Road Test: Range Rover Velar D240 HSE
Range Rovers really are different. We live with one for a week and report back on exactly how different the Velar actually is.
Driving the Velar
Everything in a Range Rover feels luxurious. From the brake pedal feel to the throttle response to the massaging seats, which in my mind are the best in the business. The steering wheel and seats on this model were heated and perfect for chilly Cape Town mornings. The air suspension with not much noticeable “bump” over ruts and potholes makes Velar an exceptionally comfortable place to be. Personally, I would have preferred a conventional suspension setup as the air suspension, combined with the high centre of gravity made the Velar feel slightly top heavy. This was negated and accentuated by the self-levelling function which removes any noticeable lean when cornering. Allow me to explain: When turning into a corner, my 20 years of driving muscle memory kicks in and every fibre of my being braces for the inevitable roll into corners. The Range Rover doesn’t lean at all and even after a week I still wasn’t truly accustomed to it. I felt the same way about the Discovery. For most this would be a non-issue, but any other failed race car drivers out there might feel the same way.
Daily fuel consumption averaged 8.3 litres per hundred which I felt to be very respectable and although one doesn’t get the creaminess of the V6 or older V8 engines, the 500nM of torque and 177kW do more than enough to propel the big SUV comfortably around town.
The model we drove was specced with all the trimmings and the in-car infotainment is a massive step forward on anything out there and is quite daunting at first. There aren’t many buttons to speak of and the new system comprises of multifunction inputs that take a few days to get used to. Once settled in though, all the controls become intuitive and easy to use. The older crowd, who this car is mostly aimed at will have to use all their smartphone knowledge to figure this one out, and as with many of the new ground-breaking interfaces, there is a slight delay at times when choosing certain options on the menu.
The Velar, in silver is just breath taking. Those flush doors are what God intended doors to look like and even with JUST 20” wheels, this D240 model looked the part. Bigger wheels may have looked better but would have detracted from the ride quality. There’s not much more to say about the Velars looks other than that it is arguably the best looking SUVs on sale today.
Being different for the sake of being different isn’t what this car is about. Range Rover has pushed the boundaries of technology, and in some instances, a tad too far, but someone has to do it. And who better than the masters of SUV Luxury?
Need to know:
- Price – R 1 238 976
- Power – 177kW @4000rpm
- Torque – 500Nm @1500rpm
- 0-100km/h – 7.3 Seconds (Claimed)
- Top Speed – 217km/h (Claimed)
- Fuel Consumption – 8.3l/100km
- C02 – 154g/km