The arrival of the Range Rover Evoque in 2011 signalled a new design direction for the Range Rover brand, which inspired the creation of the Velar.
The brand that built its reputation on boxy but luxurious SUVS with serious off-road capability switched the focus to a sleek, slick city vehicle that could easily venture down a bush road if required.
More than 600,000 Evoque sales later, Range Rover is growing the “urban SUV” concept with a fourth model, the Velar, which sits between the Evoque and Range Rover Sport.
There are 50 Velar variations to choose from, ranging in price from $70,662 for the base 2.0-litre petrol turbo to $168,862 for the supercharged V6 First Edition version.
Choose from four trim levels for each of the six engines (three diesel, three petrol).
Finally, the six-cylinder diesel and petrol engines can be ordered in First Edition guise, which is a Velar “with the lot”. The price grows accordingly to $168,250 for the oil burner and $168,862 for the V6 petrol.
Being competent on the tarmac and capable on rutted fire trails is the Velar’s party trick.
The car is theatre quiet at freeway speeds, especially on the 20-inch rims standard on the four-cylinder models. The steering is impressively direct and quick to respond to inputs. The engine choice determines whether progress is moderate or meaningful. The supercharged V6 petrol is predictably quick off the mark; the turbo six-cylinder diesel isn’t as fast initially but cruises effortlessly up any incline.
This car will traverse trails that most sane owners will never contemplate in their prestige wagon and it does it in a typically unflustered Rangie fashion.