What is it?
This mid-size SUV has been all about glamour ever since it was first revealed in 2017, with a range of rose gold elements and a sleek coupe-like profile meaning it’s one of the most eye-catching models in its class. The Range Rover Velar has already had several updates in its time, but there’s now a fresh update for 2023. Let’s take a look at it.
On looks alone, you might not think all that much has changed about the Range Rover Velar as part of this update. You’d be right to an extent, as the updates are fairly small, and are limited to details such as a new grille design and slimmer LED headlights.
It’s inside the Velar’s cabin where you’ll spot most of the changes. Previously, this SUV had a twin-screen setup, with one looking after traditional media settings and the other climate controls. It’s all now combined into one curved screen, which runs the firm’s latest technology.
What’s under the bonnet?
There’s a brilliant choice of engines available on the Range Rover Velar, including petrol, diesel and a plug-in hybrid. All use an eight-speed automatic gearbox and are four-wheel-drive too.
Starting with petrol, there’s the choice of the 2.0-litre P250 or 3.0-litre P400, with the number representing the horsepower on offer. If you’d prefer a diesel, there’s the choice of the 2.0-litre D200 and 3.0-litre D300.
The plug-in hybrid is called the P400e and pairs a 2.0-litre petrol engine with an electric motor. As part of this update, Land Rover has also fitted a larger 19.2 kWh battery, which increases the range by 21 percent to 40 miles. With a 5.1second 0-60 mph time, this is the quickest model in the range too.
What’s it like to drive?
The Range Rover Velar has always been pitched as a more dynamic SUV, and it certainly drives that way. Our test car used the entry-level D200 engine, and though not the most powerful or quietest unit, still worked well, while returning reasonable fuel economy for a vehicle of this type.
The Velar handles well and is surprisingly agile for a vehicle of its size, with the ride being well-judged on this car, which sits on adaptive air suspension. It’s not soft, but not overly firm either, and gets the balance just right in that respect.
How does it look?
While a car’s design will always be subjective, we reckon the Velar continues to be one of the best-looking SUVs on the market. That coupe-like profile when paired with a contrasting black roof looks particularly cool. You’ll want to upgrade to the larger alloy wheels, though, as standard rims can look a bit lost in the Velar’s wide arches.
Though Range Rover might have only changed the car’s looks marginally, the addition of new headlights and a revised grille help to keep the Velar looking modern next to the competition.
What’s it like inside?
Move inside and the main thing you’ll notice is that no longer are there two separate touchscreens, but instead one 11.4-inch curved touchscreen display. Though it does handle perhaps a few too many features, the system works very well and is far slicker to operate than the previous model’s. Throughout, the level of quality on offer is good, with the Velar having a particularly premium finish.
This might not be the largest Range Rover on offer, but there’s still a great deal of interior space available, with room for adults in the rear seats and a huge 558-litre boot.
What’s the spec like?
Regardless of which version of the Velar you go for, the level of equipment available is impressive. The standard ‘S’ model comes with 19-inch alloy wheels, grained leather upholstery, electric seats and an adaptive cruise control to name just a few features.
The Dynamic SE trim brings satin grey 20-inch alloy wheels and sportier styling, while above this the Dynamic HSE gets Windsor leather upholstery, 21-inch alloy wheels and air suspension. At the top of the range, the Autobiography model comes with 22-inch alloy wheels, 20-way electric massaging leather seats and an extended leather pack.
Small updates are all that were needed to keep the Range Rover Velar competitive in this popular class. This is an SUV that continues to look the part, is great to drive and now has the interior to go with it.
Combine that with a practical cabin and a broad range of engines and this is a very attractive premium SUV that’s certainly worthy of your attention.