Range Rover Velar Forum banner
1 - 20 of 54 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello folks,

It's been three weeks and 2,300 miles of ownership. Today we are hunkered down at the beautiful Inn on The Lake at Glenridding in The Lake District. Awful weather and so this hotel is the perfect way to chill for an afternoon. We have nabbed the seating around the open fire, rain pelting down and Velar parked right outside. Tea and sandwiches on order. You must try it - a top tip from Arianne :D

And so, the perfect opportunity to enjoy drafting my mid-term, honest review of our Velar D300 V6 R-dynamic.....

....... this review covers our experience of day to day ownership coupled with three longer trips - Southern Scotland to Cambridgeshire, Kent and this overnight jaunt to The Lake District.

Summary
We think our Velar is a wonderful car. Mrs A remains besotted and my 25yr old son also thinks it is great. I have increased my score from 8/10 to 9/10. I have found the Velar to be a superb all round, accomplished exec-SUV. It does everything so, so well. Long motorway journeys are serene while it disposes of fast, twisty country roads like the A68 without fuss. She cuts through grotty weather and standing water as if it were just a sunny day with a light breeze in the air. The boot is big enough for all of our junk when we are away on holiday, the cabin is a truly comfortable and relaxing place to sit. Overall, this is a superb car - albeit an expensive one.

Recommended Options
First up, the heated steering wheel - it's an essential option people! Why, I hear you ask in disbelief? Well, look at your steering wheel on the configurator and you will spot a metal ring embedded in the steering wheel. That ring is cold on chilly mornings. It's going to be very, very cold on freezing mornings! The heated steering wheel option isn't expensive but it's worthwhile. After a few minutes the heating element has warmed even the metal ring. On other cars we had this option as a discretionary choice but on the Velar I would suggest it's an important option to tick on the configurator.

Next, park sensors on the front - very useful because, unless you have chosen the front camera, you cannot see the tip of the front bumper. Unlike the F-Pace, it's possible to automatically have the front sensors activate below a certain speed. This means that you don't need to keep pressing a button to switch them on every time. In the three Jaguars I drove earlier in 2017, I needed to press a button, which one forgets to do, unless I had recently selected reverse gear.

Finally, the activity bracelet - if, like me, you do sports like football, badminton or skiing. Leave the key in the car and just wear the bracelet. Nobody can pinch your key from your jacket or locker and then drive your expensive car away. Works better on the Velar than with my F-Pace. Love it.

Build Quality
Compared to my earlier F-Pace the Velar is rock solid and perfectly screwed together - almost (I will come to that later). I think this must be the very first car I have ever owned from new where there is not a single squeak, rattle or creaking noise from anything in the cabin. It is all tightly built with perfect alignment inside and out. Shut lines are perfect and, having washed the car twice, the whole thing feels more substantial than the Jaguar F-Pace and my previous Volvo XC60.

Performance
Of course, the many options, build solidity and post-apocalyptic all terrain running gear adds weight. More weight than the Jaguar F-Pace. And so, sadly, the Velar doesn't deliver that same thrill in performance and handling as the Jaguar. I also think that the cossetting ride and cabin acoustics mean that acceleration arrives without the same sense of drama as in the F-Pace. The D300 has all the torque needed to dispense with the nightmare convoy of a Nissan Micra, followed by the Argos articulated lorry limited to 40mph for your safety on these country roads and the Honda Jazz making up the rear. It does so without any fuss. Slipping the car into Dynamic mode and selecting the Sports gearbox results in a noticeable change in overall character of the car. But the F-Pace beats the Velar in this area even if the Velar has a much better overall ride on its air suspension.

Handling
It's good, very good. You can hustle the Velar on twisty roads and, for a two ton SUV, it's excellent. The Velar requires very little driver forethought as you approach bends but it does feel as if there is a slight disconnect between the steering and handling compared to the pinpoint precision of the F-Pace. The latter is a true driver's car, the Velar is a lovely car to drive in all circumstances. The Porsche Macan is the benchmark in this area but anyone who suggests that the Velar is a competitor for the Macan is mistaken. The Macan is a jacked up hatchback and performs brilliantly. But the Velar is a truly gifted lifestyle SUV that has many talents rather than narrowly focusing upon just one or two tricks. All three cars occupy a different market segment, albeit micro-segments. I do miss the thrilling performance and handling of my F-Pace. But overall, I prefer to Velar. Even if it's more expensive than the Jaguar! But I can see, indeed feel, why it costs more and the extra money is more than fashion or vanity - the Velar has the better build, possesses more toys and is a more classy product.

Technology, including SatNav
So the SatNav is the best I have ever had in a car. It's brilliant. This is a truly connected car. It's ground breaking, especially for JLR, and so there are a few minor glitches as one would expect. I am an early adopter and I factored this into my mind set and expectations before our Velar arrived. The software is continually being updated as I have witnessed on the troublesome F-Pace and the effect is a user experience that, for the most part, is stable and rewarding. I anticipate further updates being released over the next few years and, because this system is being introduced to the revised RRS and eventually the rest of the JLR range, improvements are assured as this is not a legacy software system.

I use the Remote Planning App to select my journey which is then automatically sent to my car. The App itself is a bit archaic on my iPad and sometimes thinks my car is parked miles away from where it actually is sitting. But none of this impacts upon the functionality of pre-loading my SatNav before I get into the car. I get in, simply select the journey from the option that pops up on the SatNav screen and away I go. Real time traffic information (I have an EE 2Gb per month PAYG data sim for 12mths installed) is clearly visible and it is dead reliable. It shows traffic accurately, has re-routed us properly and even nipped us up and down a slip road to avoid the final cause of a queue on the A14 which was stuck between the junction on the main carriageway - naughty Holly (that's her name) as it's not my style but I was just following her instructions!

Data consumption is tiny. Three weeks in and 2.3k miles has used about 500Mb of data, including one update to the Live Apps. Data input is fast and there is no lag on the keyboard. Holly finds my preferred Shell fuel stations en-route when I ask her and adds the filling station as a waypoint.

The weather App is nice and will be great when we are heading to The Alps for skiing as we will know what to expect before we get there (probably no snow and mild temperatures if the last three years is anything to go by!).

I love the configurable screens. I have music on the lower centre screen, perhaps SatNav on the upper centre or even in front of me on my digital TFT driver display. I find the whole interface easy to use, responsive and intuitive. I was worried that touchscreen would be a fashion piece but functionally frustrating. But no, after a few weeks of use it is fabulous and the designers have done a great job. It is reliable and hasn't let me down.

The touch buttons on the steering wheel are lovely, perhaps just not quite as responsive but good enough. The change of function is context specific and works well. Voice commands are reliable and I can use my voice speed dial on my phone which connects each and every time without fuss.

All perfect except for.....

The Music Interface
..... which is glitchy. Playing music from my phone or iPad via Bluetooth is perfect. Everything works, including album art etc. But, being a perfectionist means I am an audiophile and Bluetooth compresses the music file too much and one loses a little of the music integrity as a result (the Bluetooth playback experience is actually very good on decent quality MP3, AAC or FLAC file formats but I chase perfection, sadly!).

And so the files on my USB drive are my media source of choice. The problem is that the Velar is inconsistent in reading these USBs. They are FAT32 format, clean and I have played with various different folder indexing and file types but to no avail. Depending upon Holly's mood, she will say there's a format error, the music queue is corrupt or won't recognise that the USBs exist at all. Unplugging them helps. Once Holly forgot she even had an on-board hard-drive!

However, I have a workaround. I find that, even when she tells me she cannot play the USB files, I can simply press the Find option, select songs and they all appear. All of them, not just a few. I choose a track, select shuffle and away she goes. Not ideal but, because the rest of the car is so amazing, including the ground breaking ICT (for any car, especially a British car), I can live with this until JLR find a solution. My next stop is to try loading the music onto the hard-drive and see what happens.

I have spoken before about the sound quality. It's very precise and the Meridian Tri-field Surround Sound System truly creates a sound stage whereby different elements of the music arrive from different parts of the car cabin. It's excellent and very engaging. But it lacks a certain richness that was evident by the bucket load in my previous long-term JLR loan car, the XJ. That's a shame. It's very, very good but not quite as good as I had hoped. A little too bright, a little too digital rather than that analogue richness. Perhaps the sound is a little thin, albeit precise. Tonal adjustment is across just three frequencies of bass, treble and subwoofer so that's not exactly the best. I am fiddling and it is getting better. I hope that the speakers may loosen up with use in the same way one runs in high end speakers in a home audio system.

Gearbox & Fuel Economy
The gearbox is sweet with almost seamless changes between gears. I have tried the paddle shifters but, to be honest, I am not that kind of driver so I tend to only use the downshift when negotiating steep descents with hairpins (Carter Bar on the Scottish / English border) to use the engine as a brake.

It's not so good pulling away. The curse of the F-Pace's lazy torque converter from standstill isn't quite as bad on the Velar but it is still present. Shame that. If I did lots of city driving then it might bug me, but we live in a mainly rural county so I am cool about it.

Fuel economy is good. This is, after all, a 3.0d V6 pulling a fairly heavy SUV. Mrs A managed 45mpg on a long drive up the A1M. Typically upper 30s is very easy to achieve. Sub-30 is only returned on a short, cold skip to Mrs A's elderly parents' house for the daily check-up on their wellbeing and general happiness! The tank isn't huge though, as is the case with these modern cars, so I end up filling the tank up more often than usual and then I am pleasantly surprised at the total bill being a bit less than expected as a result!

Problems?
There is one. Not completely unexpected but slightly disappointing nonetheless. It's the same issue as my rejected F-Pace and so I suggest everyone else with a D300 on 21" or 22" rims will suffer the same problem too. Sorry to bring you this bad news folks.

There is a quiet, cyclical rubbing noise on the offside front wheel. I can hear it in reverse and at slow speeds in forward motion. Turn the steering and it is slightly louder. At speed, it is almost drowned out, but because the Velar is so quiet in the cabin I think there is a low level drone that shouldn't be present when torque is applied.

I have notified my dealer and JLR. I await their response. When I rejected the F-Pace back in April 2017, upon which the Velar's running gear is based, JLR had no fix. Now they have published a Technical Bulletin on Topixx which says that they have a fix but it won't be available to dealers until November. Encouraging. And so, because we love the Velar so, so much and the noise is quieter than on my previous F-Pace, we will keep the car and work with the dealer to resolve it. The reason it's quieter is that my 21" rims resonate the sound less than the larger, heavier 22" rims of the Jaguar.

TBH, I can't be bothered to go through the whole rejection process again, I don't want another car as we love the Velar, JLR have a potential fix about a month away and my dealer has been truly amazing - I actually feel sorry for them (Lloyd Kelso) as it's not their fault and I will work with them on this issue. Annoying? Yes, but not a show stopper this time for me. You really need to strain to hear it but, as I have said earlier, I am a perfectionist and it seems a shame that the perfectly designed Velar should suffer this slight issue when I can have the dealer potentially fix it soon. As long as they promise to do this then that's fine by me.

Conclusion
Well done JLR, well done Britain and well done Tata. Together, collaboratively, they have worked to produce a fantastic car that injects style, flair and true competence into the SUV segment. Are German SUVs rock solid? Yes they are. But the Velar's cabin is also solid and a work of art. You cannot truly say that about the Q7 interior. Externally the Velar is a stunner in a sea of lookalike SUVs.

Tick similar option boxes on the Audi, Porsche or BMW configurators to level up the specifications and the Velar doesn't look quite as expensive as it does at first glance. It represents Value for Money (don't read Cheap), but only just! Cars at this price point are an indulgence of the heart and the Velar ticks that box perfectly.

A revised RR Sport anyone? Well, for some folk perhaps - it's a bigger car (although any third row seating is for little kids so don't be thinking you can take your mates for any significant trip to the Away Ground for football back there). But not so svelte in design and Mrs A says absolutely not when thinking about navigating narrow lanes or town car parks. It's approaching 'cash-cow' status in the model's life-cycle as the marketing people would say.

Our Velar then. "Holly". Not completely perfect but we love her nonetheless. She is almost perfect and, with a bit of perseverance, we will get there.

Well folks, I will settle the tab at The Inn on The Lake here in Glenridding and we will be off back up the A7 into Scotland. What a great road to drive and Holly will love it too.

Best wishes.

Arianne

PS. I hope you enjoyed reading this update. Sorry if it bored you but I genuinely hope it has been informative for those considering a Velar. Unlike journalists, this is a honest, perhaps quirky long-term review. And that's unique. That's its value.

PPS. And I have just received our invitation to the Land Rover off-road experience. Driver and up to two guests go free! I will choose the venue in the Scottish Highlands, book during winter for maximum mud and ensure I use their car and not Holly! JLR certainly are not perfect but, having owned Volvo and Audi as well as tested at BMW & Porsche dealers too, I can say that I kind of like what JLR stand for and am happy with our choice so far.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Hi Arianne,

Great review and I'm happy with all my selections now. Just as one questions, does the vehicle not get updates through it's own SIM? From what I read here you really need to buy your own 4G card. I had assumed this was just for in car Wifi?

Thanks

David
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
Excellent review, thank you. For the front park sensors, you mention they are activated without pushing the button on the screen, I will look in manual when I get back home from this trip but if you know where this setting is found, would appreciate you pointing it out. Also agree on the music interface, it works "sometimes" on mine but I can live with it but hope they can come out with an update or add Apple Car Play in the future as has been suggested.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
threeputt said:
Excellent review, thank you. For the front park sensors, you mention they are activated without pushing the button on the screen, I will look in manual when I get back home from this trip but if you know where this setting is found, would appreciate you pointing it out. Also agree on the music interface, it works "sometimes" on mine but I can live with it but hope they can come out with an update or add Apple Car Play in the future as has been suggested.
Accessible from the centre driver display options. Ant remember which sub-menu. It there are so many choices to configure the car from this source that you should really spend 30mins playing around and you will be handsomely rewarded.

Arianne
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
558 Posts
superb, although i expected nothing less. 6 weeks and 1 day until D-Day for me
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
I agree, a very good review. I'm at 1400 miles in my D300SE Rdynamic and would add the following.

If you can stretch, get the full driver aid package as it's very good. I've had active Cruise for 10 years and think it's invaluable along with the other safety options.

The on/off road pack is great and enables great adjustment to conditions and importantly, the dynamic mode.

I'm in two minds on the opening sunroof as it's almost more beneficial to the rear passengers than the driver.

The air suspension is excellent. I don't find the car "wallows" one bit and at a stroke I can firm it up or more likely put in in comfort for the poor Norfolk roads.

I'm on 20" wheels and I'm glad I am. I said big rims are a mistake months ago. Big wheels are great on the track but just spoil the ride on the road. If the aesthetics of the car matter more that's fine, but I want drive quality and I'm happy to say 20" delivers. I've driven both of the bigger wheels which confirmed my view.

Problems so far. An odd burning smell which I'm told is the particulate filter and will go. The map breaks up on the TFT intermittently which is really irritating. I also agree the steering wheel buttons do not always respond quickly.

You need a SIM card as the online services are very good, in particular the RTTI. I'm on a contract SIM with 2gb a which is a total waste. I think PAYG on 5gb should last a year however I did use Google Maps on the satnav today and that is data hungry.

Overall I'm delighted. Long may it continue!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
Really great review! I enjoyed reading that.

One question regarding the F-Pace -- was it also a diesel? And same HP engine? I have the P380 in my first edition and this morning finally went on a very spirited drive through some twisty roads. Now that I've hit 1000 miles I feel like the engine is broken in enough and I took the RPM's much higher than I have in the past. This thing is fast and handling is incredible. I mean it felt like a sports car this morning and compared to my previous Audi S4 and S5 it's extra impressive considering you're in a small SUV with a bit of weight and 22 inch wheels. I believe you if you say that the same spec'd F-Pace feels sportier and quicker but honestly I find it hard to believe! That F-Pace must be even more incredible.

Agree with your points about the overall package of design, luxury and comfort. It's perfect. I would choose this any day over the competition out there. My wife has a 2014 Audi SQ5 which might have the best "bang for the buck" in this segment. It's a little quicker (0.3 seconds to 60), engine has a really sweet throaty growl and is a blast to drive. And it's much cheaper. But you get inside and the interior has that German sensibility -- simple controls, durable materials, etc. Not bad but not special, beautiful, modern and luxurious like the Velar. Some people out there really don't get why a great interior is so important. And yes I expect that a Macan has more of a sports car feel to it, it's a Porsche after all. But like you it wasn't my main priority and I'll gladly pull the slider more toward luxury and comfort and unique design. I find the interior and exterior of the Macan a bit boring.

Personally, I absolutely love the paddle shifters. But I drove manual's for many years and I really enjoy paying attention to the rpms and while S mode does a fantastic job I can select the timing of the gear changes better. They're just awkward during tight cornering since the paddles move out of position with the steering wheel. Pointless in city driving.

Anyway, after a month of ownership for me, I love this vehicle more and more each day. I loved my 2010 RR Sport immensely but this Velar is much more engaging to drive. I guess I'd also give it a 9/10.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
^^ @andrewhargreaves....

Your post sums up how I feel, almost, but shorter! Well done you :)

Yes, my F-Pace was the same engine. It was the 3.0d S V6. 300bhp. The F-Pace is a better car for spirited driving. It begs to be driven fast on twisty country roads and leaves you thrilled. The Velar can handle it but then says to you, "don't you prefer dealing it down a bit so I can give you a smooth ride too."

Our F-Pace shouted performance. The Velar is understated and Mrs A likes that better.

They are a bit different. Either way they are both good cars.

Arianne
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
Thanks for answering my questions and... ok I believe you! :)

I liked the F-Pace exterior design a lot and briefly thought about it.

Over the past week or so I've been really paying attention to the differences between "comfort" and "dynamic" with the Velar and it's remarkable how the vehicle can have these two personalities. I use comfort for city driving and mundane trips but dynamic when I know I'll be on the highways. I love that.

Arianne said:
^^ @andrewhargreaves....

Your post sums up how I feel, almost, but shorter! Well done you :)

Yes, my F-Pace was the same engine. It was the 3.0d S V6. 300bhp. The F-Pace is a better car for spirited driving. It begs to be driven fast on twisty country roads and leaves you thrilled. The Velar can handle it but then says to you, "don't you prefer dealing it down a bit so I can give you a smooth ride too."

Our F-Pace shouted performance. The Velar is understated and Mrs A likes that better.

They are a bit different. Either way they are both good cars.

Arianne
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
I'm curious. What do you all think of the interior room? I don't yet have my Velar, but have test driven about 20 of them -- seriously. I think it's a hair cramped. For some reason, on the left of my arm, there's room, then a thick bar that juts out. I'm not sure why it's there? It's the piece where the handlebar to get out goes in the car. It seems to me if it were more flush to the door it would open up a ton of space? Maybe they did it to accommodate the door handles that sink into the car?

What's your experience here?

I've been an SUV lifer so far and always appreciate the extra arm space. Velar is good -- but this one bar does jut out too much imo
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
My opinion -- I don't find the driver or front passenger seats cramped at all. But we're not big people. There is not a ton of room in the back seats however. I was surprised that of all the online reviews I watched nobody complained about that but compared to the RR Sport there isn't much legroom at all. I guess you could call that cramped. I can get away with it as my child is under 10 but I wouldn't buy this if I had a larger family and teenagers. I see what you're saying about the thick part of the upper door but I didn't notice it as obtrusive or anything. It's similar to my old Sport.

roverforlife said:
I'm curious. What do you all think of the interior room? I don't yet have my Velar, but have test driven about 20 of them -- seriously. I think it's a hair cramped. For some reason, on the left of my arm, there's room, then a thick bar that juts out. I'm not sure why it's there? It's the piece where the handlebar to get out goes in the car. It seems to me if it were more flush to the door it would open up a ton of space? Maybe they did it to accommodate the door handles that sink into the car?

What's your experience here?

I've been an SUV lifer so far and always appreciate the extra arm space. Velar is good -- but this one bar does jut out too much imo
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
295 Posts
Always a pleasure to read you Arianne,

I share most of your feedback especially on the tech parts ( satnav and music).

Could you just detail which remote app you prepare your journey with while at home before syncing on satnav ? I was not able to find such option on the basic ´Remote´ app nor with ´Apps'. Are you doing this with sygic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Ludo, it's Land Rover Route from the App Store. You can plan on your route and send it to the car. I've used it several times and it's very good. The App is a little clumsy but the more you use it the easier it gets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
Just a great read for a Sunday morning with a mug or two of fresh coffee.

Thank you 😊&#x1f44d-1f3fc;
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
mrgandfriends.co.uk said:
Just a great read for a Sunday morning with a mug or two of fresh coffee.

Thank you 😊&#x1f44d-1f3fc;
That was the purpose, glad you enjoyed it.

Arianne
 
1 - 20 of 54 Posts
Top