- Car Reviews
- Land Rover
- Range Rover Velar
Land Rover Range Rover Velar review
What is it like on the inside?
It’s not as tall as a Range Rover or a Sport, but you still feel elevated. And it does feel like a distinct product, whereas an Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Alfa or Jaguar crossover of this size has a cabin that’s merely a vertically stretched version of those companies’ saloons and coupes.
Ahead is Range Rover’s usual minimalist rectangle of leathered dashboard, with a T-piece coming down as the centre console. The shapes are clean, sparsely ornamented but wrapped in subtle, plush texture. The doors carry big planks of wood, but a reserved, monochrome grain.
The big news here is the display and control system. In the centre console are two big touchscreens, both apparently edgeless and glossy-black when the ignition’s turned off. The lower one carries a pair of knurled twist-and push knobs.
Switch on and the upper screen is much like any other upmarket car’s: it carries navigation, entertainment, comms and lots of configurable car features. It’s not overloaded by having to carry the climate control though. While this display was fine when the Velar launched, it’s now starting to age and Land Rover has designed itself into a corner here. The pop-out screen recess isn’t large enough for the new ‘Pivi Pro’ system as found in the latest Defender and Discovery 5. Whoops.
Climate is on the lower screen: it has very nicely rendered graphics of zephyrs of temperate air wafting into the occupants. The two knurled knobs control driver and passenger temperature. Or push them and they’re the seat heaters, their markings changing to suit. Or hit the seat massage button on the screen and their markings change again, helping you turn up or down the massage’s vigour.
You soon realise this is a whole lot easier than using a touch-screen alone. And those wheels have other context-dependent functions, each time changing their markings to suit. If you hit a tab that replaces the climate screen by the dynamics mode screen, you can change off-road mode with the knob.
You’ve also got a reconfigurable set of TFT driver instruments. Plus a head-up display. With all this screen area, some of which can be sub-divided at will, it’s easily possible to have everything you want on show all the time. You don’t have to keep jabbing at buttons for ‘nav’ ‘media’ or ‘car’ because they can have a screen each. This makes it far easier to use than many screen-based systems.
For instance on a long drive through unknown country you can swipe the music display and controls down onto the lower screen, then use the upper one for a full north-up map, and have your 3D local map in the instrument cluster. If you’re swapping often between dynamic modes, leave that on the bottom screen, and divide the top screen to show entertainment and nav, and have your trip computer in the instruments. Note that the new steering wheel, incongruously from the Defender, has slightly less expensive looking illuminated controls these days.
Because the front seats are bulky, there isn’t the legroom you’d hope for behind. It’s OK for most adults though, and they get ports and vents and lights.
Cabin storage is tight. There’s no deep storage bin in the centre console. The boot is big in area but a little shallow, but because this is a long car the overall capacity beats rivals.
Under the floor it only makes room for a space saver, but that’s better than just a can of repair gloop when you’ve slashed a tyre in the wilderness.
Special mention to the optional Meridian sound system, which sounds like music rather than like a music system. That’s unusual in a car.
Another option is the textured cloth upholstery, for vegetarians who don’t want leather. We’d choose it on comfort alone.