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Picked up a Velar SE R Dynamic with the 3 ltr petrol engine last Monday. Just arrived home today after 1,800 miles. Most of the miles were on a two lane highway, but that was to get me to a mountain area (Telluride/Silverton/Durango). All of my vehicles are high performance and quite noisy on the inside. (TT-RS, F-Type convertible, Ford Raptor) The Velar was very quiet and smooth. It had enough power to pass, but not as quick as the sports cars (obvious I know). Also took a while to work up speed. Did not exceed 120 mph.

The Ford Raptor is an F150 that is six inches wider, and is designed for going off road. It also has 35 inch tires on 17 inch rims that never quite seem to balance correctly. The main problem with this truck is that it really big. This is a problem with cliff ledges and the sharp turns of switch backs. I thought the Velar would give me a nice ride to the mountains and then still have the ability to go on the trails. On the dirt roads the Velar was very good, but then most cars are. The potholes did not cause too much trouble. The corrugations in the roads were not soaked up by the air suspension as well as I thought they would be. I ordered 20 inch rims and a full size spare. I have the summer tires, Pirelli Scorpions. I did not air them down. Reading the manual I see I could have used a light load setting of 34 psi vs the 40-44 they seemed to be at. Not sure how much that would have helped. When the road turned to rocks, solid immovable rocks, the ride was very rough. I'm not into rock crawling, or even driving super slow over bumpy stuff that lasts for a long time. The Raptor has probably spoiled me for a smooth ride, but even in that truck I do not like long periods of bumpy stuff. Not having driven a jeep recently, I can't compare the Velar to that. I did pass one on the bumpy trail, but in my experience Jeeps always drive super slow. I did have one scary section where on the North side of a mountain there was snow on the road. The summer tires handled it though with no slipping at all. That trail usually has two big puddles but they were mostly dry this time so I didn't get to wade. On a steep decent I just used first gear, not the Hill Descent Control. Back in the desert I did about 40 minutes down a very soft, sandy trail. The car tracked fine and never seemed to lose traction. Was interesting that when I would slow down for dips, it seemed to lock all differentials. I did not have a spotter and was most worried about burying the nose. I did turn back in the mountains as I just wasn't sure and going a few more miles was not worth it. In the desert there were a few big dips. I actually jumped out and looked and it seemed that I still had about 4 inches of room. I did not find that the camera view actually helped in judging the road.

In summary, it is very capable off road. However, the air suspension is not a magic carpet ride. My first Range Rover, sorry if this is old news. I think it could handle everything the Raptor has, just at a much lower speed. The question is are you willing to endure the shaking of a rough trail. One warning, I would set the bottom screen to Vehicle, and select Mud/Snow/Grass or Sand, and then select the higher height. I would generally leave it on this screen to ensure the height stayed there. But occasionally I would try to adjust the temperature with the dial, and that could change the vehicle mode and lose the height if not caught in time. I tried to load pictures in the gallery, but most were too big. Here is a link if your interested. Note the wheel gap on road vs. off road.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/sQ64d2P5U56TKHxw1
 

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40-44 seems high anyway.
 

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thanks so much for this in depth offroad review.

and congratulations for your choice and the stunning photos . Seeing the Velar in such beautiful environnent really motivates me to go offraod next WE :)
 
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