There is a growing fondness for our long-term Velar—which technically isn’t Land Rover’s flagship, but which does a strong impression of one.
The 380-hp 332-lb-ft 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 mated to a sure-shifting eight-speed automatic makes short work of a couple shortcuts I make on my coastal commute, where I dogleg around some notorious PCH snarls. Turning right onto the grand prix of Manhattan Beach Boulevard from a wee residential street in a 2-plus-ton SUV could provoke the honking of horns and the raising of middle digits—except that the Velar’s prompt acceleration assuredly places you into that gap in traffic without requiring anyone behind to lift off their respective throttles. Respect.
When I went out of town for a stretch, there was a dogpile at the key box to see who would get to borrow the Landie. Blame it on the opulent leather interior, the plush air-suspension ride, and the admiring looks from passersby—as well as from those marooned in similarly priced premium vehicles rendered anonymous by the Velar’s sleek lines. Yeah, this is luxury.
Our newly minted copy editor Claire Crowley won the keyfob battle royal and spent a long weekend with the Velar, which she letter-scrambled to re-christen as the “Evar”—as in Best Vehicle Evar.
“A sweet ride! Beautiful, classy interior, if not completely spacious. There’s a good mix of comfort and power (even in Comfort setting), and I found myself going faster than I realized,” Claire noted. “I always felt safe and confident behind the wheel, particularly when merging, even with my kiddo in the back seat.” That said, Claire took issue with the fingerprinty touchscreens, and connecting her iPhone was a lost cause due to frequent disconnects.
Next up was photographer Robin Trajano, who blazed 2,000 miles in the Velar in its role as a photo-chase vehicle for our Super SUV test.
“Joy! Really dig the looks, and so do lots of people who stare. Great on the freeway. Quiet and smooth while cruising at 90,” Robin said. However, in the cauldron of the Mojave Desert, the infotainment system’s ponderous startup time meant sweltering while waiting for the climate system to boot up and start pushing cold air.
And gads, this Range Rover’s range is poor. Sometimes it seemed as though barely 100 miles had passed before the fuel gauge was below a half-tank, with the range-remaining indicator dropping to mere double digits. For 2019 models, the fuel tank for the V-6 engine will increase to 21.6 gallons from its current 16.5, so those pondering a late-season deal on a 2018 can add that as a reason to wait for the new model year.
Read more about our long-term Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic SE:
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