Of all the models in the Land Rover lineup, the most unexpected is definitely the 2020 Land Rover Range Rover Velar. Ridiculously long name notwithstanding, the Velar is a stunning design far removed from the upright and boxy look that frames the rest of the Range Rover line. Yet despite its svelte appearance, the 2020 Velar is every bit a Land Rover, with a luxurious cabin to accommodate five, some of the best high-tech in Land Rover’s inventory and real off-road ability. Aimed squarely at the likes of the Audi Q5, the Mercedes-Benz GLC and the Porsche Macan, the Velar offers a slightly larger and more functional package that’s more elegant than the conservatively styled Audi and more off-road-capable than the Porsche or the Mercedes-Benz.
The Velar is loaded with Land Rover’s latest innovations, including a configurable interactive driver display and the Touch Pro Duo, featuring twin touchscreens for navigation, audio, ventilation and infotainment. Befitting its eye-catching exterior, the Velar’s interior is stunning, especially when outfitted in white leather. Off-road, the Velar is nearly as capable as the larger Range Rover Sport but on the highway, the Velar delivers a superior ride and far better handling. Of course, Land Rover still lags behind the class leaders in the areas of reliability and resale but those numbers are quickly improving, making it a bit easier to write that $50,000-plus check.
What’s New for 2020?
For 2020, the diesel engine is dropped, but a new 550-horsepower supercharged V8 is added as part of the new SVAutobiography Dynamic trim. The Velar lineup is simplified this year, with base models getting more standard equipment. See the 2020 Land Rover Range Rover Velar models for sale near you
What We Like
- Stunning good looks
- Large and luxurious interior
- Advanced control displays
- Capable off-roading ability
- Numerous powertrain options
What We Don’t
- Thick pillars that hamper visibility
- Air suspension’s stiff ride
- Complex controls
The 2020 Land Rover Range Rover Velar offers a choice of three engines. Standard is a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine producing 247 hp. Teamed with an 8-speed automatic transmission, this engine achieves 21 miles per gallon in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. Next up is a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 good for either 340 or 380 hp, depending on trim. Coupled with an 8-speed transmission, this engine achieves 18 mpg city/24 mpg hwy. Last up is a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 good for 550 hp. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates for the V8 are 15 mpg city/20 mpg hwy. All Velars feature standard all-wheel drive and optional All Terrain Progress Control.
Standard Features & Options
Land Rover offers the Velar in four trims: Velar S, R-Dynamic S, R-Dynamic HSE and SVAutobiography Dynamic. The base Velar S and R-Dynamic trims come standard with the 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine and offer a choice of supercharged V6s as options. The SVAutobiography Dynamic comes exclusively with the supercharged V8.
The Velar S ($57,325) features a coil-spring suspension, the 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine, AWD, 19-in alloy wheels, a power gesture tailgate, auto-dimming power-folding side mirrors, perforated leather seating, 14-way power front seats with driver memory, rear-seat power recline, an 11-speaker/380-watt Meridian sound system, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, a rearview camera and navigation. Also standard are LED headlights, keyless entry, a sliding panoramic glass sunroof, rear-parking aid, Terrain Response, flush deployable door handles and Touch Pro Duo with voice control. Standard driver assists include lane-departure warning, blind spot monitoring and autonomous emergency braking.
The Velar R-Dynamic S ($59,525) adds R-Dynamic styling and upgrades, a 12.3-in interactive driver display and an R-Dynamic Exterior pack.
The Velar R-Dynamic HSE ($76,325) adds a 380 hp 3.0-liter engine, air suspension, 21-in wheels, Terrain Response 2, power adjustable steering column, 20-way power seats with driver/passenger memory massage, heated and cooled front seats, fog lamps and an 825-watt 17-speaker Meridian sound system. Also standard is Land Rover’s Driver Assist Pack that adds adaptive cruise control, parallel and perpendicular park assist, 360-degree camera and high-speed emergency braking.
The Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition ($91,895) comes fully loaded with nearly every available option, including a heated steering wheel, a head-up display and a 22-speaker/1,300-watt Meridian sound system. Quilted diamond leather seating with heated rear seats are also standard, as is a variable valve exhaust system, red brake calipers, Adaptive Dynamics, electronic active differential with torque vectoring and 4-zone climate control.
Options are mostly bundled into packages and include most of the standard features found on the higher-end trims. Some of the more notable packages include the Driver Assist Package (360-degree monitor, adaptive cruise control, high-speed emergency braking, park assist and rear traffic monitor), the Dynamic Handling Package (All-Terrain Progress Control, configurable and adaptive dynamics, Terrain Response 2) and the Convenience Pack (rear seat remote release levers, Active Key, additional power sockets and a power gesture tailgate).
To date, neither the government nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash-tested the 2020 Range Rover Velar.
Behind the Wheel
The impression left by the 2020 Range Rover Velar very much depends upon its engine and trim level. Behind the wheel of the SE with the 2.0-liter turbo, we enjoyed an exceptionally nice driving experience. The engine has plenty of power for pulling and passing, yet its highway fuel economy remained in the mid-20s our entire trip. When the road changed from straight to serpentine, the Velar’s standard coil-spring suspension handled the curves with precision and confidence. The steering delivered good feedback, and the car never felt too large or heavy to maneuver in tight spots. Driving the R-Dynamic with the 3.0-liter supercharged V6 should have been like turning the volume to 11 but instead the vehicle felt heavy and unsure of itself on the turns. Blame the air suspension here. It’s standard on any model with the V6 engine and we frankly didn’t like it as much as our base model’s traditional coil-spring setup. The ride felt stiffer, the rear end swayed too much in the tight curves and although the V6 offers 380 hp, it’s only about a second faster to 60 mph than the 2.0-liter turbo.
Other Cars to Consider
2020 Audi Q5 — The Q5 has been around longer than the Velar and therefore has an established reliability and resale history. The Velar offers more engine choices and is superior off-road but the Q5 costs less and its 2.0-liter turbo gets better fuel economy.
2020 Porsche Macan — If you’re looking for high-performance SUV, the Macan beats the Velar by a mile. You’ll pay substantially more for the Macan, especially if you start loading up on options, but hey, it’s a Porsche.
2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee — The Jeep Grand Cherokee may not have a lofty British name but it’s a remarkably well-equipped SUV. In Summit or Overland trim, the Grand Cherokee comes pretty close to the Velar’s luxury levels and it’s easily as capable off-road.
Used Land Rover Range Rover Sport — A used 2012-2016 Land Rover Range Rover Sport offers more power and better off-road performance. Plus, its traditional boxy styling still appeals to the Land Rover faithful.
For our money, we’d pick either the S or the R-Dynamic S with the 2.0-liter turbo. We like the power, the price and, best of all, the coil-spring suspension. Load up with either as many or as few option packages as you like and you’ll have a very comfortable and capable luxury SUV. Find a Land Rover Range Rover Velar for sale