The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
The Range Rover Velar has lots of steering wheel adjustments, but entry-level models make do with eight-way manual seats and do not provide adjustable lumbar support. S and SE trims add 14-way electrically adjustable seats (including fine-tuning for the lumbar region), and these are very comfortable, even after a few hours. Top-spec HSE Velars come with 20-way electrically adjustable seats that move every which way, and will even heat, cool and massage you.
The settings for some controls are accessed through the lower of two touchscreens. Switching between functions using the on-screen icons requires you to take your eyes off the road, but, once you've selected the appropriate page of settings, you can use two dial controllers, which make life easier. We still prefer systems with a central rotary control interface, though, such as the class-leading iDrive set-up of the BMW X4.
SE versions and upwards come with a 12.3in digital instrument cluster that replaces the analogue dials. It’s clear and puts lots of information just in front of the driver, but it’s not as easy to use as the excellent Audi Virtual Cockpit system.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
Thanks to the Range Rover Velar’s lofty driving position, the driver's view straight out of the front and to the sides is good. The thick windscreen pillars can obscure your vision slightly at junctions, though. Seeing out of the back isn’t very easy, either, because of the small rear screen and thick rear pillars.
Fortunately, all Velars come with front and rear parking sensors and a 360deg camera system. If you are really worried about parking, a park-assist system that will find a space and steer you into it is optional on all trims.
S models get LED headlights, while SE and above come with adaptive LED matrix headlights, which can remain set to main beam without dazzling other drivers.
Sat nav and infotainment
You get a pair of 10.0in touchscreens on all Range Rover Velars. One is where you would expect it to be, in the middle of the dashboard, and the other (which we talked about in the Driving Position section) is just below it, in front of the gear selector. The second screen is used to access the air conditioning and off-road modes, but you can also operate the multimedia system through it while the main screen continues to display a navigation route map.
Both screens are sharp, with smart-looking graphics and menus that prove easy enough to navigate once you are used to them. Some of the icons are a bit small but the system is responsive to your commands. Rivals including the BMW X4 and X6 come with a more intuitive rotary controller, which is less distracting to use when you're driving and complements the touchscreen.
You can bypass the Land Rover software using the standard-fit Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone connectivity. Among other things, these let you use Google Maps or Waze navigation apps instead of the built-in sat-nav. Rear-seat passengers are catered for with a pair of USB sockets, hidden behind the front centre armrest. There's also a rear-seat entertainment system with twin 8.0in screens available as an option. S trim upgrades the stereo to 10 speakers and 380 watts of power, but from SE you get 16 speakers and 825 watts.
The main areas you look at and interact with in the Range Rover Velar are suitably stylish, and the higher-spec models have plenty of soft leather on their seats, dashboards, steering wheels and door tops. Even the more basic trims, fitted with cloth seats, look and feel snazzy and inviting. In the main, Velars feel sturdily put together, although they're not quite as consistently robust as the Audi Q8, or the BMW X4 and X6.
This is the coupé SUV class, though, which features seriously high-end models including the Lamborghini Urus and Porsche Cayenne Coupe. The Velar is swish, but it's far from their rarefied level. Poke around further and you’ll find plastics that feel a little flimsy, along with some panel gaps and dashboard creaks that show it’s not quite as well screwed together as the Range Rover Sport.
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