Range Rover’s new Velar is officially the best looking car on Earth.
World Car of the Year judges bestowed their Design of the Year title on the sleek new SUV.
So what is the Velar? Land Rover has created the car to bridge the £30,000 gap between the Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Sport.
Prices start at £45,000 but you can easily spend more than £60,000 on a well equipped model and some of the all bells and whistles First Edition versions cost nearly £85,000. Who said style came cheap?
Land Rover describes it as “mid sized” – larger than the compact Evoque but not as unwieldy as the bigger Sport or barge-like Vogue.
Entry models come with a 178bhp 2.0 diesel engine. My car had the more powerful, 237bhp 2.0 diesel. There’s also a 3.0 litre V6 diesel with 296bhp and two 3.0 litre petrol engines with 296 or 375bhp.
The Velar is the most on-road focused Range Rover since the Evoque. That said, it still more than cuts the mustard off road and will easily venture further from the beaten track than anything not from the Land Rover stable.
While it shares a platform with Jaguar’s excellent (and cheaper) F-Pace, the Velar manages to feel more refined and comfortable than its sister car.
My HSE model had air suspension that gives a supremely comfortable ride. The Velar sits quite low for a Range Rover which has the benefit of making handling sharper.
What the Velar does best is make you feel good. It’s a beautiful car and there are numerous brilliant design touches, such as the handles that slide out from the car’s doors when you unlock it.
Inside, it’s just as special. Twin touchscreens dominate the dashboard, with another screen behind the steering wheel; the seats have fine leather, and there’s a general air of opulence.
Both touchscreens, dashboard and even steering wheel-mounted controls can be customised to the driver’s preference. This requires much patient study of the manual but once the complex system is learned it works better than most touchscreen systems.
The Velar is a four-seater but rear legroom is quite poor. The boot is enormous though.
A shortage of passenger space and a high price tag are my only bugbears with an otherwise exceptional car, however.
The Velar looks outstanding, feels luxurious and is packed with technology.