ONE OF THE most annoying things about car styling is the tendency toward mindless appropriation of (usually nonfunctional) decorative features, whether it does anything for the aesthetics of the car to which it is applied or not. Case in point: the proliferation of little trapezoidal fins—sometimes pointing up, sometimes down—stuck to the lower body sides of many sedans and coupes. The inspiration comes from Formula 1 cars, where the devices serve as airflow deflectors. On most road cars, let alone SUVs, they are meaningless embellishment. Another feature that has shown up widely this past year is the split-level roof, in which there is a physical or color break partway up the C- or D-pillar on sedans, wagons, and—again—SUVs. It can be a cool detail but not when it’s applied for the nth time.
Velar is Range Rover’s all-new model, which slots in between Evoque and Sport. While it’s handsome, many styling cues are well worn.