Since 1970, the Range Rover has been synonymous with British excellence, luxury and opulence. It is the vehicle of choice for royalty, on-screen despots and high flying suburban mothers the world over. It is of course, with merit, anyone who has spent time inside a Range Rover, in almost any trim, will see that these SUVs are designed with extravagance in mind.
Now I am not exactly the biggest fan of the European way when it comes to automobiles. I have written in the past of my disdain of certain European brands, often talk about their unnecessary costs, and will use any platform I can get access to to rail against their subtle approach to the road. I am the kind of person that sees no reason to pay 100k plus for a German automobiles when I can get the same out of a 45k Chevy. I like my trucks big, my V8s loud, and I think my fuel consumption menu hasn’t been checked since my car rolled off the factory floor.
I am by all European standards, a brute, an uncouth driver of low standards.
The ideal SUV in my world is a Chevy, a Dodge, a Jeep, a Ford. When luxury and opulence is required, I turn to Lincoln, to Cadillac.
I’ve been in Range Rover Discoverys, in Range Rover Sports, in Evoques, and every time I get in one my amazement in its refinement, in its class and elegance, is immediately shattered as soon as talk comes of its price.
“THIS THING IS HOW MUCH?”
The initial sticker shock subsides briefly, only to be bashed into delirium at the mind-boggling, price inflating and often dumbfounding option list that is available. A 70k Jaguar F-Pace that doesn’t have the kind of tech available in a 30k Holden or Chevy is the norm. A Range Rover Sport with what I believe are a standard list of features that when optioned, balloons past 150k, very likely.
Safe to say my pickup truck lovin’ ass isn’t the target clientele for Jaguar Land Rover.
That is until I got the chance to get into a brand new Range Rover Velar. The Velar is Range Rover’s latest entry into its Range Rover family. The model is now one of four in the Range Rover stable. Alongside the baby SUV Evoque, its flagships Sport and Discovery, the Velar is in every sense of the word, magnificent.
Reviews of the Velar have been overwhelmingly positive (even Doug likes it) and while journalists, engineers and petrolheads the world over will tell you about every spec, every engineering win and every piece of motoring genius that Jaguar Land Rover have achieved with it. I will tell you one thing, it won me over. I’m ready to turn in my plaid shirt for a sports coat, I’m ready to switch my playlist from Country 100 to BBC 1, and I’m ready to turn my “Truck yeahs!” into “jolly goods”.
The Velar’s proportions are perfect. The Evoque is probably a little too small and the Sport and Discovery are a little too big for all that refinement, but the Velar is the embodiment of vehicular perfection. It is less an SUV and more a beefed up wagon and it never feels like a boat. It is a tech marvel of course, its dual touch screen interface is spaceship-esque and all of its British extravagance is on show (Union Jack styled speakers are a nice touch).
It’s rare that one would equate falling in love with “European” and “vehicle” but for the first time in my life, I got into a European car and fell head over heels for it.
In Australia, the Velar kicks off at about 71k while in the US, the minimum you’d have to pay is at least 50k. Expect the price to be far greater for the right spec and trim (there are many). While normally I would scoff at that and say “you should get an Expedition instead”, I would actually say the Velar is the right level of extravagance worth striving for.
Consider this the least sophisticated review of the Velar, the one without all the numbers and figures motoring journalists have written about. This one is all emotion, all heart. The Velar feels and drives like a million bucks. It’s the kind of car you work your tail off to save for, and the one that leaves you guilt-free when you spend all your hard earned money on it.
And what greater achievement for it than converting loud mouthed, unsophisticated, beer drinkin’ yeehaws?
The Range Rover Velar is available now at all good Range Rover dealers.