From £44,8308
Can the newest Range Rover deliver the goods when it's being powered by a four-cylinder, 2.0L diesel engine? We tried it on UK roads to find out

Our Verdict

Range Rover Velar

Fourth Range Rover model has abundant style but how much breadth of ability does the Velar really have?

Steve Cropley Autocar
15 August 2017

What is it?

It’s the chance to answer a burning question. When JLR launched the new mid-range Range Rover Velar, it made very clear that four-cylinder diesel models would be available, but there were none to test at launch. Now the four-pot Velar D240 is with us in the UK – so we took our first chance to discover how well the model worked when powered by JLR’s own-brand 2.0-litre, 237bhp four-cylinder twin-turbo Ingenium diesel engine

Several weeks ago we declared the 296bhp Dagenham-built V6 diesel model beautiful, refined, capable – and bordering on the overpriced. Opting for the four-pot slashes £4000 off the total price, but what does that mean for performance and smoothness? And an SUV that still costs close to £70,000 isn’t usually powered by an engine as ordinary as a 2.0-litre diesel: would this D240 perform well enough to allow us to forget that fact? 

We already had some experience. We’d tried this engine in the new Land Rover Discovery and found it to be extremely refined. But when my colleagues tried it in a Jaguar F-Pace (which uses a near-identical, all-aluminium body-chassis architecture) they were less impressed – even if experience has taught us that two models that use different sets of the same components can be quite different in character. Range Rover majors more on comfort than Jaguar-style sportiness, so only a decent drive was going to answer the question.

What's it like?

Initially, we were also keen to use the four-pot HSE to answer the steel-versus-air suspension question, too. Four-cylinder Velars come with steel springs as standard. But that idea died when our test car arrived riding on air – and when we scanned the option prices. It costs just £1140 to put air springs under a Velar, which in the £60-£70k deal isn’t much, especially when you’re talking monthly payments. 

Few canny buyers would deny themselves the better levelling, better roll control, adjustable loading height, better ground clearance and greater wading depth – and potentially the better ride quality – for less than 2% of the £64,160 HSE’s on-road price.

'On-road' definitely looked like key words for our four-pot Velar, especially in the HSE guise that is already turning out to be the most popular Velar trim level. Like all Land Rovers it has already proven its class-leading off-road ability at launch, despite the lack of the lower range of off-road gear ratios once deemed essential. The biggest clue to an on-road life ahead for our test HSE was its standard 21-inch wheels. Those intending regular off-roading in a 237bhp four-pot diesel would be well advised to start £10,000 cheaper in an S trim model that comes with rock-and-sand friendly five-spoke 19-inchers. 

You have to concentrate to hear this 237bhp engine at all, let alone to identify that it’s a four-cylinder, even when you’re listening hard at start-up. JLR took initial criticism for their engine’s lack of refinement, and have responded in the perfect way. 

The twin-turbo torque ensures the D240’s mid-range performance is sufficiently strong and silent for the driver soon to forget the details of the powertrain, and there are enough ratios both to cover gaps in mid-range performance and to provide ultra long-legged cruising on motorways. Combined fuel economy is a ridiculous-sounding 49.7mpg, and this is why. Response to sudden accelerator inputs between 30 and 70mph can be a bit sedate (the engine management seems to need “thinking time”) but you can minimise it by running the transmission in S (for Sport). The hesitant step-off that seems to afflict all Land Rovers is there in spades, though, and really needs to be addressed.

The Velar’s other strengths – a beautiful shape, a superbly designed interior, cabin quality that sets new standards, a quiet and composed ride (with air springs, at least) are all confirmed in this Velar. For a signpost showing what Jaguar Land Rover can do, and where it is going, you could hardly do better.

Should I buy one?

There are good, cheaper options. But for SUV cool and style you’ll struggle to do better. Velar represents a big design step for Land Rover, and anyone can see it.

But if you buy, we recommend long and detailed attention to the model and options list. You can buy Velars between £44,000 and £85,000, and depending on your priorities, there’s probably a sweet spot for you around the £60k mark. If you decided to choose a four-pot D240, you won’t be making a mistake.

2017 Range Rover Velar 2.0d

Where Middlesex; On sale now; Price £64,160; Engine 4 cyls, 1998cc diesel; Power 237bhp at 4000rpm; Torque 369lb ft at 1500rpm; Gearbox 8-spd auto; Kerbweight 1841kg; Top speed 135mph; 0-62mph 6.8sec; Fuel economy 49.7mpg (combined); CO2 rating 154g/km, 32%; Rivals Porsche Macan, BMW X6

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Comments
37

15 August 2017
£64k for a 2 litre diesel? Jesus wept!

15 August 2017
Overdrive wrote:

£64k for a 2 litre diesel? Jesus wept!

Indeed, it's good when you can ride the wave of popularity and a relatively strong buying economy. But unlike other so called premium brands JLR have nothing to fall back on in terms of model range or depth of engineering talent, should things change, and they will change thing could go wrong, quickly.

18 August 2017
Marc wrote:
Overdrive wrote:

£64k for a 2 litre diesel? Jesus wept!

Indeed, it's good when you can ride the wave of popularity and a relatively strong buying economy. But unlike other so called premium brands JLR have nothing to fall back on in terms of model range or depth of engineering talent, should things change, and they will change thing could go wrong, quickly.

 "JLR have nothing to fall back on in terms of model range or depth of engineering talent" - you must be high or something because RR are consistently the best in class and constantly selling in good number as recent few years of growth have shown. Mind you unlike your so called premium brands, they don't need to lie about their emissions to look better then their rivals. 

1 September 2017
GODFATHER wrote:

Marc wrote:
Overdrive wrote:

£64k for a 2 litre diesel? Jesus wept!

Indeed, it's good when you can ride the wave of popularity and a relatively strong buying economy. But unlike other so called premium brands JLR have nothing to fall back on in terms of model range or depth of engineering talent, should things change, and they will change thing could go wrong, quickly.

 "JLR have nothing to fall back on in terms of model range or depth of engineering talent" - you must be high or something because RR are consistently the best in class and constantly selling in good number as recent few years of growth have shown. Mind you unlike your so called premium brands, they don't need to lie about their emissions to look better then their rivals. 

Don't kid yourself. There were plenty of candles being burned and shredders going into over drive at car manufacturers offices all over the world when the VAG news first came to light within the industry and that's long before the press got hold of the news and realised what a story it was. Do customers ever wonder why their car service at the main dealer takes so long. They ain't just changing the oil.

18 August 2017
Marc wrote:
Overdrive wrote:

£64k for a 2 litre diesel? Jesus wept!

Indeed, it's good when you can ride the wave of popularity and a relatively strong buying economy. But unlike other so called premium brands JLR have nothing to fall back on in terms of model range or depth of engineering talent, should things change, and they will change thing could go wrong, quickly.

1 September 2017
Gerhard wrote:
Marc wrote:
Overdrive wrote:

£64k for a 2 litre diesel? Jesus wept!

Indeed, it's good when you can ride the wave of popularity and a relatively strong buying economy. But unlike other so called premium brands JLR have nothing to fall back on in terms of model range or depth of engineering talent, should things change, and they will change thing could go wrong, quickly.

Is it? Then why do they consistently fall short claimed figures for their vehicles. Also, ask someone at JLR's power train division about the immense balls up the Ingenium project was.

15 August 2017
Overdrive wrote:

£64k for a 2 litre diesel? Jesus wept!

I think that we need to come to terms that engines are getting smaller yet more powerful, only a few years we were happy with a 3.0 litre V6 engine producing this amount of BHP but now that it's in a 4 Cylinder it's not good enough or over priced, we should embrace these newer greener engines even though they don't have  the sound or torque of the V6 which I do personally miss.

15 August 2017
Fluffs wrote:

Overdrive wrote:

£64k for a 2 litre diesel? Jesus wept!

I think that we need to come to terms that engines are getting smaller yet more powerful, only a few years we were happy with a 3.0 litre V6 engine producing this amount of BHP but now that it's in a 4 Cylinder it's not good enough or over priced, we should embrace these newer greener engines even though they don't have  the sound or torque of the V6 which I do personally miss.

Happy to embrace smaller engines, but not for £64k, thank you!

15 August 2017

4 Cylinder engines are not necessarily much greener than 6 cylinder ones. Just check the Audi A4. You can get a 6 cylinder which has almost the same missions as a 4 cylinder version. In my experience larger engines driven sensibly are no less efficient in real life driving environments than less powerful 4 cylinder engines. The larger engines end up doing less work. 

15 August 2017
armstrm wrote:

4 Cylinder engines are not necessarily much greener than 6 cylinder ones. Just check the Audi A4. You can get a 6 cylinder which has almost the same missions as a 4 cylinder version. In my experience larger engines driven sensibly are no less efficient in real life driving environments than less powerful 4 cylinder engines. The larger engines end up doing less work. 

Less work doesn't mean better efficiency. 6 cylinder engines have more friction than 4 cylinder engines, therefore they are less efficient. 12 cylinder engines are terribly inefficient. Also, usually an engine is at its top efficiency operating at maximum torque, which roughly means that if it works less, it is less efficient.

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