The new Land Rover Range Rover Velar Estate is cool and sophisticated, and it comes fully loaded with all the latest tech. As far as large family cars go, this one is fully focused on looking to the future with its hi-tech gadgets and sense of occasion.
It’s got visual appeal, it’s got size and four-wheel-drive as standard. It’s a proper beast that looks like a beauty – but it’s also got lots of rivals to fend off.
Land Rover is well-known as a quintessentially British brand. Read more about Land Rover’s history as a car manufacturer.
OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about with our 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar Estate review.
Overview of the Land Rover Range Rover Velar Estate
On the Road
Sharing its underpinnings with the Jaguar F-Pace means that, despite being such a big car, the Velar is quite rewarding to drive. It’s no exec saloon but it’s one of the best handling cars of this type.
Of course, that isn’t saying a lot because hardly any car of this type is a dream to drive. Moreover, once you’re up and running you’ll soon realise that comfort is the priority here, as opposed to driving dynamics.
The hefty four-cylinder models come with a conventional steel-spring suspension setup as standard, and it does a fine job of smoothing out lumps and bumps. On the other hand, it also compromises agility and the car does wallow in bends a fair bit. This can undermine your confidence, and it’s all the evidence you need that, while the Velar might be based on the F-Pace, it isn’t the F-Pace.
All models come with electronic safeguards that prove their use when you push the car too hard in corners, with the stability control applying your brakes to wheels that are showing signs of losing control.
There’s also an engine management system onboard that we’re unsure about. Land Rover claims that it has its use, but when it cuts power at will, it’s a strange feeling.
In terms of the engines, Land Rover offer three petrols. A 2.0-litre engine is available with 247bhp and 296bhp. The former powers a P250 model and can get you from rest to 62mph in 6.7 seconds, while the latter powers a P300 model and has a 0-62 time of 6.0 seconds flat. They’re responsive enough but it’s a shame that the noise they make isn’t a bit more monstrous.
Alternatively, buyers can opt for an expensive and fast 3.0-litre engine that can haul you from rest to 62mph in less than 5.0 seconds.
Is Land Rover reliable? Read our honest and unbiased assessment of their reliability.
Land Rover Range Rover Velar Estate Interior, Design and Build
Inside is where the Velar truly excels. Its cabin is hi-tech, opulent and looks fantastic.
At the top of the slick dashboard sits a 10” touchscreen which controls most of the car’s main infotainment settings. It comes with a motorised viewing angle so that you can tilt it closer towards you, and returns to its “starting position” when you switch the car off.
At the top of the screen is your sat-nav, as well as phone and music info, while the screen below is responsible for the likes of your heated seats and climate control. At the bottom are touch-sensitive buttons that control a few minor functions, such as the heated rear windscreen.
It sounds like a lot to get used to, but it’s aesthetically brilliant and points to the future. Moreover, it will make sense once you’re up and running with it.
Is the Land Rover Range Rover Velar Estate practical? Surprisingly for a Land Rover model, it’s a bit hit and miss on this front. The 673-litre boot is excellent, and it has a total capacity of 1,731-litres. But rear-seat space is super cramped and lets the car down. Legroom is especially tight.
There’s plenty of space up front, however.
Equipment and Safety of the Land Rover Range Rover Velar Estate
Standard kit is good, with the entry-level model getting 18” alloys, part synthetic and part suede seats, cruise control, keyless entry, and a 10” touchscreen.
The S trim adds an upgraded stereo, sat-nav, auto-dipping headlights, a power-operated boot, real leather seats and 19” alloys.
Move up to the SE trim and you get a 12.3” digital display to replace the conventional dashboard dials, matrix LED headlights and a 360-degree reversing camera.
Rounding off the range is the HSE model. It comes with adaptive cruise control, a power adjustable steering column, a Meridian stereo and Windsor leather seats.
In terms of how safe the car is, autonomous emergency braking is included as standard with the entry-level model but traffic sign recognition and a fatigue warning system are only available with the SE trim and above. Meanwhile, only the HSE model gets lane keeping assistance as standard.
The Velar enjoys a five-star safety rating.
Costs of the Land Rover Range Rover Velar Estate
Prices for the new car start at £44,840 and rise to as much as £69,999. For more information on our leasing deals, you can check out our page here.
In terms of its running costs, the car isn’t cheap to keep on the road. The P250 model returns 37.2mpg economy at best, while the bigger P300 model manages 36.2mpg.
These are not fantastic numbers and the Velar is expensive to insure, too. It occupies groups 31-48, which means there are far cheaper SUVs to run.
Pros and Cons of the Land Rover Range Rover Velar Estate
It looks fantastic. Easily one of the most stunningly designed cars of this type.
With its unique and innovative three-screen setup, as well as its plush materials, the Velar boasts one heck of a gorgeous cabin.
It strikes a good balance between comfort and sharpness.
Expensive to run
All its crushing power and performance comes at a cost, and you’ll likely be returning 35mpg on average – if that.
Practicality is – somewhat surprisingly – what lets the car down the most. Rear seat space will be super tight if you squeeze in five people.
Land Rover Range Rover Velar Estate vs BMW X4 vs Porsche Macan
Let’s see how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar Estate review.
Land Rover Range Rover Velar Estate vs BMW X4
The new BMW X4 is a stylish large family car, but it’s not quite as practical as you’d hope it would be.
If handling finesse is a priority of yours in a car like this, the X4 should top your shortlist. It drives as well as its aggressive looks suggest it would, and it can even tackle more challenging roads with confidence.
It feels sporty, it’s sharp and it’s engaging. Ride quality is good too, while Adaptive Damping is available as an optional extra.
In terms of its engines, there’s just the one petrol available at the moment. This is a 3.0-litre six-cylinder unit that comes with a pair of turbochargers. It develops 335bhp and has a 0-62 time of 4.8 seconds.
Running costs? The sole petrol engine might be powerful and fast but that all comes with a compromise, and it can only return 31.4mpg at best. Emissions are pegged at 209g/km of CO2, and the car has a BiK rating of 37% – the highest possible. This all makes it one of the most expensive cars of its type to run.
Inside, the X4 is superbly designed and put together. Its dashboard is almost identical to the one found in the X3, which is no bad thing. It’s not quite as glitzy as some rivals, but its business-like, hassle-free look will please many buyers.
This is a cabin that’s easy to use, too. All models come with a 6.5” screen, as well as sat-nav and Bluetooth.
Is the BMW X4 practical? It’s not as practical as lots of its rivals, with BMW focusing more on style than substance. It works well for the day to day stuff, but a swooping roofline limits what it can do.
That said, headroom is the biggest problem, and apart from that, those in the rear can enjoy a good amount of legroom. Those up front will be perfectly happy too, while the X4’s extended wheelbase means that there are plenty of storage spaces on offer.
If you want even more storage solutions, you just need to specify the optional Extended Storage pack.
The boot, meanwhile, measures 525-litres and can extend to 1,550 by folding the rear seats.
Land Rover – £44,840 – £69,999
BMW – £41,600
Land Rover Range Rover Velar Estate vs Porsche Macan
The new Porsche Macan looks fantastic and handles like the best of them.
In fact, it doesn’t handle like the best of them – it is the best of them. No large family car is as engaging on the road, and the Macan really involves you in its superb driving experience.
Four-wheel-drive comes as standard and will prove invaluable at times, while a brilliant suspension setup ensures that even the smallest engine is lots of fun.
Body lean is kept to a minimum and the steering is accurate and well-weighted.
In terms of its engines, a 2.0-litre petrol kicks things off. It develops 295bhp and has a 0-62 time of 7.0 seconds flat.
That pales in comparison to what else is available. Take the mid-range Macan S, for example, that’s powered by a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine that develops 335bhp and can get you from a standstill to 62mph in around 5.5 seconds.
That’s nothing compared to the Macan Turbo, however. Backed by an enormous turbocharged 3.6-litre petrol engine, it can haul this massive car from rest to 62mph in 4.8 seconds. Add the optional Performance Package and you can cut that down to 4.4 seconds while topping power up to 434bhp.
Running costs? Not cheap. The Turbo returns 31.4mpg economy at best, emits 208g/km of CO2 and has a BiK rating of 37%. The Macan S, despite being a lot less powerful, is hardly much cheaper to run and returns 32.1mpg at best. It costs the same to tax.
Inside, ride quality is surprisingly very good but it’s well worth adding the optional air suspension system if comfort is a priority of yours.
The cabin has a sporty look and feel to it, and there are lots of luxurious touches in here. But it’s also a durable cabin that will stand up to what your family throws at it.
Is the Porsche Macan practical? Five people should be able to sit in comfort, with shoulder, leg and headroom all good. The driver’s seat and steering wheel offer lots of adjustability, while storage solutions are good. All four doors, for example, come with a bin.
The boot meanwhile, measures 500-litres. That’s about below average for this class and it has a total capacity of 1,500.
Porsche – £45,915 – £69,505
Verdict of our 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar Estate Review
This is Land Rover’s coolest, most desirable car yet. It’s plush with quality materials, comes stuffed with innovative tech and it looks great and drives well.
It ticks so many boxes, and yet its cramped rear and high running costs could count against it. Then again, the Land Rover Range Rover Velar Estate knows who its target audience is. If it’s you, it’s easy to fall under its spell.