Driving the Range Rover Velar through town turned a few heads, and why wouldn’t it, this is probably one of the sleekest Range Rovers launched to date. The new addition to the family sits between the Range Rover Evoque and Range Rover Sport. Not having driven either of its siblings, we can’t really do a comparison but we know what we like, and first impressions is that it is a winner. In a six-step build process, you can create your very own unique Velar from what seems like a never-ending source of options. We had the opportunity to try a few different builds but to keep this review simple, we’ll focus on the P380 HSE R-Dynamic which had the top petrol engine and pretty much every option you could throw at it.
The displays are inarguably beautiful so we were hoping the user experience would do it justice. The system was relatively intuitive to use once we orientated ourselves with the two screens. All of the infotainment settings are controlled on the top screen and most of the drive and comfort settings can be changed on the lower screen. But there was a bit of a usability oversight; the touch icons are small, very small. This isn’t so much an issue when the vehicle isn’t moving but you still have to touch them with pinpoint accuracy. In a moving vehicle, it’s challenging to use even as a passenger whilst riding on a relatively smooth road. As the driver, it was quite distracting having to focus on the road at the same time. The menu system also required extra steps for performing simple functions like turning on seat heating. The process would go something like this – switch to the climate tab, select the heating/cooling seat feature instead of the massage feature, tap the little circle to turn it on and then turn the corresponding dial to set the preferred seating temperature.
What do we think
Having driven a few SUV’s over the past 6 months, this was the most exciting one by far. The exterior is stunning and just makes you want to jump in to drive it. The interior feels both minimalistic and futuristic, leapfrogging most of its competition. The big screens are beautiful, although it would have been even better if it was one big display to really push the minimalism. Perhaps the designers thought it would be too reminiscent of a Tesla. To own a Range Rover Velar, you’ll have to have a spare $77,000 – $168,000 lying around; the car is awesome but awesome certainly doesn’t come cheap.Find out more