Petrol or diesel Range Rover Velar?

A reader wants to know which version of our reigning Coupé SUV of the Year will suit his son best...

2020 Range Rover Velar D180 front

My son lives on Guernsey and is in the process of ordering a new Range Rover Velar. He is undecided about which engine to go for: the P300 petrol or D275 diesel.

I’ve told him that he should consider the petrol model, because he only usually does short journeys and the only chance he will have to give it a long run is on one or two journeys to the mainland each year. I’m concerned that this type of driving could make the diesel particulate filter (DPF) in the diesel model clog up. 

He says he knows a couple of people with diesel Land Rover models on Guernsey and they’ve had no problems. However, I’m still concerned about the DPF and would be grateful for your advice on the matter.

Derrick Blackwell

What Car? says…

We understand your concerns about running a diesel-engined car on a small island, because DPFs do need to get up to temperature in order to burn off the accumulated soot, and this is typically best done over a fairly long journey. 

However, it's reassuring to hear your son’s comments about other diesel Land Rover drivers on the island whose cars haven't experienced issues. This chimes with the data on these vehicles in the What Car? Reliability Survey.

Land Rover Range Rover Velar 2019 rear cornering

Although the Velar and other Range Rover models had a high rate of problems, the majority were with bodywork and non-engine electrical systems.

Owners told us that exhaust and emissions issues weren't major causes of concern. either on the Velar or on other Land Rover vehicles that share the same 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine. This would suggest that your son shouldn't have DPF issues with a D275 Velar, despite living on Guernsey.

The D275 would also be preferable to the P300, because petrol versions of the Velar struggle when it comes to low-rev torque, and you need to work them harder to get up to speed. The D275 should provide much more effortless performance and still return respectable running costs. 

One further point to bear in mind, though, is that the slightly more powerful D300 Velar is only £2 a month pricier than the D275 in terms of monthly PCP payments, according to the What Car? New Car Buying site, and this is the model we recommend. 

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Best luxury SUVs 

An increasing number of car buyers are shunning prestige saloons in favour of luxury SUVs like the Velar, drawn in by the appeal of their elevated driving positions, rugged looks and upmarket interiors.

The best also offer a cosseting ride, punchy performance and the sort of refinement that makes long journeys effortless. But which are the top 10 models – and which are best avoided?

Range Rover P400 front corner driving shot

The Range Rover is one of the great motoring icons and every bit as compelling a proposition today as it was when it was first introduced more than 40 years ago. Our recommended SDV6 diesel engine has more than enough shove for everyday driving, while even entry-level Vogue models come well equipped. 

9. Range Rover Sport

Range Rover Sport front three quarters

The second Range Rover to make the list is the Sport, which is based on the full-sized Range Rover. It’s no surprise, then, that it’s a fantastic car for covering long distances, with a smooth engine and a relaxed ride. What's more, the interior is luxurious and generously equipped, and there's the option of seven seats.

See the full top 10 >>