What is it?
When the Velar first arrived, Land Rover pitched it as a luxury mid-size SUV, and priced it as such. The firm’s most road-focused model to date then steadily expanded towards the more affordable end of the price spectrum, with its engine losing a few cylinders in the process.
The D180 is hardly the only four-pot car in its class right now, with the BMW X4, Mercedes-Benz GLE and even the entry-grade Porsche Macan offering the same, though the latter drinks from the green pump rather than the black one.
JLR’s Ingenium diesel engine does need to move a little over two tonnes of car, though, and has just 177bhp with which to do it. That combination was never going to make for pulse-raising straight line figures, the Velar barely squeaking in under nine seconds for the 0-62mph dash, but a healthy 317lb ft of torque ought to make up for it in everyday use. It’s partnered with an eight-speed automatic gearbox, with power naturally being sent to both axles.
The D180 is driven here in S guise, which improves on the standard specification with 19in alloy wheels, upgraded LED headlights, a powered tailgate, power folding door mirrors, a Meridian sound system, and Navigation Pro infotainment with traffic sign recognition. The R Dynamic trim then further butches up what is already a very handsome car, with metal paddle shifters and pedals adding some sporting flair inside the cabin.