The 2018 Range Rover Velar performed superbly on Mount Charleston’s twisty roads and cut one heck of a suave-looking profile rolling down the Las Vegas Strip. Indeed, the case can be made that the all-new model is the best-looking Range Rover in the British brand’s storied history.
Under its sculpted clamshell hood, our test model packed a version of Jaguar Land Rover’s 3.0-liter supercharged six-cylinder with 380 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque—plenty of smooth power for highway blasts or a rugged Norwegian getaway.
“I suspect the Velar’s design-heavy themes make it suspicious to many, but based on my experience at the press drive in Norway, it holds up surprisingly well in moderately taxing off-road scenarios,” contributor Basem Wasef said.
Looking resplendent in an elegant shade called Byron Blue on the outside and swathed in Ebony Windsor leather inside, this Velar also came with 20-way heated/cooled seats, a booming 1,600-watt, 23-speaker Meridian sound system, and a breathtakingly big sliding panoramic roof. At $90K as equipped, that’s pushing into exclusive territory, but most editors felt the Velar was worth the dough.
There was some pushback around arguably the Velar’s biggest interior addition, its dual 10-inch high-definition haptic touchscreen setup, which is the key point of contact for most vehicle functions, including navigation, infotainment, and climate controls.
“Nice interior, but I’m not sold on the double touchscreen setup,” contributor Marc Noordeloos said. “Seems very distracting. But it all looks nice.” Fortunately, there are redundant steering wheel controls and an instrument panel screen to help keep the driver’s hands and eyes where they ought to be.
Design editor Robert Cumberford summed up what many thought of it. “This is the best SUV of those in our group: very nice interior, good appearance, good ride, adequate power, and I imagine that there is no other such car with better on-road ride and handling capabilities,” he said. “Off-road, it’s probably very good, given the ancestry. And there is none of the tortured sheetmetal seen on so many SUVs.”
Was that good enough for the Range Rover Velar to earn a 2018 All-Stars trophy? Find out on Saturday, March 10, when we announce the winners at the 2018 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance—and right here on automobilemag.com.
2018 Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic Specifications
|PRICE||$78,895/$90,170 (base/as tested)|
|ENGINE||3.0L DOHC 24-valve supercharged V-6/380 hp @ 6,500 rpm, 332 lb-ft @ 3,500-5,000 rpm|
|LAYOUT||4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, AWD SUV|
|EPA MILEAGE||18/24 mpg (city/hwy)|
|L x W x H||189.1 x 84.4 x 65.6 in|
|0-60 MPH||5.3 sec|
|TOP SPEED||155 mph|