrid-assisted straight-six, and a four-cylinder D200 diesel.
What do we think?
Firstly, it is different – and expensive. Our test vehicle, the Velar P400e S, starts at £61,770 on the road but with additional equipment this is bumped up to £69,310.
So, what was added?
- Carpathian Grey Premium Metallic – £1,480
- Dapple Grey premium textile and Light Oyster suede cloth with Light Oyster Interior – £1,105
- Shadow Aluminium finisher – £105
- Privacy Glass – £420
- Fixed Panoramic Roof – £1,350
- 21-inch; Style 5047 5 Split Spoke Gloss Sparkle Silver – £1,680
- 14-way heated, driver memory front seats with heated rear seats and rear power recline – £510
- Electrically adjustable steering column – £315
- Home Charging Cable – £300
- Dynamic Handling Pack – Consists of: Terrain Response 2 with Dynamic Program, All Terrain Progress Control (ATPC), Electronic Air Suspension, Adaptive Dynamics and Configurable Dynamics – £1,755
Many of us are not going to need all those bells and whistles as the standard car comes with high specification – but I would have thought a home charging cable should be standard equipment.
What is standard are the pop-out door handles which help to make the car feel and look as expensive as it’s price tag. It can cause some confusion with passengers if you forget to double click the remote to activate the handles.
Once you have got inside, there is a nice feel to the interior, plush without being extravagant. Plenty of glass provides a panoramic view of the road.
Plenty of room in the front although those big, comfy seats to reduce legroom a tad in the rear. The cockpit features a pair of display and control screens in the centre console
The upper screen brings up navigation, entertainment, communications and various car features. Climate control is on the lower screen and there even a couple of old fashioned knobs to allow you to control driver and passenger temperature as well as the seat heaters. If you fancy it, there is a seat massage and this can also be controlled from the screen.
Generally, navigating your way through the functions is easy enough, although the lower screen climate controls were a little difficult to deal with at first – note to self, set things up before you take to the road.
Once on the road you can get just over 30 miles of fully electric range and a full charge on the home 7kW charger took around five hours.
In petrol engine mode we achieved 31.4 mpg on town and country driving, you can expect more on a motorway cruise. Of course, the official figures tell a different story and under test conditions the manufacturer claims 130mpg is possible and CO2 emissions at 49g/km.
Performance in electric mode is good and the switch between electric and petrol is seamless. It is also pretty capable off road as well. Despite the fact that it’s not as tall as a Range Rover, you still feel as though you are sitting high up.
Given the price of the highly-specified top-end P400e we tried a PCP is probably going to work out at around £900 a month which is comparable with rivals from the German premiums.
|Engine||P400e – 2.0L 404HP PHEV AWD AUTO|
|Maximum power (HP/kW/rpm)
Electric Motor Data – Maximum Power kW
|404 / 297 / 5,500* when combined with electric motor
|Maximum torque (Nm/rpm)
Electric Motor Data – Maximum torque (Nm)
|640 / 1,500 – 4,400* when combined with electric motor
EV Range (eAER) Combined miles (km)
|130.2 – 109.9 (2.2 – 2.6)
Up to 33 (53)
|49 – 58|
|Acceleration (secs) 0-60mph (0-100 km/h)||5.1 (5.4)|
|Maximum Speed mph (km/h)||149 (240)|