Quirky mid-Range splits opinion
The Range Rover Velar is an interesting prospect – clearly JLR earmarked a niche begging for attention between Evoque and Sport and voila, this popped up.
Not quite sure if it’s another answer to another question nobody asked about mobility — there are a few carmakers out there making obscure cars for obscure niches to satisfy shareholders pockets these days and one has to wonder how far it really can go, but this one is pretty spiffing.
Sleek, sharp and elegant, it looks like it’s driving at a hundred miles an hour even when standing still and this one brings a few really cool touches like those bronzed gills. Step aboard and its really cool in there – our tester’s darker upholstery makes one feel quite at home, without needing to worry about dirtying some of those lighter shades of leather Velar comes in.
This three-litre turbodiesel impresses on the road, dipping into the sixes to 100km/h. I have always liked the JLR derv V6 and this latest 221kW 700Nm incarnation shifting gears via a slick 8-speed automatic certainly maintains our belief in it.
I was however a little perplexed by its ride – look at it and Velar seems ready to race a Jaguar XJ, but on the road, it feels far more like a Discovery, which should feel a little more agricultural considering its clear off-road bent The missus calls that sensation 'searching for mud'. Compared to an X5 or Stelvio, Velar is cumbersome – is this really a road-oriented car?
I also found the driver interface frustrating – its operation often defies logic and the touch screen is oversensitive to a bumpy road. Car infotainment, its application and its interface is delivering at stunning pace and this old system seems archaic in comparison to some of the newer kit out there
And finally, I’m not quite sure where those oh-so lah-di-dah door handles comes from? All very impressive in the way they stick out inviting you in when unlocked, but did anyone at Solihull ever figure that they also invite every skollie to look inside if you happen to leave it unlocked in the street…?
Velar did not impress everyone among our retinue, but to those of us who do like it, it’s an impressive effort, even if it does lag in some ever-changing areas. All of which makes for a damn good argument! - Michele Lupini
Images - Michele Lupini
ROAD TESTED: Range Rover Velar D300 R-Dynamic HSE
Engine: 221kW 700Nm 2993cc turbo diesel V6
Drive: 8-speed automatic 4x4
0-60km/h 3.31 sec
0-100km/h: 6.89 sec
0-160km/h: 16.29 sec
400m: 14.9 sec @ 153km/h
120-160km/h 6.88 sec
Fuel: 6.4 l/100km
CO2: 167 g/km
Warranty/Service 5Y 100k/5Y 100Kkm
LIST PRICE: R1.43M