In-depth reviews

Range Rover Velar review - the UK’s best-looking SUV?

“The Range Rover Velar is one of the coolest SUVs money can buy, with eye-catching looks and cutting-edge in-car technology”

Carbuyer Rating

3.8 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.5 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Pros

  • Sharp yet comfortable
  • Jaw-dropping interior
  • Stunning looks

Cons

  • Rear space is tight
  • Thirsty petrol engines
  • Nice ones are expensive

Verdict - Is the Range Rover Velar a good car?

One of the best-looking modern SUVs, the Range Rover Velar is more than just style over substance. It’s good to drive, feels luxurious inside, and there’s a range of engines that now includes a tax-busting plug-in hybrid. It’s not the most spacious car in its class, however, and prices – especially for flashier trims – are on the high side.

Range Rover Velar models, specs and alternatives

When Land Rover launched the stylish-looking Range Rover Velar in 2017 it caused quite a stir. The Velar is named after the seventies prototype of the original Range Rover and sits between the Evoque and Range Rover Sport in the maker’s current line-up.

In what is a competitive area of the market, the Velar goes toe-to-toe with a raft of SUV rivals ranging from highly-specced BMW X3 models to the entry-level Audi Q7. Even fashion-conscious models such as the BMW X4, Lexus RX, Mercedes GLC Coupe and Porsche Macan struggle to compete with the futuristic-looking Velar for sheer glamour.

In keeping with its futuristic looks, it's likely the Velar will be one of the first of its peers to make the switch to an all-electric powertrain. In fact, the next-generation Velar is likely to be fully electric from 2026, built on JLR's Electric Modular Architecture (EMA) in Halewood, Merseyside.

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For 2023, the current generation of Velar was given a lightly-tweaked front end, with a new grille and LED headlight signature, plus a revised rear bumper. It’ll take a keen eye to spot the changes, but with an already sleek, cutting-edge design, it’s not like the Velar needed a style-led overhaul.

In addition to those visual changes, parent company Land Rover also fitted its latest Pivi Pro infotainment system, with a single curved screen in the centre of the dash housing everything from the navigation and media functions, to the climate controls and smartphone connectivity. Over-the-air (OTA) updates also feature.

Prices have climbed to almost £55,000 for an entry-level Range Rover Velar S, with the cheapest engine now being the 201bhp mild-hybrid D200 diesel. You can also get this trim with the P250 petrol or P400e plug-in hybrid powertrain. Land Rover also offers more powerful D300 and P400 petrol units on higher-spec models, with all cars featuring a slick eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.

Speaking of which, in addition to the basic ‘S’, the Velar now comes in Dynamic SE, Dynamic HSE and flagship Autobiography trims; the thunderous 542bhp SVAutobiography Dynamic car is no longer available.

All versions get at least 19-inch alloy wheels, heated leather seats, a fixed panoramic roof and LED lights. Top-spec cars feature 20-way electrically-adjustable heated and cooled massage seats and a Meridian 3D sound system. 

Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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