Range Rover’s lineup has gotten more stylish through the years, but the arrival of the Velar in 2018 was the catalyst that pushed the brand’s design aesthetic farther than it had ever gone before. In the years since the Velar debuted, its stable mates—including the full-size Range Rover and the smaller Range Rover Evoque—have adopted many of its new-wave styling cues. Now in its sixth year of production the 2023 model looks much the same as the original, which is no bad thing. A pair of turbocharged engines are on offer—a 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a 3.0-liter inline-six that also features supercharging—and all-wheel drive is standard. Just don’t expect the Velar’s on-road demeanor to be as engaging or refined as the BMW X3’s, Genesis GV70’s, or Porsche Macan’s. This is a high-style SUV with undeniable road presence and a well-respected luxury name badge. It’s nice to be in rather than great to drive.
What’s New for 2023?
The Range Rover Velar gains a sporty-looking HST model for 2023, complete with an exclusive Arroios Grey paint color option and unique 21-inch black wheels. The HST will sit atop the Velar’s trim ladder and will be offered only with the 395-hp version of the turbocharged-and-supercharged inline-six engine. An adjustable air suspension and adaptive damper system are both standard, too.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
We’d recommend going with the P250 R-Dynamic S, which adds 19-inch wheels, a dual exhaust with polished finishers, a blacked-out grille, and leather-and-suede interior upholstery. We’d also suggest adding the Dynamic Handling package, which includes an adjustable suspension system, a drive-mode selector, and All Terrain Progress Control, which acts as a sort of adaptive cruise control for low speeds or in slippery conditions.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The base engine is a 247-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that is well behaved enough but struggles to move the Velar’s substantial heft. We sampled a four-cylinder Velar for a 40,000-mile long-term test, and that model required 7.4 seconds to hit 60 mph. The turbocharged-and-supercharged 3.0-liter inline-six will undoubtedly provide better acceleration performance, but we haven’t yet tested this new powertrain, which is offered in both 335- or 395-hp flavors. Much like the Velar’s acceleration, its handling is by no means sporty. The suspension competently controls the SUV’s body motions and keeps body roll in check while returning a firm, well-managed ride. Models equipped with the available air suspension can raise and lower their ride height for either more dynamic moves on-road or greater dexterity off it.
Richard Prescott|Car and Driver
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA has rated the Velar’s inline-six engine as high as 20 mpg city and 26 mpg highway, but the turbocharged four-cylinder is slightly more efficient, with ratings of 21 mpg city and 27 mpg highway. In our 75-mph highway fuel economy test, the four-cylinder Velar delivered just 26 mpg. For more information about the Velar’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Dig modern architecture? You’ll probably like the Velar’s simple interior, rendered largely from horizontal lines and bold rectilinear forms. Oh, and the materials used throughout are high quality and deployed in interesting ways. Take the door trim: Instead of using a spear of wood or carbon fiber inlaid into the upper part of the door panels, Land Rover adds the owner’s choice of wood or metal into the section of the door between the upper and lower panels. Our test vehicle featured aluminum trim, and every Velar has excellent detailing throughout. The Velar’s generally boxy shape and visually pleasing rear overhang—bodywork that extends behind the rear wheels—combine to swallow more carry-on suitcases than its immediate competitors with its rear seats up or folded. We fit 10 of our carry-ons behind the rear seats and 23 with all seats folded.
Richard Prescott|Car and Driver
The Car and Driver Difference
Infotainment and Connectivity
Of course, we’d be remiss if we discussed the interior without tipping our caps to the wildly futuristic-looking dual dashboard-touchscreen displays. These dual 10.0-inch displays run Land Rover’s new Pivi Pro infotainment interface, which is both easier to use and more responsive than last year’s InControl Touch Pro system, but it’s not without its quirks. Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, voice control, eight speakers, in-dash navigation, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration are all standard. A better audio system with more speakers and SiriusXM satellite radio requires additional options or a move up through the Velar’s trim levels.
How to Buy and Maintain a Car
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Land Rover makes available the latest driver-assistance technologies such as automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control on the Velar. For more information about the Velar’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control with steering assist
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The Velar’s four-year, 50,000-mile limited warranty is pretty much par for the course among its competitors. Interestingly, Jaguar’s mechanically similar F-Pace carries both a stronger warranty and a five-year, 60,000-mile complimentary scheduled maintenance plan; the latter is something that Land Rover only offers as a dealer add-on.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar P250 R-Dynamic SE
PRICE AS TESTED: $68,191 (base price: $61,095)
ENGINE TYPE: turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 122 cu in, 1998 cc
Power: 247 @ 5500 rpm
Torque: 269 @ 1200 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
Suspension (F/R): control arms/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 12.8-in vented disc/12.8-in vented disc
Tires: Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season, 255/50R-20 109W M+S
Wheelbase: 113.1 in
Length: 189.1 in
Width: 76.0 in Height: 65.6 in
Passenger volume: 96 cu ft
Cargo volume: 34 cu ft
Curb weight: 4392 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS:
Zero to 60 mph: 7.4 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 20.4 sec
Zero to 120 mph: 38.1 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 9.1 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 4.8 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 5.3 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 15.7 sec @ 89 mph
Top speed (governor limited, mfr’s claim): 135 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 174 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.84 g
EPA FUEL ECONOMY:
Combined/city/highway: 23/21/27 mpg
C/D 200-MILE TRIP: 21 mpg
More Features and Specs