Driven: Range Rover Velar has loads of presence
Every month Wheels24 publishes vehicle sales statistics; part of which revolves around luxury SUVs.
And every month the Range Rover Velar features in the ten top-selling large luxury SUVs. Every month, without fail.
That takes some doing, considering that the Velar is up against strong competition in the form of the Volvo XC90, Toyota’s Land Cruiser 200 and Prado, and even its own siblings: the Range Rover/RR Sport, Land Rover Discovery, and Jaguar F-Pace.
Clearly, then, the Velar must have something up its sleeve if it can continuously make itself count in our pressing economy.
To find out we enlisted the help of the Velar D300 R-Dynamic SE. It retails from R1.33-million, is part of a range spanning 65 variants, and is one of Land Rover’s most standout vehicles in the Range Rover range.
For most people paying in excess of R1.0-million for a vehicle is a lot of money, but when you do get to play in this field you’re sort of expecting a bit of individualism. Which is what Range Rover aims to give with the Velar. It looks different to almost anything in its segment, and it has solid underpinnings from which it builds.
The Velar shares its architecture with the RR Sport and has a strong 3.0-litre V6 engine under bonnet. 221kW and 700Nm are sent to all four wheels and gives the Velar some impressive thrust. The problem is, the Velar is a heavy vehicle and there is quite a bit of turbo lag before power kicks in. It would be appreciative if the bulky SUV could react immediately to throttle inputs, but to some degree the sudden kick of power can be addictive.
This specific test unit is fitted with the optional air suspension that, with the switch of a button, toggles the ride height between (the standard) 213mm and 251mm. Though it’s unlikely that any owner will wander off the tar, having the option fitted, along with the Terrain Response II, will no doubt add some peace of mind knowing that you can should that be the case.
The Velar has a humongous amount of street cred. It has a presence not many vehicles can match and it demands respect on the road. Road users will forget to drive, while car guards will fall over their feet to assist you out of the parking bay (no really, it happened a lot!). The Range Rover Velar’s size is one of its biggest attributes and the vehicle does not apologise for what it is. Its sheer size and aura are aspects not many vehicles in the market can compete with.
Read Charlen Raymond’s review of the Range Rover Velar D300 R-Dynamic SE below: