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8/10
Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review:Land Rover Range Rover Velar

£43,850£84,195
8/10
Overall verdict
The Velar majors on style but it's still a useful car. It's roomy enough for a family, not so big it's awkward in cities, and capable of unusual off-road feats.
 

For: 

Very stylish inside and out. Display and control system is something of a game changer. Relaxing and refined to drive. Good off-road – very good if properly optioned.

Against: 

Expensive. Some other SUVs are more engaging to drive.

Overview

What is it?

The Velar plugs a gap in, er, Land Rover’s range of Range Rovers. It’s bigger than the Evoque but smaller than the Sport. It also uses what is for Land Rover a new platform, sharing its underpinnings with the Jaguar F-Pace, which maybe also gives you an idea of is size.

It’s expensive, but it’s its good fortune to look and feel expensive too. It’s luxurious and has more off-road capability than most rivals – and than the Jag. In size, the Velar sits somewhere between a BMW X4 and X6, Mercedes GLC Coupe and GLE Coupe, and above the Audi Q5.

Smooth, pared-back and slimmed-down style takes priority over absolute space or off-road ruggedness. The Velar’s silhouette is quite fast, marked by a rising belt, falling roof, pinched tail and a lot of screen rake. The surfaces are pure as snow. Especially around the nose, it’s naked of step-lines, the grille, lamps and bumper meticulously flush. Which makes the numberplate plinth stand out like a flesh wound. Also the fake vents on the bonnet and below the door mirrors.

But in all it’s a very well-worked shape, and if you see it alongside a range Rover Sport you instantly see how the skin has been pulled tight, the roof dropped and the details finely slimmed.

The cabin is even more of a revelation, for the way style and function meet in an all-new glass-cockpit system for displays and controls.

It doesn’t have a low-ratio transfer box, nor the decoupling anti-roll bars you can get on the Sport. So it’s not fully specced to Land Rover’s outermost off roader level. But by most standards it’s massively capable in the wilderness.

Highlights from the range

Title 0–62 CO2 MPG BHP Price
The fastest
3.0 P380 First Edition 4dr Auto
5.3s 214g/km 30.1 380 £84,195
The cheapest
2.0 D180 4dr Auto
8.5s 152g/km 48.7 180 £43,850
The greenest
2.0 D180 4dr Auto
8.5s 152g/km 48.7 180 £43,850
Continue: Driving

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