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 (D180) has a best official average fuel economy figure of 42.0mpg, and without trying we’ve managed over 35mpg in rush-hour traffic. The more powerful 237bhp variant shouldn’t be much worse, with an official figure of 41.1mpg.
Even the 3.0-litre diesel (D300) returns a reasonable 38.0 mpg on the official cycle, while CO2 emissions range from 152g/km for the D180 diesel and form 169g/km for the D300. The V8 supercharged petrol, unsurprisingly, will cost you an arm and a leg to run, so consider yourself warned.
Demand for the Velar means it doesn’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 with 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, so always shop around. Or, better still, check out our New Car Buying pages.
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 upgrade to R-Dynamic trim, which adds styling cues inside and out, plus there’s a selection of specification packs to add on top, named S, SE and HSE. The SVAutobiography gets quad tailpipes, forged 21in wheels, 20-way electrically adjustable leather seats and a heated steering wheel.
The S pack adds the 14-way powered front seats, upgraded stereo and LED headlights that we’ve mentioned, plus you get power-folding door mirrors, 19in alloy wheels and a powered tailgate, so we think that’s the option to go for. The SE pack upgrades these to 20in alloy wheels with an even better sound system, plus a birds-eye-view camera, while HSE adds 21in wheels and upgraded safety kit.
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 do exceptionally well, either, but they all do 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, which may not cover as much.
Safety and security
The Velar picked up the full five stars from Euro NCAP for safety in the event of a crash. Look at its test results in detail and a few weaknesses were noted in its rear passenger chest and whiplash protection, but nothing more serious showed up. The Audi Q7, which is structurally similar to the Velar's Q8 rival, is about as safe as the Velar, but Porsche doesn’t test its cars, so we cannot tell you how a Macan would compare.
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 also available.
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