TICK THE JEWELLERY BOXES
Darling! It’s easy to add $50K of options to a Velar AT A GLANCE
Range Rover’s Velar has upped the style ante in the prestige SUV world, winning awards as one of the sharpest designs of recent times. A massive model range with confusingly long names (such as Velar R-Dynamic SE P300) plus seemingly infinite expensive options boggle the mind but our family of testers braved a loaded luxe-filled example to experience the good life.
IAIN: This is the best-looking SUV in the world.
JULES: Brave call but I’m struggling to think of other SUVs this glamorous and elegant.
IAIN: The Velar won 2018 World Car Design of the Year, thanks to its coupe-esque silhouette, slim LED headlights, wraparound rear lights — and how cool are flush door handles that pop out when you unlock it?
JULES: Love them. Probably wouldn’t if they broke though, locking me out.
IAIN: British engineering here, nothing to fear. I love the shape but not sure about how very gangster our one looks.
JULES: Black body, wheels, roof rails, door handles, badges and grille. My friends asked, in no particular order, whether I’m a drug dealer, rapper or English Premier League player now.
IAIN: That’s the R-Dynamic Black Pack, yours for $2180. Guess how much the options cost on this Velar?
JULES: Well, our one is $104,750 already, so surely there’s not much to add?
IAIN: Wrong. A mighty $50K of options here. You get reasonable kit as standard but the luxe in ours adds the price of a range-topping Mazda CX-5.
JULES: Ouch. Who buys a Velar?
IAIN: Wealthy stylish types. They start from $70K but buyers always spend more and they have 40 different selections. Ludicrous. The Velar fits between the Evoque and Sport in Range Rover’s line-up and rivals the Porsche Macan, Jaguar F-Pace and Mercedes GLE.
THE LIVING SPACE
JULES: It feels like a $150,000 car inside; truly special.
IAIN: Wow factor personified. If money’s no object, ticking the options boxes makes you feel very important.
JULES: With such a black body, having two-tone colours inside is ideal, with lots of tan and black leather and suede for seats, doors and dashboard.
IAIN: Prepare yourself. The climate control massage seats move 20 different ways for an extra $8570. Windsor perforated leather and an extended leather upgrade adds another $3110 and cabin carbon-fibre finish is $3020.
JULES: But it’s all so comfy, luxurious and the carbon sparkles beautifully in the sun.
IAIN: It is easy to be wooed by the beautiful finish. Two 10-inch touchscreens are bang on trend but combined with the piano black surrounds the cabin is very reflective in the sun and shows up all the dust and fingerprints.
JULES: Velar owners have staff, I’m sure, to
keep things clean.
IAIN: The screens and functionality are great when you get used to them but you have to learn quickly to navigate through everything.
JULES: The voice control didn’t always work for me so I spent a lot of time not watching the road trying to adjust ventilation and media. I miss simple buttons…
IAIN: The drive is superb though. What a pampering place to go to work. With electronic air suspension ($2010) and whisper-quiet insulation, it is limousine-like for cruising.
JULES: It’s properly fast too — and just a fourcylinder?
IAIN: Turbocharged, and good for 221kW/ 400Nm. It means you fly off the line and it’s all the performance you’d ever need.
JULES: One complaint — the indicators are clunky-sounding noisy things, ruining the serenity of the cabin.
IAIN: I noticed you headed off to the fancy shops in Brisbane in the Velar.
JULES: It looks better outside boutiques than parked at Big W.
IAIN: With a power gesture tailgate and decent 558L boot space, it is a practical thing.
JULES: It’s not a big SUV and easy to park with the surround view cameras, even if they were a bit slow to load.
IAIN: Rangie refuses to make a car without offroad nous. This thing has Terrain Response to cover you over every surface, will wade water to a class-leading 650mm and tows 2500kg. You can option even more hardcore off-road kit too. JULES: Off-road? Really? How many Velar owners will go get dirty?
IAIN: None with the 22-inch rims and lowprofile 7.8L/100km (optimistic) Space-saver (not ideal) 558L (decent)
tyres (another $2860) ours has. But it’s nice to know you can.
JULES: It’s really balanced for an SUV. I could throw it into corners with confidence. My Sunday drive would be on back roads as this engine is a rapid delight.
IAIN: The boot’s good for kiddie stuff but the back seat’s not as wide as the exterior size suggests. No adult could fit between our two kids’ car seats.
JULES: The safety kit is ideal with families in mind. We used 11L/100km, which isn’t great for the family budget.
IAIN: Option costs are comical but I’m sold on the Velar. Standard kit is good enough, there’s luxury in spades, it drives better than any SUV should and I don’t think I’d ever tire of the looks. JULES: Stunning and elegant inside and out with the required special elements prestige buyers demand. Our test Velar may be hugely expensive but feels worth every penny.