2018 Range Rover Ve­lar turbo-diesel

Alpine Observer - - Motor Guide - By EWAN KENNEDY

LAND Rover has added an­other model to its al­ready ex­pan­sive range. The Range Rover Ve­lar sits neatly in the gap be­tween the Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Sport.

Ve­lar de­buts Range Rover’s lat­est Touch Pro Duo in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem, with two high-def­i­ni­tion 10-inch touch­screens. More about this in a mo­ment.

Nat­u­rally the Ve­lar fol­lows Range Rover’s long tra­di­tion of hav­ing a light, stiff, alu­minium-in­ten­sive body. Keep­ing weight down not only gives even bet­ter off- road per­for­mance, but also makes it feel more ag­ile around town and as a bonus it uses less fuel and cre­ates fewer emis­sions.

Almost like a sleek sta­tion wagon rather than a 4WD, Range Rover Ve­lar com­bines fash­ion and func­tion beau­ti­fully. So clean are the lines that the Ve­lar has a co­ef­fi­cient of drag of just 0.32, some low slung sedans can’t man­age this. A result of the sensible shape is the boot vol­ume is 558 litres.

An in­ter­est­ing fea­ture is the way the hor­i­zon­tal lines along the side are em­pha­sised at var­i­ous stages by cut outs, and even the door handle hous­ings.

About the lat­ter, all four door han­dles stick out from the side of the Ve­lar as long as it’s un­locked. Looks a bit un­tidy to our eyes, but per­haps this fea­ture is there to at­tract at­ten­tion.

New Range Rover Ve­lar is pow­ered by a wide va­ri­ety of en­gines; petrol and diesel; four or six cylin­ders; tur­bocharged or supercharged.

Our test Ve­lar SE had a four-cylin­der 2.0- litre In­ge­nium turbo-diesel. This comes in two lev­els of tune to pro­vide132 kW or 177 kW of power. Ours had the 177 unit.

A V6 diesel has a huge 700 Nm of torque. A 280 kW supercharged V6 petrol en­gine en­ables the Ve­lar to reach 100km/h in only 5.7 sec­onds.

A so­phis­ti­cated all-wheel drive sys­tem, class-lead­ing ground clear­ance of 251 mm (213 mm in mod­els with coil springs), and class-lead­ing wad­ing depth of 650 mm (600 mm with coil springs) show this is no pretty around-town pre­tend SUV.

Trac­tion tech­nolo­gies in­clude Ter­rain Re­sponse 2, All Ter­rain Progress Con­trol, Low Trac­tion Launch, Hill De­scent Con­trol and Gra­di­ent Release Con­trol.

The Ve­lar de­buts the new Touch Pro Duo in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem. This has two high-def­i­ni­tion 10-inch touch­screens. The up­per touch­screen’s menu is di­vided into three pan­els for navigation, me­dia and phone. In­ter­ac­tion is sim­i­lar to that when you use a tablet or a smart­phone: swip­ing across the screen to change be­tween menus, pinch­ing to zoom in and out, and with press­ing and scrolling across the screen to pan across maps.

The lower touch­screen is in­te­grated within the cen­tre con­sole and man­ages fea­tures in­clud­ing the cli­mate con­trol and Ter­rain Re­sponse func­tions.

The touch­screens are com­ple­mented by two ro­tary con­trollers that are con­fig­urable to en­able them to per­form sev­eral func­tions, for ex­am­ple ad­just­ing cabin air tem­per­a­ture, mas­sage seat set­tings or the Ter­rain Re­sponse mode. And much more. If you de­cide to take a Ve­lar for a test drive may we sug­gest you al­low at least an hour to let the ex­perts run through the systems with you?

There’s just one old-fash­ioned dial in the sys­tem. That to con­trol the vol­ume on the au­dio sys­tem. Which makes a lot of sense as it’s ar­guably the most used of all con­trols in all ve­hi­cles.

Ad­vanced driver as­sis­tance systems in­clud­ing Au­ton­o­mous Emer­gency Brak­ing with pedes­trian de­tec­tion and Adap­tive Cruise Con­trol with Queue As­sist, the lat­ter lets you have the Ve­lar drive it­self at very slow speeds in heavy traf­fic con­di­tions - but don’t for­get you’re still in charge so never take your eyes from what is hap­pen­ing.

Ac­tive and pas­sive safety systems are to the high­est stan­dard and it will be dif­fi­cult to get into a crash even if you want to. And should one sill oc­cur the Ve­lar will do ev­ery­thing it can to pro­tect all oc­cu­pants.

Sadly our test­ing was con­fined to around town run­ning, on-road driv­ing in lovely scenic ar­eas be­hind our home on the Gold Coast and some bor­ing mo­tor­way trips. Re­al­is­tic, but not what we had planned.

Next time we must set aside time for proper off-road test­ing. But col­leagues who have taken the lat­est Rangie tell us it’s ev­ery bit as im­pres­sive as they had an­tic­i­pated from the com­pany that in­vented lux­ury off-road travel.

The front seats are large and sup­port well, they are easy to get into and out of due to the height of the Ve­lar. Back seat space is good, though if there are tall peo­ple in the front they may have to give up a lit­tle legroom for sim­i­larly built peo­ple in the rear.

Ride com­fort is ex­cel­lent and there’s the feel­ing you’re in a limou­sine rather than a high-level 4WD. The big Rangie brushes aside cor­ru­gated roads, pot­holed sub­ur­ban streets that have seen bet­ter days without the slight­est signs of trou­ble.

Han­dling is pretty good for what it is - a tallish ve­hi­cle with a cen­tre of grav­ity to match. If you want even bet­ter han­dling why not opt for a sedan, per­haps an XJ Jaguar with all that means in the way of true Bri­tish re­fine­ment?

In any case the built in ac­tive safety fea­tures mean that the Range Rover Ve­lar would hang onto the road, or track, or slimy mud at speeds that won’t be tack­led by any sensible driver.

Fuel con­sump­tion from the small­ish diesel typ­i­cally ran in the seven to eight litres per hun­dred kilo­me­tres on mo­tor­ways and easy coun­try runs, ris­ing to a still rea­son­able nine to 12 litres per hun­dred.


Range Rover Ve­lar has an ex­cel­lent com­bi­na­tion of style, prac­ti­cal­ity and per­for­mance and we sus­pect many peo­ple will buy if for its looks - both in­side and out.

HEY GOOD LOOKIN’: Almost sleek in pro­file, the new Range Rover Ve­lar com­bines fash­ion and func­tion beau­ti­fully.

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