2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar Review
Edmunds expert review
The Range Rover name is a special thing for Land Rover, such that there hasn't been a new variant since the subcompact Evoque was introduced in 2012. So there's some significance to the arrival of the 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar. It's a relatively affordable Land Rover SUV — at least compared to the regular Range Rover — that also happens to be the most attractive model in the lineup.
Much as how it's positioned between the subcompact Evoque and midsize Sport, the Velar's size sits somewhere between traditional compact and midsize premium SUVs. Its design also departs from tradition, making the most dramatic visual update to the brand's iconic look both inside and out.
Though it looks and drives differently, the Velar is based on the Jaguar F-Pace, sharing its drivetrain options and underlying structure. It is available with one of three engines: two turbocharged inline four-cylinders (one gas and one diesel) or a supercharged 3.0-liter V6.
Also differentiating the Velar is its available off-road equipment, which ranges from height-adjusting air springs, a mechanical locking rear differential, and a low-speed cruise control. Serious off-road enthusiasts should still look elsewhere — the Velar is suited more for boulevards than boulders — but it has enough off-road capability to make you feel as if you can, even if you never will.
Overall, the 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar is an interesting model to consider if you're shopping for a luxury crossover SUV. It's larger and more expensive than SUVs such as the BMW X4 and the Porsche Macan but smaller and less utilitarian than the midsize models (think BMW X5 and Mercedes GLE) its price can bump against. It's arguably the most stylish of the bunch, though. If you find the Land Rover brand appealing, the new Velar should be a great choice.
What's new for 2018
Trim levels & features
The 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar is available in five different trim levels, each with a greater number of standard features throughout. The undesignated base trim Velar is only available with one engine choice, but it has dual-zone climate control and adaptive suspension dampers. The S offers two optional engine choices along with more comfort and utility features. The R-Dynamic SE and the R-Dynamic HSE don more stylish bodywork and bigger wheels. Lastly, the First Edition is essentially an HSE with most of the Velar's options as standard equipment.
The base Velar starts with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder (247 horsepower, 269 pound-feet of torque) that's connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. Standard feature highlights include adaptive suspension dampers, 18-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof, automatic wipers and LED headlights. Inside you'll find dual-zone climate control, faux leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, a 40/20/40-split rear seat, two 10-inch infotainment touchscreens, two USB ports and an eight-speaker sound system.
Standard driver assistance systems include a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, hill start assist, automatic emergency braking, and driver-adjustable drive settings for different surfaces including mud, sand and rocks.
The S adds two engine choices to the mix — a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 (380 hp, 332 lb-ft of torque) or a turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel-powered four-cylinder (180 hp, 317 lb-ft of torque). The S also includes 19-inch five-spoke wheels, a power tailgate with hands-free opening, auto-dimming side mirrors, leather upholstery, power-reclining rear seats, an 11-speaker Meridian sound system navigation, and Jaguar InControl smartphone app integration.
Along with 20-inch wheels, the R-Dynamic SE receives more aggressive-looking bodywork and special exterior trim. The interior features perforated leather with microfiber-suede seat material along with trim-specific finishes. Entertainment upgrades consist of a full-digital gauge cluster and a 17-speaker Meridian sound system. Driver assistance additions include blind-spot monitoring, a driver attention monitor, traffic sign recognition, and front and rear parking sensors.
The R-Dynamic HSE looks similar to the SE, but it rides on 21-inch wheels. The interior gains extended leather trimming and upgraded front seats (with massage, heating and ventilation functions). Adaptive cruise and lane keeping assist are standard as well.
Think of the First Edition as an HSE with most of the options as standard equipment. It is only available with the supercharged 3.0-liter V6, and it includes some mechanical upgrades (air springs, a rear locking differential and larger front brakes) plus a low-speed cruise control intended for off-roading. Other standard features include 22-inch wheels, a black roof, a heated windshield, upgraded interior trim, a heated steering wheel, configurable ambient interior lighting, a head-up display, a surround-view camera system, two extra USB ports for the second row, and a 23-speaker sound system.
Most of the extra standard features of the higher trim levels are offered as options on the lower trims.
Noise & vibration6.5
Ease of use5.0
Getting in/getting out7.0
Child safety seat accommodation7.5
Audio & navigation8.5
Edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
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