Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
Avoid the petrol-powered models and you’ll find running costs aren’t too painful considering the Velar’s size. The 178bhp diesel has a best official average fuel economy figure of 42.0mpg with the more powerful 237bhp variant coming in at 41.1mpg. Even the 3.0-litre diesel returns a reasonable 38.0mpg on the official cycle, while CO2 emissions range from 152g/km for the 178bhp diesel to 270g/km for the V8.
Demand for the Velar means it doesn’t depreciate too heavily, translating into competitive finance deals. In terms of pricing, the entry-level Velar costs a little bit more than the top-spec Audi Q5. It's worth noting that the Q5 will be more efficient, quicker and better equipped, too.
Equipment, options and extras
Although Land Rover isn't outright stingy with equipment on the most basic Velar, the cloth seats and 18in wheels probably won’t appeal to many. What you do get is a DAB radio, Bluetooth, keyless entry, automatic emergency braking, LED headlights and an automatic gearbox.
With that in mind, we’d upgrade to S spec. This adds leather upholstery, 19in wheels, sat-nav, a punchier stereo, a rear-view camera and a powered tailgate. The only annoyance is that lumbar support is a pricey option.
SE is tempting if you’re likely to add a couple of options to S, although it’s predicted that most people will plump for HSE trim. While it is expensive, it includes features that are optional on many of the Velar’s rivals.
You can add an R-Dynamic pack to S, SE and HSE that brings dark wheels and sportier looks inside and out, including swish, satin-chrome gearshifters. For a limited time, there’s also a First Edition that gets a selection of premium options and fancy paint. It’s very expensive, though.
While we don’t yet know how reliable the Velar is, we do have data on its siblings, the full-sized Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. While the Range Rover Sport put in a below-average performance for reliability, the full-sized Range Rover was the least reliable luxury SUV. Land Rover as a brand also performed poorly, ranking one from bottom.
It’s also worth remembering that the Jaguar F-Pace, which shares a platform with the Velar, scored below average in our 2018 reliability survey.
Safety and security
The Velar picked up a full five stars from Euro NCAP for safety in the event of a crash. Its overall score isn’t quite as good as the larger Audi Q7, but it’s very close and actually beats the Q7 on pedestrian protection. The Velar is better overall than the Porsche Macan, though.
All versions get automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning as standard, along with six airbags. Technologies such as a driver condition monitor, a blindspot monitor and cross traffic detection are also available.
For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here