The Range Rover Velar P400e Plug-in Hybrid offers the comfort and luxury of a Range Rover but with more of a crossover body shape, and electric driving capability with a range of 33 miles.
Land Rover, including the Range Rover brand, was primarily a diesel SUV brand over recent years, but then diesel fell out of favour. So if you want the most efficient Land Rover or Range Rover today then you’ll need to go for a petrol plug-in hybrid powertrain. We’ve reviewed the Range Rover Evoque Plug-in Hybrid, how does the Velar compare?
There’s the Range Rover Evoque and there’s the Range Rover Sport. In terms of size, does the Velar fit neatly in the middle of these two? No. So what is the Velar?, and where does it sit in the brand’s model range? Well, let’s look at sizes to see where the Velar fits in.
The Range Rover Evoque is 4,371mm long; the Range Rover Velar is 4,804mm long; the Range Rover Sport is 4,879mm long; and the Range Rover is 5,000mm long. The Velar is almost as long as a Range Rover Sport, but whereas the Range Rover Sport is 1,803mm high, the Velar is only 1,676mm high. So the Velar is essentially a Range Rover Sport but with more of an off-road estate car body as opposed to a tall SUV body style.
The Velar’s powertrain also matches that of the Range Rover Sport PHEV rather than the Evoque. Whereas the Evoque Plug-in Hybrid has a 3-cylinder, 1.5-litre petrol engine, the Velar has a 4-cylinder, 2.0-litre petrol engine. There’s also a 105 kW electric motor powered by a 17.1 kWh battery, and an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The Velar offers lots of space, and if the Evoque’s boot isn’t big enough at 472 litres, the Velar’s should be, at 558 litres. There’s even a space saver spare wheel, which we believe all cars, especially cars that are designed to go off-road, should have.
Although 19-inch wheels are standard on the Range Rover Velar P400e S, our test car had the (£1,680) option of larger 21-inch wheels.
Starting with the basics, you can get a good driving position in the Velar – which is something that you can’t always say about SUVs.
Driving around town in electric mode is a very refined experience. If you then head out on some more interesting roads you’ll soon discover that the Velar does an amazing job of combining a really comfortable ride and excellent handling for a car of this size and weight. A factor in this is likely to be the £1,755 option of the Dynamic Handling Pack consisting of Terrain Response 2 with Dynamic Programme, All Terrain Progress Control (ATPC), Electronic Air Suspension, Adaptive Dynamics and Configurable Dynamics. All this results in a very good body control compared to a full-fat Range Rover. And if you head from country roads to the motorway, the Velar is a very luxurious way to travel.
You can select S mode on the transmission and Dynamic drive mode, and the result is impressive performance. The 4-cylinder, 2-litre petrol engine in the Velar PHEV is in contrast to the smaller 3-cylinder, 1.5-litre petrol engine in the Evoque PHEV. The Velar’s total system power is 404 HP, total system torque is 640 Nm, and the 0-62 mph acceleration time is 5.1 seconds, which is hot-hatch territory.
There’s an 8-speed automatic transmission and you can change gears using the gearshift paddles. One issue with the Velar is the gear selector, which didn’t always select Drive or Reverse as expected, and we think this is due to the button that needs to be pressed behind the selector to change gear not engaging fully.
As well as Dynamic, there are drive modes of Comfort and Eco, and PHEV modes of Hybrid, EV and Save. Then you have Terrain Response settings of grass, gravel, snow; mud and ruts; sand; and auto. A mild off-road test proved what we expected: the Velar took it all in its stride. The Velar has 213mm of ground clearance and one important thing to note is that while the Evoque PHEV can’t deliver all-wheel drive when on electric power, the Velar (as well as rivals) can do this, which in our view is an important feature. And the Velar is fitted with all-season tyres, which should be a standard feature on all 4×4 SUVs.
The latest infotainment system is an improvement on previous versions. There’s a central touchscreen and also a secondary screen lower down for climate and other controls (you can also select a massage function for the seats). To activate the heated seats, you need to push the temperature dials.
The Range Rover Velar P400e has an electric range of 33 miles, combined fuel economy of between 130.2-109.9 mpg (likely to be the latter figure for our test car with its huge 21-inch wheels), which translates to CO2 emissions of 49-58g/km.
After a week-long test involving mixed driving, but with our typical mix of around 80% of long journeys and 20% around town, we were averaging 28-31 miles of electric range, and 49.8mpg – which is good for a two-tonne luxury off-roader. As expected, the Velar with its 4-cylinder, 2-litre petrol engine was more economical at motorway speeds than the Evoque with its smaller 3-cylinder, 1.5-litre petrol engine, delivering 45.3mpg at 70mph.
The Range Rover Velar P400e S costs from £61,770. Our test car had a number of options including Carpathian Grey Premium Metallic paint (£1,480), Dapple Grey premium textile and Light Oyster suede cloth with Light Oyster Interior (£1,105), Privacy Glass (£420), Fixed Panoramic Roof (£1,350), 21-inch alloy wheels (£1,680), 14-way heated, driver memory front seats with heated rear seats and rear power recline (£510), Electrically adjustable steering column (£315), Home Charging Cable (£300) and Dynamic Handling Pack consisting of Terrain Response 2 with Dynamic Programme, All Terrain Progress Control (ATPC), Electronic Air Suspension, Adaptive Dynamics and Configurable Dynamics (£1,755). All these options took the total price of the car as tested to £69,310.
The Range Rover Velar is available as the Velar, Velar S, Velar SE, R-Dynamic S, R-Dynamic SE, R-Dynamic HSE and Edition.
The Range Rover Velar P400e is a very desirable car. It’s luxurious, refined and spacious. It manages to offer a comfortable ride as well as excellent handling for a car of this size and weight. It delivers impressive performance and is very capable off-road, and unlike the Evoque PHEV, it can operate in electric mode and in all-wheel drive at the same time. If you primarily drive it on electric power then it will be much cheaper to run than a petrol or diesel Velar – as well as having much lower emissions. The main downside is that at £61,770, or £69,310 with options, this isn’t a particularly affordable Plug-in Hybrid SUV. The Range Rover Velar P400e PHEV gains a Green Car Guide rating of 8 out of 10.