This Rover Begs to be Driven

December 7, 2017

Vehicle: 2018 Range Rover Velar in Yulong White


Price as tested: $62,253


We spent 72 hours with the 2018 Range Rover Velar in Estes Park, Colorado.


Since first hearing whispers about Range Rover debuting an entirely new model, I’ve closely followed the release of the much anticipated 2018 Range Rover Velar. When Land Rover Colorado Springs called and offered up one of the first Velars in Colorado Springs for a review, I immediately cleared my calendar, packed my bags, and planned a road trip with my wife to Estes Park.


Within minutes of settling into the Velar’s luxurious cabin, my wife and I quickly realized this was a very special vehicle and much different than previous Range Rover models. Heading north, we made a quick stop at the recently opened Le Méridien in downtown Denver. Parking the Velar alongside some of the finest luxury SUVs available, my wife and I paused and looked back – captivated at the aggressive stance and contemporary design. She said to me “this looks like nothing else on the road, it’s just sitting there growling at you - begging to be driven.” I couldn’t agree more. 




You literally can’t take your eyes off this striking design. The modern and sleek headlights carry your eye all the way down the perfectly proportioned body and stance.




As we departed Denver and headed into the canyons outside of Boulder, it was time to put the Velar to the test and see how it would perform in the unforgiving elevation of Colorado. Our Velar came equipped with the R-Dynamic package, 20” satin dark grey wheels, and the 247hp turbocharged 4-cylinder with 8-speed transmission. 


The Velar pleasantly surprised me as we flew up US-36. Carving into the turns, the Velar planted itself firmly into the corners and had more than enough power to soak up the elevation and pass the out-of-state looky-loos.



Gerry McGovern, Land Rover’s Chief Design Officer says “we designed the Velar interior to be a calm sanctuary, created through elegant simplicity and a visually reductive approach.” 


The exterior and interior designs blend beautifully together. Inside the cabin the Velar exudes elegance with well-built controls that feel substantial and meaningful.  Debuting the entirely new Range Rover InControl  Touch Pro Duo infotainment system, dual 10” Touchscreen monitors, and user-friendly controls now allow the driver or passenger to easily navigate all aspects of interior comfort and media. We particularly enjoyed how the screen mode and steering wheel controls change based on what function you select. A small complaint about using the touchscreens is fingerprints. Really, hasn’t someone figured this out yet? The only other small complaint was that we found the backup camera to be a bit distorted - like looking into a fishbowl.


However, with the amount of user-friendly tech in this car, I found myself waiting for the 3, 2, 1 countdown from Mission Control. Everything you touch on the inside of the Velar feels far superior to Range Rover designs of the past. The Velar sets a high standard for what a luxury SUV should look and feel like to the eyes and senses. 




Inside, the Velar entertained us with the exceptional 825-watt Meridian Surround Sound System. Premium leather, modern textiles, floating center AC vents, and a full digital gauge cluster showed off the fact that Range Rover included everything you need and eliminated any excess.


The Velar is deceptive, because it drives more like a sports car than a mid-sized SUV. It’s nimble, yet roomy. Sizeable, but still easy to park and maneuver around town. The massive glass moon roof allows for unobstructed views of the Rocky Mountains and features a large, deployable wind screen, so you really can drive with the roof open at speed and enjoy the experience.


Ever since the first Land Rover was conceived in 1947, the company has challenged what’s possible in an off-road vehicle. In the past, when I thought of Land Rover, I envisioned a vehicle designed to tackle any rugged terrain possible, but with odd, sometimes quirky and mostly frustrating functionality. That is no longer the case! 


The Velar beautifully combines the legendary physical capabilities of a Land Rover with driver entertainment and luxurious comfort in a price that is actually attainable. $62,253 for our test model - compared to the $100,000+  price tag for the bigger Rover. 


After spending time in the Velar, I give this sports SUV a 4.5 out of 5 stars. The Velar is a sexy, vivacious, fun, well thought out vehicle that lived up to every expectation and killed any lingering bias I had towards Land Rovers of the past. After setting an all-time sales record in 2016, I have no doubt the Velar will be a paramount vehicle in the future of Land Rover.


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