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2019 Range Rover Velar Review – The Good and The Not So Good

It’s hard not to talk about the styling when reviewing a Land Rover product these days. The Range Rover Velar might be three years old but it’s still one of the most beautiful mid-size SUVs on the road today.

And it’s not just style over function, either, as it’s roomy enough for a family, yet small enough to be manageable in cities.

Underneath the Velar’s stylish bodywork, it shares most of its underpinnings with the Jaguar F-Pace, which itself is based on the Jaguar XE platform, giving them both close to car-like dynamics.

While lacking the outright ruggedness that Land Rover is famous for, it’s unlikely to be a deal breaker for most of the Velar’s target market.

For this review, we’ve compiled a list of Good and Not So Good of the 2019 Velar D240 SE to compliment the comprehensive review done on the same model a year ago, which you can read here.

The Good:

  1. Simplified line-up

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is well known for their complex model line-up and extensive, and expensive, option list but that all changed in 2019, when the local outfit culled the Velar’s line-up from 32 strong down to a more manageable 13.

The range now kicks off with the Velar P250 S at $82,012 and tops out with the P550 SVAutobiography equipped with a monstrous supercharged V8 at $176,412. Our mid-range D240 SE here retails for $97,273 – all stickers before on-road costs and options.

While the entry price has gone up by a substantial $12,000 (with the deletion of the entry-level D180), the remaining variants are now slightly cheaper than before, including the D240 SE which is reduced by over $3,000. In case you are wondering, P denotes petrol and D is for diesel.

Standard equipment has also improved with electric front seats with driver’s memory, power tailgate, digital instruments, matrix LED headlights, emergency braking, lane keep assist and traffic sign recognition.

  1. Interior presentation

This is arguably one of the Velar’s strongest selling points. Its minimalist dashboard feels bespoke compare to its more ‘pedestrian’ peers, with clean shapes and high-quality frameless glass for the touchscreens all wrapped in subtle, plush texture.

The attention to detail is exquisite, too, with the perforations of the seat leather and aluminium speaker grilles quietly aligning themselves to the Union Jack motifs, for example.

Turn on the car and the upper touchscreen tilts to your preferred angle and comes to life with crisp, vivid graphics that Apple would approve of. Most of the car’s functions are controlled via the low-mounted touchscreen, including drive modes and climate control.

The driver is also greeted by a high-resolution, customisable digital instruments that is easy to read and classy.

  1. Space, lots of space

The Velar’s vast interior means head and legroom are plentiful for all occupants. The rear bench seats can accommodate three full sized passengers comfortably, while the electrically recline backrest adds further to comfort.

Despite its sizeable outlook, the Velar is only a five-seater with no option for seven seats. For that, you’d have to go for the larger Ranger Rover Sport or the more rugged Discovery Sport.

There are plenty of storage space inside the cabin, including a good-sized 7.5-litre glovebox and door bins that are big enough to take a 500ml bottle. Opening the split and slid front centre armrest will reveal another 4.0-litre hidden compartment.

A further storage behind the centre touchscreen is an ideal storage space for smartphones and keys.

At the back, there is a generous 673-litres of boot space that balloons to 1,731-litres when the 40/20/40 split rear seats are folded.

Front seat occupants have access to two USB ports and three 12V power sockets for charging mobile devices.

  1. Comfortable long distance cruiser

Refinement and ride comfort is good in the Velar. The engine is quiet and refined at most speeds and you are insulated from the hustle and bustle of the outside world blissfully.

The seats are comfortable and have a wide range of adjustments, while the 825W, 12-speakers Meridian Sound System turns the Velar into a mini concert hall.

And because it’s based on a car platform, the Velar will satisfy keen drivers, too with a well-oiled and accurate steering, and confident handling when the road gets twisty.

The Not So Good:

  1. Transmission calibration

While the D240’s high-output 2.0-litre Ingenium twin-turbo diesel four-cylinder engine isn’t lacking in grunt, producing a respectable 177kW at 4,000rpm and 500Nm from 1,500rpm, it’s let down by the poorly calibrated 8-speed automatic.

There’s a noticeable vacuum when pulling away from a standstill, only to have a rush of torque after you’ve buried the throttle, making a smooth take off a challenge.

  1. Expensive options

A regular complaint with JLR products, the Velar’s option list is longer than the queue to get into a Justin Bieber concert.

Crucially, some of the safety features are bundled into expensive options, such as the Driver Assist Pack ($3,965) that includes Adaptive Cruise Control with Steering Assist, Blind Spot Assist, 360-degree reverse camera and High Speed Emergency Braking.

Want a head-up Display? That’s $2,420. DAB+? $940, please. Want to mirror your smartphone on the infotainment screen? That will be $520, thank you very much.

Verdict

Design & Comfort

9.0/10

Performance & Handling

6.5/10

Quality

7.5/10

Economy

7.5/10

Equipment & Features

8.0/10

OUR SCORE

3.9/5

Our Score: 3.9/5

+ Plus

  • Smooth looks.
  • Stunning interior
  • High-tech features
  • Airy cabin and big boot

Minus

  • Badly calibrated transmission
  • Expensive options

Overall

JLR Australia’s decision to simplify the line-up is a right one. The range is now much easier to decipher and understand. It’s still a classy, comfortable and spacious alternative to German SUVs.

2019 Range Rover Velar D240 SE pricing and specification

Price (Excluding on-road costs):From $97,273

As tested: $115,194

Tested options:

  • Driver Assist Pack – $3,965
    • Adaptive Cruise Control w/- Steering Assist
    • Blind Spot Assist
    • 360-degree Surround Camera System
    • High Speed Emergency Braking
  • Head-Up Display – $2,420
  • Firenze Red Metallic Paint – $1,780
  • Santorini Black Contrast Roof – $1,260
  • Black Exterior Pack – $1,770
  • Tow Hitch Receiver – $1,000
  • Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB+) Radio – $940
  • Black Roof Rails – $940
  • Privacy Glass – $890
  • Electrically Adjustable Steering Column – $890
  • Heated seats – Driver and Passenger – $806
  • Grand Black Veneer – $740
  • All Terrain Progress Control – $640
  • Smartphone Pack – $520
    • Apple CarPlay
    • Android Auto
  • Rear Seat Remote Release – $300
Warranty:3 years/100,000km
Warranty Customer Assistance:3 years roadside assist
Country of Origin:United Kingdom
Service Intervals:12 months/26,000km
Engine:2.0-litre common rail direct-injected inline 4-cylinder twin-turbo diesel:

177kW @ 4,000rpm, 500Nm @ 1,500

Transmission:8-speed automatic
Drivetrain:Four-wheel drive
Power to Weight Ratio (W/kg):96.1
0-100km/h (seconds):Claimed: 7.3
Combined Fuel Consumption (L/100km):Claimed: 5.8/Tested: 8.7
Fuel Capacity (L):60
RON Rating:Diesel
Body:5-door SUV, 5-seats
Safety:·      5-star ANCAP

·      Electric Parking Brake

·      Single-speed Transfer Box

·      Anti-Lock Braking System

·      Adaptive Dynamics

·      Torque Vectoring by Braking

·      Autonomous Emergency Braking

·      Lane Departure Warning

·      Matrix LED headlights

·      Tyre Pressure Monitoring System

·      Blind Spot Monitoring and Driver Condition Monitor

·      360-degree Reverse Camera

·      Front and Rear Parking Sensors

·      Adaptive Cruise Control

·      Powered Gesture Tailgate

·      Space Saver Spare

·      ISOFIX

Dimensions (L/W/H/W-B) mm:4,803/2,032/1,665/2,874
Turning Circle Between Kerbs:11.6
Ground Clearance:251
Wading Depth:600
Approach Angle:25.9
Departure Angle:27.3
Breakover Angle:21
Tare Mass (kg):1,841
Boot Space (min/max) (L):673/1,731
Towing Capacity (kg):Braked: 2,500/Unbraked: 750
Entertainment:·      Touch Pro Duo with dual 10-inch colour touch screen

·      Navigation Pro

·      825W, 17-speakers Meridian Surround Sound System

·      Pro Services and Wi-Fi Hotspot

·      AM/FM

·      Bluetooth

·      2x USB

Competitors: Audi Q5, BMW X4, Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe, Porsche Macan

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