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2018 Range Rover Velar Drivers' Notes | Don't worry, we're in no hurry

Evolving the formula.

  • Image Credit: Christopher McGraw
  • Trim
    R-Dynamic HSE
  • Engine
    2.0L I4 Diesel
  • Power
    180 HP / 317 LB-FT
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • 0-60 Time
    8.4 Seconds
  • Top Speed
    130 MPH
  • Drivetrain
    Four-Wheel Drive
  • Engine Placement
  • Curb Weight
    4,358 LBS
  • Towing
    5,291 LBS
  • Seating
  • MPG
    26 City / 30 Highway
  • Base Price
  • As Tested Price
Few vehicles on the road provide as much versatility as a Range Rover. Products from the British automaker provide luxury, fantastic styling and unparalleled off-road capabilities for a vehicle in this class. Though each model tends to stay on the market longer than some competition — the first-gen model was on sale from 1970 until 1996 — they somehow avoid feeling long in the tooth. The 2018 Range Rover Velar is the new kid on the block, and it might just be the company's best-looking vehicle yet.

The Velar is based on the Jaguar F-Pace and slots between the compact Range Rover Evoque and Range Rover Sport, though it's within spitting distance of all of the Sports' dimensions. It shares three of the F-Pace's four engine options - a 247 horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine, a 180 horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel engine and a 380 horsepower 3.0-liter supercharged V6, the latter of which comes in our long-term 2018 Jaguar F-Pace. A base Range Rover Velar rings in at just over $50,000, though our mid-tier R-Dynamic D180 HSE adds in quite a few options like Byron Blue paint, a blackout package, a convenience package and four-zone climate control.

Associate Editor Reese Counts: The Velar is a stunner. I like the styling of the current Range Rover lineup — hell, I like the styling of every Range Rover product — but the Velar somehow seems to still stand out. It's Range Rover distilled and looks like a concept car by comparison, similar to the feel you get looking at the Lexus LC 500. The high belt line, thin lights, blue paint and black trim on our test car all give this a muscular, sporty yet clean look. It's handsome without having to really try hard with superfluous lines or cladding. It just looks good.

The same is true of the interior. Lots of leather and wood accent a simple and clean design. Nearly all Land Rovers and Range Rovers look the same behind the wheel, but the Velar's new two-tier center stack sets it apart. it combines the traditional infotainment screen with a second screen for climate and drive settings. That second screen just flows into the console. It's pretty, even if it does mean there are fewer real buttons. My biggest complaint here is that it doesn't dim quite dark enough at night.

We have to talk about this engine. It's not good, at least not here. It simply doesn't have enough power for American roads. 180 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque may be fine for smaller cities or smaller vehicles, but it feels gutless and anemic running around Detroit. After the initial burst of torque, it falls flat on its face. You're pushing the pedal to the floor and hoping the driver in the lane over sees your white knuckles wrapped around the wheel. I like diesels, I just wish this had the bigger V6 diesel from other Range Rovers.

Still, I like the Velar. A lot. A lot-lot. Like, all the lots. At $75,415, its about $1,000 more expensive than our F-Pace. From behind the wheel, it feels like you're getting $10,000 more car. It just looks and feels nicer. It's not as sharp, but I'm not looking for an SUV to be a sport sedan. I'd take the off-road capabilities over the F-Pace's sharp dynamics any day, even with the dead weight resting under the hood. The biggest competition I see is the current Discovery. It's nearly as new, though it doesn't have as nice of an interior. That said, it does get the V6 diesel, and you get to use the term Disco in casual conversation. Velar just doesn't have the same ring.
Senior Producer Christopher McGraw: When I got in the Velar this morning, it was 10 degrees out. I turned on the heated seat and steering wheel, and by the time I was turning out of my sub, I was warm. The Velar is incredibly comfortable, and looking around the ivory leather-filled interior, it feels premium. The two-screen infotainment system is fairly easy to use, though much like the infotainment system in our long-term Jag F-Pace, it was a little slow to get going this morning. That, and a quick drive with the cleanest of hands will leave fingerprints and smudges all over what was once a handsome, glossy touchscreen.

Outside, the Velar is gorgeous. I have said before that our F-Pace S is the best looking SUV on the market. The Velar might be its closest competition.

The biggest drawback is the 180-horsepower diesel engine. Lethargic is an understatement. Even in sport mode, accelerator reaction time is slow, and this configuration is anything but quick. That said, there are two gas variants that provide more power that I am eager to test.

Related Video:

Land Rover Range Rover Velar Information

Land Rover Range Rover Velar

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