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2021 Land Rover Range Rover Velar Overview
In the automotive world, style is often handed out over substance, but that’s not the case with Land Rover. The legendary British automaker builds incredibly luxurious SUVs that offer surprising off-road specs and capability. The idea is so popular that Land Rover’s catalog has ballooned to include multiple variants of the Range Rover SUV. One, the Range Rover Velar, brings sleek styling and an opulent interior, but also offers off-road driving modes and available air suspension. The 2021 model year brought multiple updates to the SUV, including a switch to turbocharged six-cylinder engines instead of supercharged, a new infotainment system, and more standard tech.
Three trims are available for 2021: S, R-Dynamic S, and R-Dynamic HSE. The Velar competes against high-end SUVs that include the Genesis GV80, BMW X5, and Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class. Land Rover offers the Velar with three powertrain choices. The entry-level engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 247 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. Two turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engines are available. The first makes 335 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque, and the upgraded choice produces 395 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque. All engines come paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive.
The base engine’s 247 horsepower does a decent job at moving the Velar around town and on the highway, but both optional V6s make a better pairing for the SUV. They provide lively acceleration, and the eight-speed automatic matches well with smooth, responsive performance.
Though it looks the part, the Range Rover Velar is not a performance SUV. It’s more than capable of handling a curve, however, and is more athletic than some of its rivals. That said, the ride can be harsh at times. The good news is that, like other Land Rover models, the Velar can hold its own off-road. Selectable terrain driving modes are standard, along with four-wheel drive. Land Rover offers a more robust drive mode system and adaptive air suspension that can raise or lower ride height.
The Velar is part of a group of high-cost, low-volume vehicles that don’t regularly receive full safety and crash testing. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) don’t crash all vehicles due to the extreme costs involved. That’s not an indication of the Velar’s safety, or lack thereof. It just means that costs add up quickly when crashing expensive luxury vehicles.
Land Rover includes several driver aids as standard kit, including lane-departure warnings and lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts, forward-collision warnings, automatic emergency braking, automatic headlights, and pedestrian/bicyclist detection. A head up display and adaptive cruise control are available.
The 2021 Range Rover Velar is on sale now at a starting price of $58,050. The mid-range R-Dynamic S trim starts at $60,050, and the top R-Dynamic HSE starts at $78,050. Options, including upgraded powertrains, add to that cost quickly and considerably.
Chris is an automotive journalist covering new vehicle reveals, news, and technology. He loves digging into the details to tell entertaining and informative stories.
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