Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
Avoid the petrol-powered models and you’ll find running costs aren’t too painful. The 178bhp diesel (D180) is our pick because it has a best official combined fuel economy figure of 42.0mpg, and without really trying, we’ve managed over 35mpg in rush-hour traffic. That's pretty good for a car this size. The more powerful 237bhp variant shouldn’t be much worse, with an official figure of 41.1mpg.
Even the 3.0-litre diesel (D300) officially returns a reasonable 38.0mpg combined, while CO2 emissions range from 152g/km for the D180 diesel and from 169g/km for the D300. For reference, even the entry-level petrol is markedly less fuel-efficient, at 30.8mpg and 173g/km of CO2. The V8 supercharged petrol (P550), unsurprisingly, will cost you an arm and a leg to run.
Demand for the Velar means it shouldn't depreciate too heavily, with the smaller diesel engines holding the best value after three years. That means you’ll lose less as a percentage of the list price than you would buying a BMW X4 or X6, but, for the strongest resale values in the class, look at the Porsche Macan. Strong resale values can translate to competitive finance deals, but that also depends on what deposit contributions and APR offers each manufacturer happens to be offering at the time, So always shop around, or, better still, check out our New Car Buying pages for the best deals.
Equipment, options and extras
The entry-level trim is called simply Velar, and it’s not poorly equipped. You get the twin-screen infotainment system and the parking aids we’ve discussed earlier, plus heated front seats, keyless entry, automatic headlights and wipers, an automatically dimming rear-view mirror, dual-zone climate control, ambient interior lighting and 18in alloy wheels. You can also choose an R-Dynamic version, which adds sporty styling cues inside and out.
Then there’s a selection of specification packs, named S, SE and HSE. We'd go for the S pack, because, for a reasonable cost, it adds the 14-way powered front seats and the upgraded infotainment system – with in-built navigation and Meridian stereo – that we’ve mentioned previously, plus power-folding door mirrors, 19in alloy wheels and a powered tailgate. We don't think going to the SE pack or beyond adds enough extras to justify the price hike.
In the 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey, the Velar finished second from bottom (above only the big Range Rover and below the Discovery) in the luxury SUV class. And, when you consider that Land Rover was the most unreliable manufacturer out of the 31 surveyed overall, trouble-free motoring doesn’t seem that likely. Not that BMW, Audi, Mercedes or Porsche did exceptionally well, either, but they all did better.
So what’s your back-up, then? Well, the standard warranty is three years, with no mileage limit, and you might want to consider extending that if you’re keeping the car longer than three years. Make sure you extend it within the manufacturer’s warranty, too; once it’s lapsed, you can only buy an approved used warranty that may not cover as many eventualities.
Safety and security
The Velar picked up the full five stars from Euro NCAP for safety in the event of a crash. Looking at its test results in detail, there were a few weaknesses noted in its rear passenger chest and whiplash protection, but nothing more overtly serious. The Audi Q7, which is structurally similar to the Velar's Q8 rival, is about as safe as the Velar, while the Macan also scored the full stars, although that was back in 2014 when the tests weren’t so stringent.
All versions get automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning as standard, along with six airbags. Technologies such as a driver condition monitor, blindspot monitoring and cross-traffic detection are available, too.
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