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Motoring Top Stories

Range Rover luxury bus

CarsGuide logo CarsGuide 30/11/2019 Dan Pugh

If you’re looking for a stylish SUV to decorate your driveway that's fast, practical and seats five people in absolute comfort, then I might just have the perfect family hauler for you.

a car parked on the side of a road: With a roofline that's lower but almost the same length as the Range Rover Sport, the Velar has been bestowed with a long and sleek design. © CarsGuide.com.au With a roofline that's lower but almost the same length as the Range Rover Sport, the Velar has been bestowed with a long and sleek design. For my family test this week I drove the Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic SE P300, which, as make and model names go, is something of a mouthful. But don't let that put you off.

So, how will this luxurious hauler handle life as a family taxi for myself and three kids for the week? Let's find out, shall we?

How does it look?

With a roofline that's lower but almost the same length as the Range Rover Sport, the Velar has been bestowed with a long, sleek design peppered with a number of smart looking exterior design touches. It’s hard not to look away with impressive design from whatever angle you happen to be taking it in from. It's a far cry from the generic SUV box-on-wheels designs of old.

Our test car also came with R-Dynamic body styling that adds air intakes at the front, the vents in the bonnet and the 'Burnished Copper' design flourishes.

Upon unlocking the Velar, the door handles, which sit flush against the door panels when locked, magically emerge to greet you. The cabin presents another excellent example of Range Rover luxury, featuring high quality materials and finishes throughout.

The massive panoramic glass roof ($3550) is a pricey option, but gives the feeling of light and space throughout the cabin.

How spacious is it?

Despite the Velar being only slightly shorter the Sport, cabin space is actually a bit smaller on the inside than expected. The panoramic sunroof and light-coloured leather interior work well together to give the space a more expansive feel.

Headroom and legroom is plentiful for rear-seat passengers, although middle seat is best left for one of the kids. There was easily more than a hand-width of space between my knees and the driver's seat set to my position. Headroom was still decent even with panoramic sunroof in place.  

Boot space is 558 litres, which is about 100 litres smaller than the Range Rover Sport. With the passenger side rear seat folded down it easily swallowed two kids' bikes. 

How does it drive?

Under that large bonnet lives a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine with a twin-scroll turbo developing 221kW/400Nm. It’s mated to an eight-speed automatic sending drive to all four wheels. From a standing start, this near 1.9-tonne luxury SUV will hit 100km/h in 6.2sec. It’s definitely no slouch.

Gearshifts at lower speeds around the suburbs and city are barely perceptible and add to the sense of luxury. The calm and measured feel extends to the ride and handling which kept the body roll in check around bends while remaining comfortable over the bumps and potholes. That's mostly care of the electronic air suspension which comes as a $2100 option.

You might not be surprised to learn the Velar is a more capable off-roader than its sleek city-slicker looks suggest. Our test vehicle was fitted with the optional Off-Road Pack (a $1700 option) which brings Terrain Response 2 and All Terrain progress control.

Over the week, we covered around 500km of suburban driving with the trip computer displaying a fuel consumption reading of 11.3 litres/100kms. A fair bit higher than Land Rover's claimed consumption of 7.8 litres/100kms. 

How easy is it to use every day?

Storage in the cabin is decent, with four cupholders (two in the front and two in the second row), four door pockets (which are bit small to work bottle as bottle holders), a centre console bin and a hidey-hole near the shifter.

There are three 12-volt outlets, one each located in the front and rear, and a third in the boot. Passengers in the rear will have to make do with the two USBs located in a bin in the centre console.

Despite its size the Velar is cinch to park anywhere thanks to the suite of parking sensors located around the car, a 360-degree camera and commanding view from the drivers seat. As you’d expect from Range Rover, the steering is well weighted for navigating tight spaces.

How safe is it?

Standard safety kit on the five-star ANCAP-rated Velar includes six airbags, ABS, stability and traction controls, tyre pressure monitoring, reversing camera, lane-keep assist, forward AEB with pedestrian avoidance and lane-departure warning.

For parents, there are three top-tether anchor points and two ISOFIX points.

What’s the tech like?

The dual display screens stacked on top of each other provide a strong hint at the enormous amount of technology lying beneath the skin of this car. What’s more, they look cool and lend further weight to the premium feel of the cabin.

The premium tech experience extends to the steering wheel, which features a touch sensitive buttons that change appearance depending on the function you are controlling. Unfortunately, buyers still have to shell out extra for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (a $520 option).

The Meridian sound system with 17 speakers positioned around the cabin provide crystal-clear surround sound with my kids and I giving it some serious volume testing on our numerous trips.

What’s it cost to own?

The starting price for the Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic P300 SE is $100,701, with our test car receiving $22k of optional extras that pushed the final price to $122,342.  

The SE comes with an impressive list of standard kit, including 20-inch alloys, ambient interior lighting, electric front seats, sat nav, auto high beam, LED headlights with signature DRLs, puddle lamps, a Wi-Fi hotspot with an on-board SIM, powered and heated folding mirrors, leather interior, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, keyless entry and start, front and rear parking sensors, auto LED headlights, auto wipers, leather and suede trim, power tailgate and a space-saver spare.

a car parked on the side of a road: The Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic P300 SE wears massive 20-inch alloys. © CarsGuide.com.au The Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic P300 SE wears massive 20-inch alloys.

Verdict

This luxurious and fancy-looking family hauler is the panacea for every boring and boxy SUV ever made.

It’s big enough and practical enough for the everyday while providing plenty of comfort and power for the driver. What's more, you'd be hard pressed to find a better looking SUV to decorate your driveway. 

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