2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar Preview

img 2055414203 1488401524143 jpg 2018 Range Rover Velar | Manufacturer image
CARS.COM
 
Competes with: Acura RDX, Audi Q5, BMW X4, Lexus NX 200t, Volvo XC60
 
Looks like: An Evoque smoothed out on the R&D tip, with a Sport feel … appeal … to it
 
Drivetrain: A 180-horsepower, diesel 2.0-liter four-cylinder; 247-hp, gas 2.0-liter four-cylinder; and a 380-hp supercharged gas V-6; all mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission
 
Hits dealers: Later this year
 
When the 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar bows at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show, it will grow the Range Rover family while furthering the concept of “reductionism.” Indeed, the fourth addition to the lineup that slots between the Evoque and the Sport very much favors the former, but with a wider appearance and smoother, curvier lines.
 
 
The mid-size luxury SUV seats five and starts at $50,895. That starting price is compared to the 2017 Evoque’s $42,795 and the 2017 Sport’s $66,645; all prices include a $995 destination charge. When it hits dealerships later this year, the Velar will be offered in four trim levels — base, S, R-Dynamic SE and R-Dynamic HSE — and three powertrain options, including four- and six-cylinder gas models, and a diesel four.

Exterior

The Velar further refines the Evoque’s less-boxy shape compared with the Sport. In front, the new SUV has a larger honeycomb grille and narrower full-LED headlights (Land Rover says they’re the narrowest yet) than its smaller sibling, along with a wider-looking stance and swoopier styling across the profile. The emphasis on simplicity is evident, as smoothed-out curves are made even smoother by deployable door handles that sit flush with the body when not in use.
 
But reductionism doesn’t mean a dearth of detail. Luxury flourishes like available Burnished Copper detailing on the front bumper blades and fender vents, as well as optional 22-inch wheels, remind buyers and admirers alike where that 50 to 90 grand went; available Black Exterior and Premium Exterior Packs provide further distinction. Meanwhile, a lightweight aluminum-heavy body structure is said to enhance performance, agility and efficiency compared with steel. The whole package evokes elevated subtlety and sophistication — though we’re not necessarily sold on that floating roof.

Interior

Intended as a “calming sanctuary” for occupants — are we talking about the same people inclined to test the Velar’s 9.88-inch ground clearance and 25.59-inch wading depth? — the cabin can be appointed with sustainable woolen-textile seating surfaces in Dapple Grey (rather than leather) and complemented with suedelike cloth inserts finished in Ebony or Light Oyster. The Velar’s cargo space measures 34.4 cubic feet compared with the Sport’s 27.7 cubic feet with the rear seats up.
 
The debut of the Velar will also mark the debut of the new Land Rover InControl multimedia system, Touch Pro Duo, which uses a pair of 10-inch high-definition touchscreens.

Under the Hood

The base powertrain is a 247-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder that’s also in the S model starting at $55,695; the R-Dynamic SE starting at $61,095; and the R-Dynamic HSE at $68,595. The 180-hp, 2.0-liter diesel is available in the S, SE and HSE for $57,195, $62,595 and $70,095, respectively. The top-tier engine — a 380-hp, supercharged 3.0-liter V-6, which thrusts the Velar from zero-to-60 mph in a reported 5.3 seconds on its way to 155 mph — is also available on the three elevated trims for $65,195 with the S, $70,595 with the SE and $78,095 with the HSE, as well as for $90,295 for the 500-unit limited First Edition version, which elevates the luxuriousness of the HSE.
 
All versions are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission sending power to all four wheels. Available off-road technologies — a key offering on any Range Rover — include Terrain Response 2, All Terrain Progress Control, Low Traction Launch, Hill Descent Control and Gradient Release Control. Six-cylinder models boast a towing capacity of 5,500 pounds, while the Advanced Tow Assist function allows the driver to simply aim their trailer where they want to park it using a rotary controller, and the vehicle steers it into place.

Safety

Advanced safety features include auto emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear traffic alert and driver condition monitoring. That’s in addition to adaptive cruise control with traffic assist and an adaptive speed limiter.

img 2062802371 1488401511021 jpg img 2061878850 1488401516318 jpg img 2060955329 1488401518301 jpg img 2060031808 1488401519991 jpg img 2059108287 1488401520693 jpg img 2005544069 1488401532927 jpg img 2004620548 1488401533271 jpg img 2006467590 1488401532258 jpg img 2026785052 1488401531693 jpg img 2058184766 1488401521290 jpg img 2027708573 1488401531261 jpg img 2028632094 1488401530830 jpg img 2033249699 1488401526011 jpg img 2029555615 1488401530045 jpg img 2030479136 1488401529445 jpg img 2031402657 1488401527743 jpg img 2032326178 1488401527092 jpg img 2034173220 1488401525463 jpg img 2057261245 1488401522992 jpg img 2035096741 1488401524620 jpg img 2056337724 1488401523589 jpg img 2062802371 1488401511021 jpg img 2061878850 1488401516318 jpg img 2060955329 1488401518301 jpg img 2060031808 1488401519991 jpg img 2059108287 1488401520693 jpg img 2005544069 1488401532927 jpg img 2004620548 1488401533271 jpg img 2006467590 1488401532258 jpg img 2026785052 1488401531693 jpg img 2058184766 1488401521290 jpg img 2027708573 1488401531261 jpg img 2028632094 1488401530830 jpg img 2033249699 1488401526011 jpg img 2029555615 1488401530045 jpg img 2030479136 1488401529445 jpg img 2031402657 1488401527743 jpg img 2032326178 1488401527092 jpg img 2034173220 1488401525463 jpg img 2057261245 1488401522992 jpg img 2035096741 1488401524620 jpg img 2056337724 1488401523589 jpg Photo of Matt Schmitz
Former Assistant Managing Editor-News Matt Schmitz is a veteran Chicago journalist indulging his curiosity for all things auto while helping to inform car shoppers. Email Matt Schmitz

Featured stories

hyundai palisade calligraphy night edition awd 2024 04 exterior front angle scaled jpg
lexus tx550h  2024 01 exterior front angle 1 scaled jpg
bmw i5 2024 01 exterior front angle scaled jpg