By on March 7, 2017

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Eager to fill a price gap in its Range Rover lineup, Land Rover has come out with a new midsize offering — the Velar. Positioned between the smaller Evoque and larger Range Rover Sport, the Velar is a tasteful and subdued example of automotive opulence. While it’s best to reserve final judgement until after fully experiencing a model, the design both inside and out represents something fresh, possibly signalling a new direction for Land Rover styling.

I speculated last month that the Velar’s teaser images might not be representative of the actual car, due in part to its ultra-modern-looking center console. However, that concept car interior stuck around, resulting in an incredibly spartan and contemporary cabin. It’s almost entirely devoid of buttons, replaced by minimalist design more elegant and clean than even what Tesla has on offer. Land Rover refers to the interior as a “calm sanctuary” for the Velar’s occupants. The majority of the contact points for non-essential functions occupy hidden-until-lit touch areas that, according to JLR, can be endlessly customized.velar-interior

“Two high definition 10-inch touch-screens are your window into the world,” said Jaguar Land Rover’s director of connected car and future technology Peter Virk. “The connected infotainment system learns from you and anticipates your needs, serving you what you want, when you want it — but never intrudes letting you enjoy the drive, while it takes the stress out of daily life, like any good butler or digital personal assistant should.”

While he didn’t specify what the digital butler could do, I assume it will look good while doing it.

Range Rover Velar

The minimalist design spills gently to the exterior, with flush door handles and a sleek, simple body design laden with copper finishes and carbon fiber. It doesn’t really look like an off-roader and, thanks to an aluminum platform shared with Jaguar’s F-Pace crossover, it probably doesn’t handle like one, either.

With a pre-destination price of $49,900 in the United States, the base Velar lacks some of the exceptional features JLR spends time touting, along with other absent niceties. After fiddling around on Land Rover’s website, I discovered it was incredibly easy to push the new crossover beyond $60,000, while the premium trim comes in at $90,000. While all trims come with the Touch Pro Duo console interface, there’s still plenty of wiggle room to take the Velar’s pricing away from the more affordable Evoque and place it squarely in the lap of the Range Rover Sport.

Range Rover Velar

The Velar is not, however, ill equipped. The base model offers most of what you’d expect from a premium car, along with a host of traction-boosting gadgetry — varied terrain response and an electronic stability suite, for example. The price only begins to skyrocket after the addition of premium materials, power adjustable interior items, adaptive cruise control, parking assist, air suspension, Terrain Response 2, or an active rear locking differential.

Engine options further compound the financial burden. In North America, the base unit is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder rated at 247 horsepower. Swapping that for a claimed 180 hp 2.0-liter Ingenium diesel — listed as 177 hp on Land Rover’s website — tacks on a few grand, while the optional 3.0-liter supercharged V6 pushes the Velar to 380 hp (and its starting MSRP to $64,200).

range rover velar

[Images: Land Rover]

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13 Comments on “Range Rover Casts a Wider Sales Net With Its Midsized Velar SUV...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    F that noise.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      F-Pace that noise.

      • 0 avatar
        TonyJZX

        I’m with you guys but yeah, the market will snap this up. They needed something bigger than the Evoque but not as big as the Disco?

        I’m not sure about RR in the US but in our Western markets they do quite well. Surprisingly well but remember this place pooh poohed the Porsche Macan and look at how its doing…

        So real world sales seems to be “do the opposite of what TTAC thinks”.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    $50-90k sounds about right, but you’ll never find one for $50k.

    None of the engines seems like the Goldilocks version. The 2.0T sounds too weak, the 2.0D is too niche, and the 3.0S is overkill. How about a 3.0 V6 around 300 HP for $55k?

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Ugh, that infotainment system is gorgeous, but operationally I bet it will be a non-starter.

  • avatar
    Spartan

    Looks cool. The way Range Rover is expanding their portfolio only makes me wonder why Cadillac hasn’t done this with the Escalade yet.

    I’d love to see a unibody Escalade Sport of some sorts.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      I have been arguing that GM should have scuttled the whole Alpha project thing and made Escalade and Corvette their own sub brands. The new ATS+CTS are now officially selling less than the ancient Sigma based CTS from before, and the Escalade + SRX/XT5 are the only pockets of reliable volume for Cadillac. They should have doubled down on that to replicate that success. A little Equinox based Evoque type thing with Escalade styling would basically be a mint.

  • avatar
    Marko

    I like the styling, but everything becoming a “Range Rover” reminds me of 1980s Cutlassization.

  • avatar
    Tstag

    I actually think this console could make Range Rovers more reliable not less reliable. A plastic knob can easily break. But software bugs are actually easier to elliminate. From an assembly perspective it’s also easier as workers just plug this into a wiring loom. That still leaves lots of other stuff that could go wrong but eliminates the touchy-feely stuff that people often notice.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    This thing starts at about the same price as the new Discovery. What price gap in the line up does it fill? is it the more, um, road oriented model targeted at buyers that the Discovery offers too much “capability”?

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