Ooh Velar! What a beautiful BabyDrive test car!! After a week of driving base model Suzukis, I was looking forward to a luxury test car and the Velar did not disappoint!! The Velar was everything I hoped for, fabulous, opulent and luxurious! Apart from the light cream leather seating, it was surprisingly practical too!
When I went to brunch with some mum friends I offered to chauffeur them and they took turns sitting in the front for a massage!! Other passengers were nervous to sit on the light cream leather seats in blue denim jeans in case the dye transferred and to be honest, I was a little nervous about that too!!
Apart from the cream leather, the Velar was full of Babydrive practical features!
I loved the ability to be raised or lower the height of the back of the Velar by just pressing a button on the left side, meaning that for loading and unloading you do not have to stretch up or reach down into it! The boot's storage capacity was fantastic too, holding 14 shopping bags from empty. Both the Mountain Buggy Duet and Mountain Buggy Urban Jungle would fit lengthways and widthways in the boot with six and seven bags alongside them respectively. The Mountain Buggy Nano fitted in the boot with 11 shopping bags around it.
Equally good on the BabyDrive point scoring is the room in the back seats, where I could easily install three child seats! There are ISOFix points in the two outer seats within plastic guides so they were easy to connect to and top tether points across the back of all three rear seats. I fitted the Mountain Buggy Protect infant capsule and the Britax Graphene (rear facing) in each of the outer seats using the ISOFix and the Britax Maxi Guard Pro (forward facing) in the central seat. It was fantastic to be able to use the ISOFix points and have three seats installed, as usually, you have to move the outer seats further outwards and use the seatbelts.
It was a little tricky reaching the top tether points through the boot as the boot is so long, so it was easier to bring the seatbacks forward to reach them.
There are three screens in the Velar! One in front of the steering wheel, controlled by buttons on the steering wheel, one on the dashboard as your media screen and a third below it on the central console that is used instead of all the buttons and switches you would usually find there. Controlling and altering everything using the screens took a bit of getting used to but I found them all very logical and easy to navigate. There are two dials that change function depending on what screen or setting you are altering, which was really clever and simple to get used to. I quite quickly got used to the ‘Seats’ screen so I could make full use of the massaging seats and heated/cooled seats too!!! 😉
The reversing camera has a very clear and high-resolution image, which is fantastic when manoeuvring as I found the visibility out of the back and sides of the Velar limited, especially as the side mirrors are rather small.
Storage inside the cab was relatively good for both front and rear passengers but there was no space big enough for a large refillable water bottle in the front or back apart from one square cup holder. There is also no glasses case in the ceiling.
There are a few non-BabyDrive friendly aspects to the Velar and some features I would expect to be much better if I were paying $140,000 for a car!
One of these is the cruise control, which was very disappointing; on undulating roads at 60km/h the Velar just could not stick to the speed and would race off! How can you make a car a beautiful as the Velar and put so much attention to detail with the looks and interior and then put non-effective cruise control in it?! I just don’t understand? If I am going to pay $140,000 for a car I want the cruise control to be accurate or at least near accurate?! There is no point looking and feeling fantastic on the school run if you’re speeding!
Another is that when you open the doors there is a chiming sound, which I found really irritating and could not find a way to turn that off in all the screens and settings.
There is no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto in the Velar either, which is disappointing. It is another thing I would expect in a car of this price.
The rear seats did not slide to adjust for leg room which was a shame because redistributing a couple of centimetres into the cab from the boot would have been useful! With rear-facing child seats installed there was only just enough room for my 184cm legroom-testing husband to sit in front of it.
The Velar was a fantastic car to drive, although I was surprised to find it had a lag when you first go to drive off, which you have to accommodate for in your driving. Also, for rear passengers, the ride was a bit jostling especially in child seats.
Overall the Velar is a fantastic BabyDrive, if a few of the basics like cruise control and Apple Car Play were improved then it would be even better!
The Range Rover Velar scored a five-star ANCAP safety rating.