Semi-skimmed is how we’ve previously characterised the Range Rover Velar.
But our preferred description refers to more than just the Velar’s dimensions. Unlike its full-sized siblings, the fourth addition to the Range Rover line-up is the product of something other than Gaydon’s full-fat approach to SUVs. Because this new Range Rover is unequivocally car-based.
Its predominately aluminium platform is the same architecture used by the latest Jaguar XE and Jaguar XF. The Jaguar F-Pace is an even closer blood relative, despite starting at £10,000 less than the Velar.
Naturally, four-wheel drive and Land Rover’s Terrain Response system are both standard, even at the base of the line-up – but so, too, are four-cylinder engines, coil suspension and an usually low ride height for a Range Rover.
In this garb, perhaps even more so than the stoutly mechanical Evoque, the Velar smacks of a modern, immodestly expensive crossover – the kind of car many would describe as the antithesis of Land Rover’s usual off-road-capability-centric modus operandi. Taking a view on the philosophy behind the Velar, and where it leaves Gaydon, will be one objective of this road test.