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Range Rover Velar P250 SE Review: The Most Tech-loaded SUV Money Can Buy This 5-seater SUV offers a lot of drama not just for the owners but also for the people around

@SidnChips

THERE are over 25 variants of the Range Rover Velar that you can buy in India. That’s more than the entire portfolio of some of the major luxury carmakers in India.

There are so many options of this flamboyantly futuristic SUV from Land Rover that you’ll be spoilt for choice.

The luxury SUV is priced between Rs 80.92 lakh and Rs 1.41 crore ex-showroom in India. So one can imagine that the possibilities with this one are endless, and there is a Velar for everyone who’s looking to buy a luxury SUV.

Also, with such a dynamic range in price points, it’s hard to say which car the Velar competes with.

To us, it seems like the Velar’s only competition is with itself. We got a chance to test out the Range Rover Velar’s P250 SE version which is priced at Rs 87.49 lakhs.

This 5-seater SUV from Land Rover offers a lot of drama not just for the owners but also for the people around.

So, what’s the good, bad and the ugly of the all-new Range Rover Velar? We tell you all about it in this review.

The Name

When reviewing such SUV’s, it’s often difficult to decide where to begin. Let’s start with the name. Velar, a name so powerful and authoritative, it oozes of confidence and seems like a force to be reckoned with.

Velar is derived from the Latin verb velare, which means to hide. Interestingly though this is not a new name and also not an unfamiliar one for the company.

The name comes from the time when Rover was still working on building the now famously known Range Rovers.

Back in 1969, the name Velar was used by the now Jaguar Land Rover for a series of pre-production first generation Range Rovers.

Almost five decades later, the Velar name has now seen the light of the day, with a product that carries forward the next generation design language and technology prowess of the company.

And with that brief little history lesson, let’s tell you what that design is all about.

Looks

The new design language on the Velar has been influenced by the Land Rover Evoque. The Velar features smoother lines and it’s all about sportiness and performance.

This is also quite evident once you see the beautiful, flush, deployable door handles that come straight out of a futuristic sci-fi movie.

One of my friends happened to see me open this car and the look on his face cannot be described in words.

When he saw me notice him being awestruck by the door handles of the Velar, he made a quick joke about how back in the day your PC’s CD-ROM drive used to retract out of the cabinet.

Not his best save but did make us chuckle.

Overall, the Velar has a very broad shoulder design that is well placed. The roofline also beautifully integrates with the overall proportions of the Velar. The Velar’s design also makes you think about how boxy the old Range Rovers looked.

The Range Rover Velar is built on the Jaguar Land Rover iQ AI D7a platform similar to the on one the Jaguar F-Pace. However, the Range Rover Velar is almost 2.8 inches longer than the F-Pace.

The huge grille up front along with DRL’s and a muscular stance adds a certain drama to it.

Engine & Performance

The Range Rover Velar P250 SE  we drove came with a 1997cc petrol motor that produced almost 250 horses and 365 Nm of torque that kicks in at as low as 1500 rpm.

That’s more than enough power to move this colossal SUV on the traffic-filled roads of India. The petrol motor is silent and does offer a grunt when you press the pedal to the metal.

For city driving where most of the Velars in India will be mostly driven, there are two modes: Dynamic and Eco.

As the name suggests, Eco mode in the Velar promises more fuel efficiency and a smaller carbon footprint. In this mode, the Velar is subtle to drive with optimum power output.

However, it is always ready in the background to unleash itself with a tap of your foot on the accelerator.

Put the Velar in dynamic mode and you’ll feel all that 365 Nm of torque pushing you back and the seats hug you to keep you in place.

This is the most fun mode to drive the Velar in but you’ll have to let go of the fuel efficiency figures.

In the dynamic mode, with our driving, the Velar could just return a mileage of 4.8 km/l. Despite being a big SUV, the Velar is capable of giving you a sports tourer feel every time you decide to push the limits.

Driving the Velar in traffic is also not a problem. This big SUV is like a cruise liner in a yacht harbour in traffic as it makes sure that all those small cars give you way.

The highway performance is also smooth as you will never feel that you are short on power irrespective of the speed.

Cornering is also not a problem for this vehicle since there are plenty of features like Dynamic Stability Control, Electronic Traction Control, Speed Proportional Electronic Power Assisted steering etc. that will make sure that you are never out of control.

The 8-speed automatic transmission is also mated well with the engine and delivers effortless shifts with minimal lag. Plus, if you are bold enough, you can always drive it in manual mode with paddle shifters.

Overall, it is a delight to drive and even if you wish to be in the back seat, you’ll not feel left out of all the action.

Needless to say, being a Range Rover, the Velar is capable of going anywhere.

Interiors

The Range Rover Velar is not just futuristic in terms of appearance, it is even more futuristic and practical on the inside.

The tastefully done interiors are nice to look at though there have been some hard plastics used.

The steering mounted controls are also touch-sensitive and intuitive but it does take time to get used to them.

There is also a lot of visual drama inside the car: be it the two touchscreen infotainment displays or the neatly done instrument cluster.

Even the trademark Land Rover style retractable gear jog dial looks fresh and new on the Velar. The two displays add a lot of drama inside the Velar as well.

The cabin is designed practically and everything that’s important is within the reach of the driver.

One touchscreen infotainment display is for you to get vital information and play around with the in-car settings and communication.

The second display at the bottom of the central console is for you to manage the aircon system, driving modes and also to change tracks on your playlist.

Everything inside has a certain degree of symmetry to it, which is subtly satisfying. The cockpit of the Velar is driver-focused with a low seating position like a grand tourer.

As mentioned earlier, there is some amount of hard plastic used inside the cabin, but what we did not like in particular is the piano black finish on the central console of the Velar.

The two displays and the central console are fingerprint magnets. In India, dust is a problematic factor and will be more the piano black finish more susceptible to scratches.

This we believe should not be a case for any vehicle irrespective of the price.

The seats are comfortable and welcoming, rear legroom is plenty and you also get your own climate control unit at the back along with reclining seats if you only wish to be on the back seat of the Velar.

The front seats are 10-way adjustable and also have a memory function to them.

Verdict

For us, the two main reasons for you to buy the Range Rover Velar P250 SE are the looks and practicality of the cabin and most of all the performance-driven petrol motor that seems to be tailor-made for Indian driving conditions.

The Range Rover Velar is the SUV that in all fairness best describes the idiom, “Owners pride and neighbors envy”.

Also, if there is an SUV in India that can turn heads and make itself noticed every time it passes by, it’s the Velar.

~ENDS~

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