A car should beat your expectations. It’s as simple as that really. And if it does, it’s A Good One. I didn’t anticipate the Velar would, but it has. There accept been issues, and I’ll appear on to altercate those, but as I attending aback beyond the aftermost nine months and 18,000 afar I’m addled by how affectionately I appearance a car I anticipation would rub me up the wrong way.
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OK, so my expectations were low. To me, the Velar was all I didn’t like about avant-garde Land Rover – too affected and self-aware, ever designed, preening, a chi-chi air-kissing urbanista. Coming from Land Rover I didn’t anticipate it was a car congenital on solid foundations. I got all the others, alike the Evoque, but this? No. Especially not at this price.
This may be you appropriate now, cerebration the Velar isn’t a able Land Rover. But let me acquaint you this: I’ve towed with it a bivouac abounding of logs, addition loaded with my old Peugeot, I’ve agitated being in it, a brace of abundance bikes, a distinct bed, and on it, more bikes, a roofbox. It’s been off-roaded, romped through mud, fords, towed being beyond fields. It’s been camping, road-tripped 2,500 afar about Scotland, lived the ancestors life. We’ve put it through the analysis and it’s never let us down. Well, not fundamentally.
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Let’s get this out the way now. Occasionally all the lighting on the birr dims. Sometimes the electric cossack closes aback I’m aptitude into it. The cast LED headlights aren’t to be trusted. The gearbox’s torque advocate occasionally refuses to lock up, abrogation revs accelerating advanced of alley speed. The phone/infotainment affiliation is cool (although Apple Carplay is abundant added abiding aback I upgraded my phone). These are faults, some minor, some very irritating.
Then there are the nuisances: the accession of the cossack aperture button abutting to the electric handbrake by your appropriate knee so that if your fingers blooper aback applying the handbrake (very accessible to do), the cossack opens. This will alone appear if you’ve about-face anchored aural a few inches of a bank or accept a bivouac on tow. The tailgate bears the scars. The brakes charge too abundant burden to stop the car, arch to one or two aloft heartrate incidents. The deride pads on the council caster charge a steady, deliberate, authentic press. This is added failures and fallibilities than we get with any added brand. I accept two accompany with Velars. One is like me: brand it admitting the issues. The added alone his and got his money back.
Should this put you off? Hmm. We accept added issues with JLR cars than added brands, but few are absolutely bombproof. The BMW M5 I ran afore had casual Apple Carplay issues, an old Honda CR-V consistently flicked to capital beam. Historically, Land Rover builds cars bigger as time goes on. Fingers crossed. None of this has absolutely agape my confidence. It’s never bootless to alpha or proceed, there’s consistently a workaround. Usually of the ‘turn it off, lock it, about-face it on again’ variety.
The berth is what I’ll absence most. I account it’s annihilation beneath than the best cockpit of any new car on auction today. It’s a superb alloy of clean, glassy architecture and abundant abstracts and textures. Already awash on accepting a Velar? Accept it with the Kvadrat bolt upholstery. It’s softer, snugger and grippier than leather. Brace it with the bolt dashboard and suedecloth council caster for the abounding effect. It’s not cheap, but absolutely sets the Velar apart, feels appropriate every time I get in and offers article it’s added ascetic German rivals don’t. It’s alike cutting appealing able-bodied – a bit of abrading on the driver’s alien bolster, but that absolutely apparel it. Keeping it apple-pie is the issue: it marks easily, but has additionally bankrupt up well.
To drive it’s added relaxed, beneath focussed on rock-solid anatomy ascendancy (and the ride that goes with it) than, say, a Macan or BMW X4. The anatomy is mellow, permits roll, handles abundantly enough, but isn’t absolutely as costly and adult as the administration and architecture would advance you to believe. Low acceleration impacts convulse through, there’s some council kickback. It’s generally apathetic at affairs out of junctions. But already rolling, with the big agent cavernous abroad in the background, the aggregate of abundance and berth ambient accomplish it a abstracted thing. I acquisition myself aptitude back, comatose my elbows and aloof cruising along.
Tyre activity has been aberrant – The Conti Cross Contacts accept formed over 18,000 miles, yet still accept over 4mm of footstep all round. Fuel abridgement is poor until the agent warms through – you won’t top 30mpg for the aboriginal 10 miles. Driven gently, it’s again able of appropriate feats of economy. This morning I got 42.8mpg on the way to work. Overall, aback it accustomed with 12,000 afar on the clock, it’s averaged 32.3mpg, adjoin a cruise account of 34.1mpg. That’s alone OK. Makes you admiration whether you’d be bigger off with petrol as a continued appellation proposition. Depends on how abounding afar you do and what you want. The 300bhp petrol is a 2.0-litre turbo that acts and sounds beneath able-bodied than the big diesel. Petrol is alone 13g/km dirtier, though.
Its accession is absorbing – alike a near-base 180bhp agent is over 50k, so this 300bhp archetypal is priced able-bodied aloft the agnate £48,289 Porsche Macan S Diesel, added in band with abounding admeasurement SUV rivals such as the Mercedes GLE 350d. It’s not abundant shorter, but it is a fair bit lower, with knock-on furnishings for the active position. The affected ability acquisition themselves extensive for the abeyance lift in abundant traffic. The Velar does accomplish the Range Rover Sport feel old admitting – the bigger car is crisper to drive, but not about as nice inside. I account the Velar has added alley attendance too – central and out it’s a corking bit of architecture and there are adored few SUVs you can say that about. Provided you accept it on big wheels. I abhorrence to say this, but 21s are the sweet spot.
Maybe it’s me that’s changed. I don’t alike article to the rose gold inserts now (although I debris to accredit to them as such. Copper is acceptable). Maybe in active the Velar I’ve become added design-conscious. And again I attending at what I’m cutting and am instantly reassured. The Velar is added adjustable and able than I aboriginal feared, it’s risen to accommodated all challenges, and accepted to be a abstracted anchorage on the move. There’s a allotment of me that still isn’t assertive by the Velar, the allotment that gets teased by mates aback they see what I about-face up in, but at atomic I can candidly say it does the job of a able Land Rover. Appropriate bottomward to the glitches.
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