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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello folks,

Here's my initial comparison between our Velar D300 S R-dynamic (she has a name, Holly) and our loan car, a Velar D300 HSE R-.dynamic. The price difference, before adding any options is just over £10k. Ignoring depreciation for a moment, is it better value for money (VFM) to choose an S trim car and then customise it to you personal taste or take the HSE? This is a personal view and we will all be different but, if you're considering this approach (I deliberated long and hard when ordering our car) this post may help.

Externally, both cars look almost identical.. The HSE gets 21" rims and the HSE badge on the tailgate. That's it. One can dip into the £10k war chest and choose different wheels but the only option for the badge is to delete it, if that's important to you. At least that's a no cost option.

Internally, there are some differences but not as many as you might think.. Holly comes with the choice of the ivory leather interior with the suede effect inserts. The HSE has more supportive seats with a greater level of adjustment and passenger memory too. The leather is thicker on the seats but the ivory colour configuration has a black middle seat and black backing on the front seats. It creates a slightly darker, smaller appearance in the cabin.

The front seats are better with more lateral support for fast cornering and more adjustment. However, I have found Holly's seats to be just fine. I would like the extra adjustment of the HSE but I wouldn't necessarily pay the extra money for them. The improvement isn't huge.

It's the technology driver assistance that sets these two cars apart and the fact that the HSE comes with the 825w Meridian Surround Sound system. Without doubt, if you want and need the technology then the HSE is the car for you. The blind spot assistance is, in our experience, valuable on motorways although of little use elsewhere. The autonomous cruise control presumably likewise. The driver display is digital TFT and sound system better than the S. The HSE also comes with matrix headlamps but these were not the step up from Holly's LEDs that I had expected. It's true that the matrix lamps selectively retain elements of high beam when oncoming traffic approaches but that beam is, for the most part, drowned out by the way the human eye manages the contrast of the bright oncoming headlamps and the nearside main beam. It's marginal. Holly doesn't have this feature but simply switches to dipped beam automatically until the oncoming vehicle has passed before switching back to main beam again. Almost as good, it's really marginal.

So what do you do with your £10k war chest?. Well, you could bank it. That's the smart move for the accountant within you. Ah, life would be dull if we lived our lives by excel spreadsheets! Alternatively, you could spend some or all of it customising your S Velar and choose the exact specification that you and your family will value, appreciate and love.

Now first, a word of warning. Doing so will not please the accountant. Options don't help with residual values for the most part. It'll ease the speed of sale because your car will stand out from the other listings and some element of the initial cost will be recovered if sold privately and marketed properly. Our dealer increased the part-ex offer for our previous XC60 because of some options - I know this because the first offer preceded my statement about the options, after which a second increased offer was forthcoming. Not megabucks but a meaningful increase. Nevertheless, as a general rule, options don't equate to great residuals.

Leaving the accountant behind then...... we built Holly to our preferred specification and, having had the HSE as a loan car, I am glad we did. I began with the S trim, adding what we wanted. Some of the options mirrored the HSE - for example, the digital driver display looks great and, with the interior of the Velar being so modern, analogue dials appear out of place if your budget can stretch this far and it takes your fancy. I also upgraded the Meridian to match the 825w of the HSE. Finally, I also upgraded the wheels to 21" rims.

But it's the other stuff that maketh the car :) . The HSE doesn't have configurable mood lighting. In fact, I would suggest it doesn't truly have mood lighting at all since those lights it does have in the door panels are anemic white. Even the standard F-Pace gets mood lighting that changes from blue to red when dynamic mode is selected. Holly has this option and it results in additional mood lighting and a choice of ten shades from the colour palette, creating a warm and beautiful effect at night.

I also have the activity bracelet which I love when playing football and will truly appreciate while skiing at Xmas / New Year. Leaving the keys in a training jacket pocket on the touchline is not secure with a £70k car just one bleep away in the car park behind the main stand. Losing the keys in a fall on the mountain isn't my idea of carefree skiiing.

Holly's rear seats are heated, she has an opening sunroof, satin ash door card fillers, park sensors, full extended leather on the dash and door roll tops and a heated steering wheel, amongst other things. I don't think all of these options are standard on the HSE and yet we value them.

Our conclusion, for which we were relieved last night, is that the loan car was a wonderful vehicle to have as a courtesy car while Holly is with the dealership having her sound audition. Hats off to Lloyd Kelso in supplying such a great car from their demonstrator fleet as compensation for Holly needing to spend a week in the workshop. However, it didn't feel as special and, for us, the HSE additions are not items we would use very much. We have no motorways in the Scottish Borders and the only traffic jams that require queue assist are when the sheep are being moved from one field to another!

We would have bought the HSE and then started adding key options on top of the £70k starting price for this engine and body configuration. As it is, we started out with the S and spent almost as much as the HSE but got exactly the car we wanted.

The accountant would cry. But the spirit within me rejoices every time I look at, get inside and drive Holly. I suspect JLR know all of this. They hope that the cherished HSE badge will help folk order the more expensive car and perhaps add the toys thereafter? Who knows.

All I know is that, while I am very grateful to our dealer in supplying such a lovely car while Holly takes a rest with them, I cannot wait for Holly to return. That's a relief! I wouldn't have liked it the other way around. Holly's older sister is nice but our car is better.

My recommendation is to play endlessly with the configurator and choose the balance that works for you. Cost, budget, what's important all feature and you will be different, probably very different, from us. I hope this little review will help you on your way......

Have a lovely Tuesday folks.

Arianne
 

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Great post Arianne as always.

I actually think you've made a compelling argument for the SE spec! That includes a lot of what you would typically add back in - some of the tech, digital dash, 825w stereo, and I think hits the sweet spot between the two.

Completely agree the HSE adds very little of real value - if they'd included the pan roof as part of it (as they do for the disco models) that might have swayed me.
 

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Great post Arianne.

They got it wrong on the HSE imho, it should have had the roof, privacy and metallic as standard.

I agree that the most compelling case is for the SE version, it seems to be the sweet spot of the range, and it has most of the toys everyone will ever need.

Good luck to holly on her tests!
 

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A perfectly timed post, and as always a good read. I'm wrestling with myself to make the jump to HSE just for the seats. I understand not much in it with the S, SE, but the extra adjustment makes it an interesting prospect.
 

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Went into dealer with a Dynamic S spec - got told waiting time - agreed a deal on HSE Dynamic demonstrator - cost difference became too small to argue - great car
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Batman said:
Went into dealer with a Dynamic S spec - got told waiting time - agreed a deal on HSE Dynamic demonstrator - cost difference became too small to argue - great car
Can't argue with that :D

Generally speaking, I think folks are right when they suggest that the SE spec is the level upon which to build and customise. Our circumstances are a bit different because of where we live and so some of the SE kit isn't of value to us. And, when I checked it on the configurator, I found the switching the wheels from the standard SE grey rims to my silver alloys was just as expensive as upgrading from the smaller S 20" wheels, which I thought was odd but true.

If I lived in the city or travelled motorways frequently then SE is definitely the foundation upon which to build. You are right.

As an aside, our HSE demonstrator does have a few additional toys. It has the opening sunroof, HUD, black pack and Carparthian Grey paintwork with gloss black wheels. So that's well and truly heading towards £80k worth of Velar then. As for the HUD, I switched it off within a few miles of driving through to Jedburgh for badminton last night - I find it distracting although I accept that, like most things, one would learn to adapt and then probably enjoy having it. That's what most people say that have the HUD.

It's mean and moody in appearance but not our thing - Mrs A dropped me at the station this morning because it was raining Cats & Dogs (I normally cycle to the station as it's good for me). I watched the Velar as she drove away and I thought it was a good competitor in terms of exterior design against the moody Porsche Macan (even if it doesn't handle like a Macan), but it's not for me.

Interesting thread though and some good resource for others contemplating the acquisition of a Velar.

Arianne
 

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HUD display is great when your using satellite navigation - its right there on windscreen - no looking sideways or down - really great feature I was not expecting!! - I must agree with Arianne the colour Carparthian Grey with black roof, wheels and black pack is favourable to my Velars name the Batmobile!! certainly moody. I just love it.
 

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For those buying on PCP have a little play on the configurator on the website. You can choose a deposit and term and it will tell you the monthly payments for the car. The go back and add and remove options in real time and you will see the price of the monthly payments change. Some options actually make the monthly's cheaper! On an average every £1000 adds £30 to the monthly payment.

The big difference though will be when you spec an SE car vs an HSE - the HSE will always work out cheaper on PCP as it will have a better residual value.

If you are buying on cash with savings then the above makes no difference but if you are a finance buyer the higher spec models always work out cheaper. ;)

An SE Spec'd up with a lot of options will work out much more expensive than a HSE car.
 

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VelarMan said:
For those buying on PCP have a little play on the configurator on the website. You can choose a deposit and term and it will tell you the monthly payments for the car. The go back and add and remove options in real time and you will see the price of the monthly payments change. Some options actually make the monthly's cheaper! On an average every £1000 adds £30 to the monthly payment.

The big difference though will be when you spec an SE car vs an HSE - the HSE will always work out cheaper on PCP as it will have a better residual value.

If you are buying on cash with savings then the above makes no difference but if you are a finance buyer the higher spec models always work out cheaper. ;)

An SE Spec'd up with a lot of options will work out much more expensive than a HSE car.
I did wonder why this was the case, was finding in odd
 

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Can't argue with that :D

Generally speaking, I think folks are right when they suggest that the SE spec is the level upon which to build and customise. Our circumstances are a bit different because of where we live and so some of the SE kit isn't of value to us. And, when I checked it on the configurator, I found the switching the wheels from the standard SE grey rims to my silver alloys was just as expensive as upgrading from the smaller S 20" wheels, which I thought was odd but true.

If I lived in the city or travelled motorways frequently then SE is definitely the foundation upon which to build. You are right.

As an aside, our HSE demonstrator does have a few additional toys. It has the opening sunroof, HUD, black pack and Carparthian Grey paintwork with gloss black wheels. So that's well and truly heading towards £80k worth of Velar then. As for the HUD, I switched it off within a few miles of driving through to Jedburgh for badminton last night - I find it distracting although I accept that, like most things, one would learn to adapt and then probably enjoy having it. That's what most people say that have the HUD.

It's mean and moody in appearance but not our thing - Mrs A dropped me at the station this morning because it was raining Cats & Dogs (I normally cycle to the station as it's good for me). I watched the Velar as she drove away and I thought it was a good competitor in terms of exterior design against the moody Porsche Macan (even if it doesn't handle like a Macan), but it's not for me.

Interesting thread though and some good resource for others contemplating the acquisition of a Velar.

Arianne
[/quote]

Off point slightly and I hope you don't mind me asking, I read a few of your reviews and noticed that you change your tires twice a year. Is there a reason why you do this as I know you can get all weather tires. Is it due to being in Scotland and there extra cold weather. Been meaning to ask as a person who drives a car rather understands it's dynamics.

Omar
 

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BTW Omar I did you send you the Insurance chaps details - but its stuck in my outbox not sure why - can someone else send the details to Omar please - I shared his details with pretty much half this forum :D
 

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VelarMan said:
BTW Omar I did you send you the Insurance chaps details - but its stuck in my outbox not sure why - can someone else send the details to Omar please - I shared his details with pretty much half this forum :D
Lol i noticed, seemed so popular i thought i have to get on that. You surely should get commission for the amount of people you have passed his way. Appreciate it though.
 

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Thanks Yip-Man..

Omar I did not get anything in all honesty apart from a couple of Peroni's when he popped over to give me the insurance papers. He is a young lad just joined NFU Mutual and was very helpful so doing my best to help him and you guys on here :)

He was the cheapest by far on all my cars and his quote on my Ferrari was way below others out there - the service is personal too so not like usual insurers and if you have multiple cars like me they can all be on one policy which takes in to account your NCB too.

The biggest though is that they don't need a tracker for the Velar and 99% of other insurers do! Good luck.
 

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^ send you PM. As Velarmans PM to Omar did not work earlier. However i ended up using Aviva as NFU could not give competivitive quote in my area.

Others wanting contact details, I'm prob going to wait as this is velarmans contact and allow him to PM

Aviva were good £600 for the year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I too am with Aviva.....

No tracker needed, quoted about £185 p.a. For fully comprehensive on our D300. Just under £400 p.a. including our 25yr old son. If you are an existing Aviva client, whatever the line of business, they offer you an extra 20% discount.

Neat.

Arianne
 
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