• Auto123 gets in a first drive of the 2024 Land Rover Range Rover Velar.
Paris, France – Land Rover’s Range Rover Velar is a bit of an odd duck in the lineup, sitting somewhere between the Range Rover Sport and smaller Evoque. Size-wise it’s closer to the former, but it shares one of its powertrains – a 4-cylinder turbo – with the latter. So is it simply an upgrade from the Evoque, or a slightly more coupe-like version of the Sport? We travelled to France’s gorgeous Champagne region to try and sort it out.
Styling of the 2024 Range Rover Velar – 9/10
Since its inception, the Velar has always been a cool-looking thing. Its roofline slopes downward slightly towards a subtly upsweeping beltline creating a neat taper that, coupled with the aggressive rake to the rear window, makes for an athletic profile. Indeed, while Range Rover doesn’t call it that, it kind of gives the vibe of the 4-door SUV coupes common in the world today. That trend started with the BMW X6, followed by the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe and the Audi Sportback crossovers.
In any case, the Velar looks great in profile. As well, the 2024 edition gets a new grille and headlights for a more aggressive look. Those also provide a seamless integration with the leading edge of the hood, adding a smother, more aerodynamic look.
The rear fascia has also been given a slight nip n’ tuck with the addition of new taillight bulbs and it can all be coated in two new colours: Metallic Varesine Blue and Metallic Zadar Grey. They both look good, but the blue is the winner in our books thanks to its depth and the way it contrasts with the copper detailing on the side grilles and front bumper vents.
Interior of the 2024 Range Rover Velar – 8.5/10
While it should come as no surprise that you can have your Velar with a full real leather interior, this year we get the addition of a Turkish Kvadrat wool blend that’s more sustainable than leather and can be paired with ultra-fabric inserts. The former provides a nice, warm feel to the interior while the latter may seem a little wetsuit but it does add durability.
The supportive front seats and steering wheel angle make for a great driver’s seating position (with a comfort boost provided by available multi-mode massage seats) that manages to feel nice and sports car-like without overly compromising the view out.
Chief among the changes in the front row include an effort to lower dash clutter, by removing traditional knobs and hard buttons on both the steering wheel and the 11.4-inch digital display. Now, all that you see when glancing at the dash and centre console is the screen, a stubby electronic shifter and climate-control vents. There are no buttons to speak of and the result is almost concept car-like in its execution.
The rear seat has room enough for average-sized adults and the seats fold flat to add length to the cargo area for hauling skis and such. The Velar also gets a dual tailgate that allows for opening the tailgate’s upper panel without risking tightly packed cargo sliding out.
Tech in the 2024 Range Rover Velar – 8/10
2024 sees the addition of an updated version of Range Rover’s Pivi infotainment system on the floating 11.4-inch touchscreen display with curved glass. It’s attractive and responsive and you can feel the quality of the glass through your fingertips. It’s lovely and a real sign that attention has been paid to updated interior quality.
Also on-hand is an optional 17-speaker Meridian 3D surround sound system that, along with updated active road noise cancellation that neutralizes exterior sound frequencies, makes for a quiet, luxurious cabin befitting of the brand. There’s also Amazon Alexa support as well as wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
It's all very good, but it suffers from an affliction we’re seeing a lot of today I like to call “too much touchscreen”. The controls removed from the dash had to go somewhere, and that’s on the touch display and the two new sidebars it now gets. Climate controls, drive modes, HD camera activation, differential controls – they’re all here but are a challenge to operate when on the move, especially when on bumpy terrain.
Driving the 2024 Range Rover Velar – 8.5/10
This is a Range Rover and past all the luxury features, it has to be good off the beaten track. There are seven drive modes to choose from that will help in this regard: Eco, Comfort, Grass-Gravel-Snow, Mud-Ruts, Sand, Dynamic and Auto, as well as self-levelling air suspension. The more off-road-specific modes will automatically open or close the centre differential, adjust the power distribution and modify transmission inputs to provide unparalleled progress over rough, slippery or muddy terrain.
Add both a hill-descent control system and cruise control-based crawl, and you have a proper off-roader that really does feel tough to stop.
In addition to the mechanical bits, there’s on-board tech to further improve the off-road manners, such as cameras over the front wheels and a “transparent hood” feature that uses more cameras still to look directly ahead and below you, so you can see the rocks, roots and ruts coming your way.
The crawl control feature is a little finicky to activate in that you have to once again navigate menus to get there but once done, all you have to worry about is the steering while the system does the rest.
Capable as it is in those conditions, however, most Velars are going to spend most of their time on paved roads and there, it works just as well. Two powertrains are offered: the P250 gets you a 2.0L 4-cylinder good for 247 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque, while two mild hybrid inline 6-cylinder choices are also available, the P340 good for 335 hp and 354 lb-ft, and P400 making 395 hp and 406 lb-ft.
There’s also a plug-in hybrid version available in other markets, but that’s yet to be confirmed for Canada. Which is a bit curious in that Mercedes-Benz just brought their PHEV GLE 450e to market here and both Audi and BMW have similar offerings for their entrants in the segment.
While you won’t get the ability to drive in full-EV mode as you’d get in the PHEV model, the powertrains you do get are robust and will get you where you’re going in short order. We tested the hi-po P400 Dynamic HSE model and power delivery is quick, the engine and 8-speed ZF automatic transmission nicely in-sync to ensure you’re in the meat of the powerband for as long as possible.
The air suspension will keep you nice and level through turns on the road as well as off it, which in addition to the seating position adds to the feeling that you’re driving something much more low-slung than an SUV. It’s a darn fun drive that makes you want more, and that’s a neat trick pulled by Range Rover.
Some of your questions about the 2024 Range Rover Velar
Will the PHEV model be available in Canada in the future?
Range Rover hasn’t confirmed the P450 PHEV model will be coming here, but does indicate it’ll be looking at the model’s performance in other markets over the course of the year and then re-assess.
What is the pricing of the 2024 Range Rover Velar?
The Velar is available in three trims: P250 Dynamic SE ($68,400 CAD), P340 Dynamic SE ($76,100), and P400 Dynamic HSE ($88,500).
The final word
While the poshness of the full-size Range Rover models and the youthful energy of the smaller Evoque can’t be denied, the Velar sits at the centre of the axis of the lineup, providing a satisfying all-round experience that’s a nice value-add. Plus, it looks cool while it’s at it and the interior accoutrements are crafted from quality materials and the goal to reduce clutter was achieved.
- Great drive, off-road and on
- Potent turbo hybrid powertrain option
- Slick styling
- Too much done through infotainment display
- PHEV model not available in Canada
Competitors of the 2024 Range Rover Velar