Smooth operator

It’s bliss for passengers. By Phil McNamara


It’s late on Saturday night and I have four tired ladies on board, and 50 miles to home. My wife is cranked back in her seat, the kids slumbering, so the goal is to get everyone home without disturbanc­e.

This is where the buttery smooth Range Rover Velar comes into its element. The ride quality is very good, with damping that swiftly calms the body after a brutal bump or pothole mugging. It’s generally quiet too, with just a lick of wind unless scarred tarmac causes some tyre resonance. The beautifull­y paced steering adds to the smoothness.

The battery wasn’t fully charged at the outset, so I’m greatly relying on the combustion engine. Power delivery is strong but unobtrusiv­e, unless you get too heavy with the accelerato­r and four-pot revs flare. Brake pedal feel is good: responsive and linear and with no ragged melding between regenerati­on and the friction brakes.

There’s just about enough juice to engage Electric mode, when the P400e still accelerate­s fairly briskly – probably similar to the base diesel – hitting 70mph and cruising from there, a blue band wrapping around the digital speedo to signal that we’re in a period of zero-emission running.

I experience a couple of engine-off coasts on downhill M25 stretches: one for what feels like 20 seconds and a few hundred metres. Despite this, the trip’s consumptio­n is 28mpg, compared with 45mpg on the way there. That included 8.6 miles of EV running, more than three times what we surfed driving home.

The trip inevitably ends in a wrestle with the charging interface. I want to select TIMED CHARGE for low-tariff electricit­y and also deselect the wasteful cabin preconditi­oning. But it won’t let me save the new directive and, in ignorance, I end up deleting my charging schedule and having to tap it in again.

It’s enough to take the shine off a rather blissful journey.

 ?? ?? Slipping off to sleep on e-power (Phil’s passengers, not Phil)
Slipping off to sleep on e-power (Phil’s passengers, not Phil)

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