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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This post is the latest in the series of threads describing our long-term ownership experience since buying our Velar D300 V6 back in September 2017. I'll post a link to the earlier threads below if you're suffering from insomnia. The value of my occasional posts is that they provide an honest, 'warts-and-all' summary of our Velar ownership experience. Whilst authentic, we cannot claim to be representative since a sample size of just one hardly represents indisputable empirical evidence. Nevertheless, tracking our car's performance and reliability across four years and 46,000 miles is likely to offer those forum members thinking of taking the plunge some worthwhile intelligence and data. Enjoy, or at the very least be informed!

Wheel Tire Sky Land vehicle Cloud



So our 2021/22 annual skiing holiday in Austria across Xmas / New Year once again fell victim the the family of Covid-19 variants. I'm unsure if the term 'annual' is appropriate anymore since this is the second successive year that our plans have been scuppered. Not having studied Greek as a youngster, I hadn't even heard of Omicron until early-December and have only recently begun pronouncing it in accord with BBC rules on spoken English (previously alternating between the French dialect of O Macron and the virus' Irish cousin O'Macron). Whatever, the timing was awful. Determined to make it to Austria by car, we switched from the Channel Tunnel upon learning of the French ban on tourists by booking the DFDS overnight ferry from Newcastle to IJmuiden (Amsterdam). Both the Dutch and German embassies had confirmed that transit travel by car to Austria was permissible and directed me to the appropriate pages of their embassies' websites. Sadly, the Germans got cold feet and, on 22 December, added the all important word 'not' in front of the word 'permissible' on that very same web page. Glad I checked! We were just two days from departure. I now have even more credit notes for DFDS and P&O. I wonder if I can convert these into corporate bonds or maybe even shares?

Almost 24 hours of continuous data scraping ensued across holiday accommodation websites to find that last remaining, reasonably priced cottage or apartment that would provide an uplifting base for the family. Is it me or have the landlords, letting agents, pension funds and speculators realised that the good people of Britain are desperate to hire almost any pile of bricks as a holiday home, whatever the cost and no matter how bad the décor?

We settled for an apartment overlooking the river in Dartmouth, Devon. With a market price of £1m, the rental was never going to be cheap since whoever owns this wonderfully located pad will be seeking a healthy return on their self-invested personal pension fund. Fair enough, whilst not cheap it does represent value-for-money and that's the deal most of the time in life. As is the case with a Range Rover Velar - they ain't cheap but they are drop-dead gorgeous if you choose wisely people!

Property Building Picture frame Chair Wood


As an aside, whichever is the JLR dealer here in South Devon, they must be doing a stonking trade. Never have I seen so many FF Range Rovers and RR Sports as I did upon arrival. Funnily enough, most seem to have left after the New Year break and are probably now parked up on some stockbroker belt driveway outside London.

So our Velar Holly (that's her name) avoided the need for an ugly UK sticker being affixed to her beautiful rear-end for yet another year. Instead we set off from the Scottish Borders at 9:15am and, ten hours later, arrived in Dartmouth. Whoever caused the accident on the M5 near Bristol on 29 December has much to answer for. Google maps kept adding time onto our journey as we travelled south of Birmingham as if we were caught in some space-time dilation of an ever expanding universe. Google suggested a diversion which clearly it had also done to many others since the tiny roads running parallel to the M5 were heaving. Still, unlike the queue on the M5, we kept moving.

I don't bother using the native satnav on our Velar any longer as it's hopeless. Previous reviews explain why. Enough said. Thankfully the free upgrade that we all received brought us Apple Car Play / Android Auto. This means seamless integration of my Samsung S10+. In Control Touch Pro allows for independent operation of the two central screens and so we just swipe the music player onto the lower screen while Android Auto is displayed on the upper screen. Excellent (I don't think this function exists for PiviPro? Although I do like PiviPro on my courtesy cars as it has a more modern interface). ICT Pro is still pretty fancy, intuitive after a decent period of learning and now stable - I am now running version S21B from the SOTA (Software Over The Air) updates.

So what's the ownership been like over the last six months since our last break in The Lakes (Newlands Valley) and the earlier escape to North Uist in the Outer Hebrides? Mixed.

The good news, previously mentioned, is that our annual service and MOT in September cost us £54. That's just the price of the MOT itself. Has anyone ever walked out of a LandRover dealership having settled a bill of just £54 for their fourth annual service and MOT? A rare event indeed. Holly is the beneficiary of a five-year service pack, although this only covers the routine items. Brakes are not included (shame that, as most of us owners have discovered).

The not so good news is that, in addition to the earlier aircon re-gas (£140), Holly threw up a yellow warning message to explain that her variable height air-suspension was no longer available and so the normal height was permanently engaged. And in anticipation of my since aborted skiing trip, I asked the dealer to check the glow plug control unit to ensure we didn't have a repeat of the 2019/20 episode with cold starting (I really couldn't face a rerun of engaging with the worst LandRover dealer in the world - LandRover Kufstein, Tyrol, Austria. Although, if I did, I would simply call Lloyd LandRover Kelso on my mobile and let the technician instruct the apprentice at the Kufstein dealership instead - apprentice here referring to some Austrian JLR mechanic with many years experience under his belt but little in the way of knowledge).

My dealer diagnosed the issues - a new air suspension compressor and a new glow plug control unit. Both are covered under the LandRover Extended Warranty and so I was spared the pain of any garage bills. Phew! I received a lovely courtesy car - Discovery Sport, oddly with a petrol engine up front. Petrol is a strange power unit in my opinion for a proper SUV. The power delivery doesn't really suit the dynamic of the car. Torque is king with big SUVs and diesel fits superbly - relaxed cruising and acceleration grunt for overtaking. Still, whatever suits you best - it's just that petrol isn't for me on these cars.

The black plastic shroud on the offside hydraulic tailgate strut has come loose again. That's a simple, 60sec fix when I get home. Every couple of years in cold weather this occurs. I think the shroud sticks to the strut when it freezes and then tears away from the anchor point upon opening the tailgate with the strut extended. Small beer.

Other than that, our Velar has been fine. Everything works, we have no rattles and Holly purrs along. She still looks gorgeous when washed. There's the beginning of some UV fading to the nearside of the gloss black shark fin antennae on the roof - the side that faces south when Holly is parked on our drive. Otherwise the paint finish is excellent, interior is in showroom condition (oyster white leather, no sagging and no ripples or visible wear) and the Meridian 825w sound system is amazing when fed with my 7Digital / Qobuz 16bit FLAC music files on USB.

In conclusion then..... at 4yrs / 46,000 miles, Holly seems in great shape. The only other exec SUV we owned this long was our Volvo XC90 which we changed at eight years of age. Our Velar has been significantly more reliable than the XC90. We loved the Volvo too but she was a money-pit and Volvo labour rates are equally extortionate. The LandRover extended warranty, at £84 per month, helps manage the impact of garage bills especially when our car is still benefiting from her five-year service pack. While £84 p.m. is hardly cheap it isn't that much more expensive than a BT broadband and TV sports package or an EE mobile contract? It makes sense IMHO. Peace of mind when owning one of these cars after the manufacturer's warranty has expired is essential for one to continue enjoying them.

Water Sky Cloud Plant Natural landscape


I retired from work in December at age 56. It's been a goal achieved earlier than expected due to some boring, if unspectacular but straightforward investing in my pension, AVCs and passive global index funds. Patient, regular investing like this, irrespective of whatever the media is saying about the stock markets, is a sensible way to build wealth. It's great to dig up those acorns and enjoy life's adventures without enduring the sometimes ridiculous world of corporate life anymore (HR and corporate communications people being my least favourite professional tribes). So we'll hang on to Holly since we own her and she's proving reasonably reliable. A new R-dynamic D300 MHEV straight-six looks identical to our 2017 model and offers very little that merits the cost (the cost being the lost opportunity of compound growth in my Vanguard mutual funds).

So my advice to anyone considering a Velar remains unchanged. As a brand new car they make a fine choice with their unfussy lines - fewer people will choose to hate you on the road than if you had been driving the FF Range Rover or RR Sport and the trailing brambles of Devon's country lanes / narrow town streets will pose less of a threat. As a used car just make sure you have seen the history of love and care. And in either case, choose a dealership with superb aftersales service - talk to them, the technician(s). Forget the sales people as you'll rarely, if ever, engage with them after you've taken delivery. Most sales people are subject to eye-watering turnover of employment and so won't be employed by the dealer when you return. Half of them know less about the Velar you're buying than you already do. It's the unglamorous service team that will truly make the difference - the allocation of your courtesy cars, chats with the technicians about the diagnostic and repairs. Find a good dealership and enjoy your Velar.

Meanwhile, I'll enjoy my first break in which I have no concern about returning to work, Q4 financial year-end reporting or suchlike. Instead, my next 'pay check' from the DB pension fund will be with me mid-month and I'll make the next investment using my 'dollar cost averaging' system as I am a cautious fellow.

The links to my earlier reports will follow shortly. If you've got this far with my post - thanks for reading. I hope it was helpful, interesting and perhaps even a little amusing. If not, apologies!

Best wishes, Arianne

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Nice report Arianne and have a good retirement. I'm the same age and will be retiring this month.
I'm glad you negotiated the narrow Devon roads other than brambles; that area is one of my favourites.
I had mixed results with Pivi-Pro satnav. Usually very good but for some reason got totally confused around Yeovil.

I'm waiting for the new RRS but I'm afraid the Pivi-Pro glitches could be a show-stopper for me.

Fingers crossed that you have no repeat of the glow-plug controller failure.
I'm also a dollar-averaging investor :)

If you're keeping the Velar I'd be tempted to treat the rust (based on your photos a while ago) and get some wax on there.
All the Best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Nice report Arianne and have a good retirement. I'm the same age and will be retiring this month………

……….If you're keeping the Velar I'd be tempted to treat the rust (based on your photos a while ago) and get some wax on there.
All the Best.

@Fenton. Good to hear from you. Hope you enjoy your early retirement too!

Mrs A and I recently celebrated our wedding anniversary. It’s our habit to exchange various gifts. Amongst my list was a 3 tonne trolley jack and four axle stands! My sister-in-law considers this very unromantic!

In the Spring, Holly will be popped on axle stands and given her usual deep valet. This year, while her wheels are off being cleaned with Bilberry solution and then treated with rim wax, those rusty parts will be treated to a session with a wire brush and then a suitable protective coating. I‘ll also take the opportunity of inspecting the discs and pads. Perhaps the subject of a photo-journal in a few months time?

Deep down inside I also have a yearning for a decent Alfa Romeo Brera (Spider cabriolet version preferably). That would be a great car to tinker with. The issue with the folding roof ECU is a bit worrying and……. it being an Alfa, of course!

We shall see.

Best wishes, Arianne.
 
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Another fantastic report from Arianne! I do enjoy reading these.

I’m now at 4 years+ ownership of my Velar. It is a more basic S model, although I did have the maintenance costs of air suspension at the back of my mind when I was deciding which trim to get. The family and I enjoyed a beautiful smooth drive to central coast California for New Year’s, so I don’t think I made a terrible decision for going with coils.

Hoping my car will last another few years without major incident. The software niggles have mostly been resolved (JLR does have a habit of fixing one issue but breaking something else with each update, but 21B is so far pretty good).

Happy New Year to all fellow forum members!
 

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Nice report Arianne and have a good retirement. I'm the same age and will be retiring this month.
I'm glad you negotiated the narrow Devon roads other than brambles; that area is one of my favourites.
I had mixed results with Pivi-Pro satnav. Usually very good but for some reason got totally confused around Yeovil.

I'm waiting for the new RRS but I'm afraid the Pivi-Pro glitches could be a show-stopper for me.

Fingers crossed that you have no repeat of the glow-plug controller failure.
I'm also a dollar-averaging investor :)

If you're keeping the Velar I'd be tempted to treat the rust (based on your photos a while ago) and get some wax on there.
All the Best.
LOL. I work in Yeovil (live in Bath) I’ve never known such a mad road system, gets constantly clogged up. When they opened the KFC the ques caused tailbacks across the town and made the national news.
 

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Hi Arianne
Great to read your new report I hope you enjoy your retirement and find all the time to do all the things you want to as you will find the time goes much quicker now
Best regards Mike {CHC)
 

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Arianne, another great report and congratulations on your retirement!
 

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As always another great post! I always love reading them!

KITT (my velar) is due it’s 40k mile service imminently and so far it’s been trouble free motoring (hope I’ve not jinxed it!) I will bite the bullet and take out the extended warranty though when offered. Too many expensive parts to go wrong in year 4 for my liking!

Congratulations on the retirement as well. Surely that means you have even more time to compose posts for us all to read now? ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Thank you folks for your kind feedback and best wishes for my retirement. Feeling pretty good as at tonight.….

Passing Newcastle on the A1, called the local Indian restaurant nearest our house and booked a takeaway. Filled up with Shell V-power Diesel on the A68 in the Scottish Borders. £82.49 for the trip from Dartmouth and we averaged 40.1mpg which, for a 3 litre V6 weighing in at over two tons, plus three adults and filled with all our holiday junk, is pretty good going (being the last of the Baby Boomers or first of GenX means that 40mpg is the Holy Grail based upon my early motoring experience. My first car, a hopeless Vauxhall Viva 1.3 would get me 30mpg at a push, plus the sound of its loose tappets in my head when I went to bed after driving home late from seeing my girlfriend - and now wife of 38 years marriage).

My own stint driving achieved over 42mpg. My son achieved 39.8mpg. I’ve posted my evidence below. Best not to do so for the lad as his average speed was a touch higher than my own across his 251 mile stint bypassing Birmingham on the M42, to the M1, M18 and then A1M heading north. Only in Britain could the fastest route home from SW England be by heading for the East coast route And then heading west from Newcastle! If the M6 is blocked on a Sunday around Jct 10, what is it like on a weekday?

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A few points then worth mentioning. First up, are those seats in the Velar comfortable or are they comfortable? You spend almost nine hours in the car, diverted because the M6 is closed northbound at….. yes, you guessed it, Birmingham….. and you step out with all your muscles, ligaments and joints in good working order. The headlamps are superb as one drives across the isolated, frozen tundra of North Northumberland on the A698 and Kielder Forest. No light pollution here in this Dark Skies area. And during the day, the full panoramic sunroof. Oh, and the air suspension.

A great break in Devon. The Velar was a fine companion and, like all of the best cars we’ve owned, they make our holidays just that bit better. The XC90 was the same.

Next report will be from Glenfinnan on the Scottish west coast in February. Until then, have a good few weeks with your Velars.

For me…… I just cannot believe that, for the first time in my adult life, I’m not returning to work tomorrow! Brilliant.

Best wishes, Arianne

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Love these reports and look forwards to the next one, many thanks for a great read.
 
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