News : Geneva 2017 – Range Rover Velar first look

Keith Adams manages to grab a few minutes with the Range Rover Velar. It’s highly stylish, but who’s going to buy it?

Lots of people, if first impressions are anything to go by.

We’ve just hot-footed it back from the first major European motor show on the 2017 calendar, and the top story is most definitely the public debut of the Range Rover Velar. As we’ve already spelled out in our launch story, the Velar bridges the gap between the Evoque and Sport – with a list price starting at £45k (the former range opens at £30k, the latter, £60k).

Although there have been comments on AROnline that it’s a Range Rover too far, it would seem to be a logical addition to the range, especially when taking its price into account. More so, when you see the car in the metal, and sit in it – although it’s a million miles away from the practical and classless car it’s named after, this Velar is in tune with the demands of current buyers.

The inside story

The dashboard is very minimalist in today’s terms. There are are three physical switches on the dashboard, which drive two large touchscreens. All minor controls are replaced by these love-’em or hate-’em screens – it looks impressive, but let’s see how they perform on the move.

The driving position is low-slung and sporting, rather like the Evoque’s, and visibility looks similarly limited. In terms of fitment and finish, it looks good, although the three cars at Geneva were clearly pre-production examples. The rear room is surprisingly good, in spite of that coupe-like roofline, and the boot is large enough – although there’s a surprisingly intrusive loading lip.

And on the rest of it

Put simply, stylistically it’s a huge success. It’s way lower than you’d expect, with a plunging roofline, tapering rear end and huge wheels (as you’d expect of a motor show special). With a line-up of four Range Rover models now in play, we can assume it’s about to be spun-off as a wholly separate model line.

It’s dripping with superb detailing and, because of the way it sits on its springs, it’s easy to think of it as a hot-rodder’s Range Rover, with a wonderful, big-wheeled, low-roofed stance. Pictures don’t really do it justice. Will it sell? Well, JLR has unofficially said it needs to build one million cars a year – will the Velar help it over the line?

Probably not in isolation, but it’s a step in the right direction – and, in many ways, it really is looking capable of beating the Germans at their own game…

All photography, Andrew Elphick

Keith Adams


    • I was about to say the same, Mark! I think Mr Keith Adams is editing the text as fast as we are reading it. It no longer says he did NOT see any Land-Rover “branding” at the rear!! 😉

  1. I must have missed this! JLR have previously not quantified any (volume) ambitions. When was it published that “JLR has said it needs to build one million cars a year . . “.

  2. Looks good.

    The “same sausage, different lengths” approach works for Audi, so no reason why it shouldn’t work for LR.

  3. I though that the Evoque Convertible was the pits but no the Velar shows that JLR has some way to go, an utterly pointless vehicle probably conceived mein the marketing department and fleshed out by the styling studio,it might have made sense as a motor show special. To me it’s the most pointless faux SUV since the ghastly Mini Paceman, if any thing I wouldn’t be surprised if this is JLR’s equivalent of Suzuki’s X-90.

    • Why is it pointless? If it’s based on the F-Pace then it’s a decent size practical vehicle in terms of space and competing in a market place that is clearly successful judging by the number of competitor vehicles on the road. Not everyone wants a full size RR and the Evoque is not big so clearly room for it in the lineup. If it makes the profit for JLR to keep developing the range then why not? I’m not in the market for one either but everyone can see the commercial opportunity for JLR, rather people drive one of these than the BMW X4/X6 or pretty ugly Mercedes equivalent.

    • Nowhere near as pointless as your opinions I suspect. Jaguar Land Rover – the same as any other car manufacture is in business to sell cars. To make this works it needs to make cars that people actually want to buy. What don’t you understand about that?

  4. Umm.. Did anyone else notice the huge swathes of lovely *white* leather? Such a fantastic idea when its full of mucky kids one minute & mucky dogs the next.
    That interior will look good for about 15 minutes, if you’re lucky.
    As to the outside – the chavwagon of chavwagons. I predict the first one I see will be all over the road, at 25mph in a 60 (and 50 in a 30) and will be driven by a pint sized blonde who thinks a differential is some sort of non alcoholic cocktail and took lessons from that Maureen woman on universes worst drivers.
    You won’t be able to get past because you can’t see, and invariably they’ll use the 2 second rule (traffic jams) because someone might roll back on a road as flat and smooth as a billiard table (at which point you’ll have to give your ABS conniptions because you expected them to react to traffic like a normal human being, not to mention the borderline heart attack..).
    There should be mandatory criminal records for people who buy 4x4s for the sole purpose of conveying two spoilt brats 2 miles to the local primary school, at a fair percentage of local lightspeed.
    There should be a law that if you can’t prove you need a 4×4 the size of a small bungalow to function in life you don’t get to purchase one (and saying “I sometimes buy big things at boot sales” is not a reason – get an Audi estate: you can be just as obnoxious and you don’t need oxygen to get to the drivers seat).
    Still it’s not as bad as buying a Tesla (you know, the car that runs on electric that’s 82% produced by coal, oil, gas in the UK (2015/6 figures). Doing your bit to help global warming I see..

    • Whilst I am no fan of the SUV other than when you need it, in which case you buy a proper one and not these sporty ones; I am even less of a fan of people who think they have a right to tell other people what they can drive.

      As for the Tesla, well according to UK Energy 46% of our electricity came from Nuclear (21%) and Renewables (25%). But it in the real world its probably over 50% for power in a Tesla as that will be charged on off peak power, which is of course when the Gas stations are off line.

      Is not the real issue here that you can’t afford a Range Rover, which is why you spill such hate towards their drivers?

      I say instead to them “well done” for giving British people jobs, paying lots of VAT on its purchase and on all that fuel to help pay for hospitals etc.

    • You’re missing the point- IT’S NOT ANOTHER Audi, BMW, VW thing that everyone on the island feels compelled to spend their over draught on, so good for JLR, even if I wouldn’t necessarily order one myself. Stops a sale going to the import lot.

      I’m convinced some here think we should shut all car manufacturing plants on these shores and instead perfect the skill of burger flipping…..seems fair

    • don’t think many people with kids or dogs will be choosing the ‘Oyster’ colourway interior. The standard spec on this is black ‘Luxtec leatherette (anyone know if it wears better than leather?).

      I’d have to see one of these in the flesh – some of the pictures on the LR website don’t really sell it compared to something like an F-Pace or a Levante.

    • I agree wholeheartedly – none of us needs anything more than four wheels and a couple of cylinders. A 2CV is perfectly adequate for carrying up to four people and is cleverly engineered enough for any car enthusiast to enjoy.

      Anyone driving a diesel, a 4WD, a ‘leccy car, a sporty-car, basically anything that’s not what I drive, is nothing more than a beastly stereotype, a danger to us all and a horrid show off.

      I’ve lost count of the number of friends I’ve had to ditch when I discovered what they drove. They seem perfectly nice but have to be condemned as some damned plebeian stereotype when you see them get behind the wheel.
      What’s the world coming too?

    • What a load of pretentious bollocks (And I don’t mean the Velar!) Anyway just as well you could never afford one in a million years Jemma. Still the old Brown Montego still has plenty of life left in it aye.

      • None of us are on this site because we like blacked-out-windowed glitzy chavmobiles with painted-on mud which sell well are we?!

  5. Hmm, well I think it looks great. Stylish, and with massive presence, different from the larger Range Rovers but still a Range Rover. It makes most of its rivals look a bit ordinary.

    It’s interesting how LR and Jaguar have kept their “separation” by having separate “name” designers, the consensus seems to be that Gerry McGovern is doing a better job than Ian Callum

    • I can’t let that last comment go unchallenged! McGovern pretty much exhausted his talent with the Evoque and the Disco Sport. Everything since has been a variation on the same idea.

      I want to see LR continue to succeed and I’ve spent enough money on their products since 2011 to put my money where my mouth is, but I’d like to a little more originality than following the German model of one car, many sizes!

  6. I think it looks great. Love that roofline. Years ago companies made three box saloons n three or four sizes. Why not 4x4s?

  7. Surely JLR must realise there’s a market, for people like me. I would really like to buy a modern 4 x 4 which is the equivalent of the original Range Rover / Velar concept. I don’t need electric windows, climate control, satnav or other whizzy gimmicks. I would like a wipe down interior, simple owner managed maintenance and reliability. Yet another miss from JLR as far as I’m concerned.

  8. Makes a great deal of sense, a big estate car and as much 4wd ability as anyone could need for everyday motoring.
    Gives the choice of Range Rover handsomeness without the excess bulk.

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