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New Range Rover Velar & Audi SQ7 vs BMW X6

The new Range Rover Velar may look great, but is the V6 diesel version better than luxury SUV rivals like the Audi SQ7 and BMW X6?

Words By What Car? team

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Audi SQ7 rear seats

Space and practicality

Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot

The Velar has the narrowest interior but, even so, two adults won’t feel at all hemmed in up front and they won’t want for head room, either. However, really lanky drivers might find their seat doesn’t slide back far enough on its runners. The X6 and SQ7 offer even more front leg room.

Our X6 test car was fitted with an optional (Β£1095) sunroof, which reduced front head room to the extent that the X6 was the worst of the three, although a couple of tall adults sitting in the front won’t exactly be cowering.

Adults sitting in the back are unlikely to have an issue with head room in any of our contenders, although the SQ7 has the highest ceiling and the X6 the lowest. Mind you, the X6 actually has the most rear leg room – even with the SQ7’s sliding rear seats (a unique feature in this company) pushed all the way back. However, only in the Velar are taller adults likely to find their knees resting against the back of the front seats, especially if someone similarly lofty is sitting in front. The Velar and SQ7’s rear seatbacks can be reclined to different positions – the Velar’s electrically, the SQ7’s manually – whereas the X6’s are fixed in place.

Unlike the other two cars, the SQ7 has a third row of seats that rise electrically from the boot floor. Two adults will just about fit in them, although they’re really best left for kids unless the journey is short. To gain access to its rearmost row, the SQ7’s middle row can be tumbled forward manually. All three cars come with split-folding rear (middle-row in the SQ7) seats that divide in a practical 40/20/40 configuration.

With its rearmost seats folded away, the SQ7’s boot is biggest. It’s the longest, widest and tallest and is a practical shape from front to back. That’s not to say the X6’s boot is a poor effort; it’s a similarly practical shape and, in our carryon suitcase test, managed to swallow nine cases (the same as the SQ7) beneath the parcel shelf – albeit with one case beneath the boot floor in the generous underfloor storage area. That said, the X6’s boot does have the narrowest opening and the most pronounced lip at its entrance.

Trailing in third place for boot space is the Velar. Its load bay is actually slightly longer than the X6’s but narrower and shallower, making a difference in our carryon suitcase test. We managed to squeeze in just seven cases – one fewer than in a Seat Ateca.

Audi SQ7

SQ7’s boot is the biggest here, swallowing nine carry cases with ease and proving the longest, widest and tallest, with the best access

Boot 705-1890 litres Suitcases 9

BMW X6

Nine cases fitted inside, but one had to go beneath the boot floor. Square shape impresses; narrowest opening and largest load lip don’t

Boot 580-1525 litres Suitcases 9

Range Rover Velar

Velar’s on-paper boot figure is misleading: it measures floor to roof, not floor to tonneau cover. In fact, the Velar’s boot is the smallest of the three

Boot 632-1690 litres Suitcases 7

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