With Land Rover Defenders arriving on dealership lots, picturing yourself in a brand new 2021 Range Rover Velar might not be the image you had in mind. However, if you’re the type that prefers elegance and style over practicality (as much of it as you can get in a Land Rover), the Velar might just be the posh Range Rover you need.

Whereas the Defender caters to those who enjoy a little mud on the paint, the Velar sticks to what it knows: city streets and inclement weather. A cropped Range Rover Sport by any other name, the Velar fills the void between a compact SUV (such as the Evoque), and the larger “big body” full-size Land Rover Range Rover (which has a much higher price tag).

If you’ve considered purchasing an SUV of the Land Rover pedigree, we recommend doing a little research beforehand. This review of the 2021 Velar will guide you towards a more-informed decision. After all, when you’re spending this much money, it pays to know what you’re getting yourself into.

Performance Specifications

There are three powerplants available in the 2021 Range Rover Velar. The first is a base 2.0-liter turbocharged, four-cylinder engine capable of 247 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque. A 3.0-liter turbocharged, six-cylinder powerplant can be purchased with either 335 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque, or 395 and 405 respectively. Each engine is paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The 2021 Velar seats five passengers and comes standard in all-wheel drive. This luxury SUV also has a towing capacity of 1,653 pounds, when properly equipped. Fans of the SVAutobiography supercharged V8 model are left wanting though, as the nameplate has been discontinued. You’ll have to search the used Velar inventory if you’re looking for V8 power.

Available Color:

Range Rover makes the 2021 Velar available in the following colors.

  • Fuji White
  • Santorini Black
  • Yulong White
  • Firenze Red
  • Byron Blue
  • Eiger Grey
  • Portofino Blue
  • Hakuba Silver
  • Silicon Silver
  • Carpathian Grey
  • Desire Deep Red
  • Amethyst Grey-Purple
  • Petrolix Blue
  • Constellation
  • Sanguinello Orange
  • Ligurian Black
  • Velocity Blue
  • British Racing Green
  • Sunset Gold
  • Tourmaline Brown
  • Ionian Silver
  • Ethereal Frost Silver
  • Flux Silver
  • Icy White

Trimlines and Pricing

You can choose from the following trim levels on the 2021 Velar. Check out Range Rover’s website for all the finer details about the new Velar. Until then, here are the highlights of the three different versions. (Although there are technically more versions, as you mix and match the different engine options to your desired trim.)

S Model

The base model starts at $56,900 and includes such features as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, in-dash navigation, and voice control. Available with 14-way adjustability and memory settings, the leather seating joins a panoramic roof, keyless entry, a power liftgate, and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel for a high-end interior. The ten-inch dual-screened Pivi Pro infotainment system acts as the interface for a 12-speaker Meridian stereo. This model rides on 19-inch wheels.

R-Dynamic S

Beyond the standard options available on the base model, this trim includes the larger engine, and “sportier exterior styling and some unique interior trimmings.” It also sports nifty paddle shifters and adaptive air suspension. This model starts at $58,900.

R-Dynamic HSE

This top trim includes a hands-free liftgate, a 17-speaker Meridian sound system, and 21-inch wheels. Seats are not only heated and ventilated, but massaging as well. The top-of-the-line Velar model comes in at $76,900. It’s a hefty price jump, but it comes with all the bells and whistles, plus a boatload of power. Most reviewers agree that it’s worth every penny.

Ask your local Land Rover dealership about the Cold Climate Pack, Hot Climate Pack, Dynamic Handling Pack, and Convenience Pack. A la carte upgrades such as a heads-up display (HUD) and Wi-Fi hot spot are available as well.

Safety Features

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have yet to rate the 2021 Range Rover Velar.

However, the luxury brand does offer a number of standard safety features. These include automatic emergency braking, front and rear parking sensors, lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, traffic sign recognition, pedestrian and bicycle detection, and a surround-view parking camera system. Pay a bit more and you’ll enjoy a heads-up display (HUD), adaptive cruise control, and automatic parking assist.

Fuel Efficiency

Remember that the 2021 Velar comes with standard all-wheel drive, which will impact the fuel efficiency numbers. That said, Kelley Blue Book reports the following ratings, which are respectable given both the off-road capability and the turbocharged powerplants.

The base 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine should see around 21 city and 27 highway EPA-estimated miles-per-gallon (MPG). Switching to the larger 3.0-liter engine brings those numbers down to 18 city and 24 highway MPG. These ratings apply to both the 335-horsepower and 395-horsepower variants.

What Others Are Saying

Fierce competition defines the luxury SUV segment, just like the arena of more affordable crossovers. Where utility and reliability triumph when it comes to making your dollar go further, those with a bit more cash to draw upon can afford to be that much choosier in the finer of details.

For example, it’s often the gadgets and gizmos that set luxury vehicles apart. When it comes to the 2021 Velar, no request is too frivolous. We’ll leave it to Edmunds to demonstrate the perks inside the 2021 Velar:

“The first thing you’ll notice is an absence of any immediately recognizable controls or iconography. That’s because everything from the steering wheel buttons to the instrument panel and center stack is either backlit or a screen—seeing everything illuminate on vehicle startup is an entertaining piece of theater.”

Range Rover engineers sought to capitalize upon that first impression as soon as your rear end hits that driver’s seat.

There are many other desirable elements in the 2021 Velar as well. The “ritzy cabin” is “clean, elegant and distinctive,” with a new Pivi Pro entertainment system that impresses on those dual ten-inch infotainment screens. A few redesigns to the steering wheel and gear shift mechanism give the driving tools a cutting edge feel, and there are “ample opportunities for customizing finishes.” Finally, the “sleek roofline enjoyed by the current crop of so-called coupe SUVs” delights the eyes as well. You won’t mistake the Velar with any Toyota RAV4 on the lot.

Potential Competitors

Don’t confuse fancy with flawless, though. The 2021 Velar does suffer from a “subpar predicted reliability rating” according to U.S. News. KBB also points out that it’s a bit “pricier than the competition.” That’s saying a lot, given the contenders include such nameplates as the Porsche Macan, BMW X3 and X5, Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class, as well as the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio and Maserati Levante. But CarAndDriver gave a final verdict that could disappoint many customers. They said the 2021 Velar “isn’t nearly as good to drive as it looks.” That’s too bad, because the Velar looks amazing.

The Last Word

We hope you’ve found this review of the 2021 Range Rover Velar useful in deciding whether or not you’ll climb behind the wheel of a European hallmark. Stop by your local Land Rover dealership today to test drive the 2021 Velar. It’s the best way to experience first-hand the type of luxury only Range Rover can offer. The question remains: Which $60,000 (or more) luxury SUV is right for you?

Source: LandRover.com

Rebecca Henderson has a Master's in German and a Bachelor's in Creative Writing. She alternates her time between writing and working on a variety of motorized projects. Most recently, she and her boyfriend have been building a custom drift trike. Rebecca believes that language, love, and a life worth living are only the first ingredients to happiness.