Here’s a question for ya’: how could a brand-new model…only on the market for perhaps six months….already be Land Rover’s best selling model?
After all, those guys over at Land Rover have a well-established name with a rather fanatical fan base, right?
And actually, it’s a pretty easy answer: More….more….and more….for less.
Again, the Velar is Range Rover’s newest baby….altho’ “baby” is a bit of a misnomer. The Velar is a spacious two-row SUV fitting into Range Rover’s now-crowded lineup between the Discovery and the Sport…..altho’ it looks somewhat like a stretched Evoque.
Unlike the “squared-off and carved out of granite” macho muscular look that has typified Land Rovers for generations, the Velar has just a hint of “taper” about it toward the front and rear….no doubt enhancing aerodynamics and economy.
But if you’re looking for macho, you’ll love the door handles. While they retract flush with the doors when locked or in motion, they pop out…big and rectangular…looking like they’d be right at home on a refrigerator or perhaps an Abrams tank when unlocked. Maybe I’m easily amused, but to me, they add a lot to the Velar’s character.
Yet, while character and capability have defined Land Rover for decades, let’s not forget refinement.
One example of the refinement would be our test Velar R-Dynamic HSE’s interior. Patterned and perforated heated and cooled massaging 20-way adjustable front seats, reclining rears, 20” black alloys, 17-speaker sound, a quilted dash, 4-zone climate control, ten interior ambient color choices, “auto access” that lowers your Velar 1.6” for easier entry ….and every electronic aid made today.
And back to the capabilities that have given Land Rover its’ off-road creds, the Velar has all-wheel-drive with torque vectoring that gives you maximum traction in all conditions…snow, mud, sand or gravel and rain….an optional suspension that can make adjustments 500 times each second….ground clearance enough to ford streams 2 feet deep, a 5,000 towing capacity…and just a hair under 6-feet of interior storage with the rear seats folded.
Our test Velar came with a window sticker just a hair over $86,000….altho’ they start right around 50K. Standard is a 2.0 liter, 247 HP turbo four. Options include a 2.0 180 HP diesel and a 3.0 liter, 380 HP supercharged six….all running through an eight-speed automatic. We got the big engine. Land Rover says it’ll take you to 60 MPH in under five and a half seconds….and we have no reason to doubt that.
Mileage is rated at 18 city and 24 highway, which is right in line with what we experienced.
So why, again, did the new Range Rover Velar become the company’s biggest selling vehicle? Space, comfort, capability and price just may have something to do with the answer.