Range Rover Velar. It’s an odd name, isn’t it? Believe it or not, it isn’t the result of a few glasses of wine and a Scrabble bag; there is history to it. When Land Rover developed the original Range Rover, back in the 1960s, the firm wanted to conceal its identity derived the name Velar, from the Latin word 'velare', meaning to hide.
That's the history lesson over, so now back to the present, and what exactly is the 21st-century Range Rover Velar all about? Well, put simply, it’s a rakish five-door SUV that fills the huge price gap between the entry-level Evoque and the cheapest Range Rover Sport. It’s also the most road-biased Range Rover yet, but is still incredibly capable over the rough stuff thanks to standard-fit four-wheel drive and a raft of clever mud-plugging tech.
Engines range from a 2.0-litre diesel with 178bhp, all the way up to a 5.0-litre V8 petrol, which supercharged to produce a mighty 542bhp. In between those bookends are petrols and diesels with various amount of oomph
As for rivals, they are many and varied. It’s up against the stylish brigade of coupé SUVs –cars such as the BMW X4, Mercedes GLC Coupé and Porsche Macan – although you could also have a seven-seater, like the Audi Q7 or BMW X5 for similar money. Then there are the really high-end models that fall into the Velar's upper price range, models such as the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé and BMW X6.
Over the next few pages, we’ll take a look at how the Velar drives, what it’s like inside and how costly it will be to own. Or, if you've already been seduced by the Velar's sleek lines, head to our New Car Buying pages for big savings with a minimum of effort.