We love Range Rovers. No, really, we do. The combination of top-tier luxury and Wrangler-like capability elicits such a deep emotional reaction that we’re able to easily block out any negative insult that might be hurled toward our ears. And that is exactly the type of response that the company desires of potential customers. Top Rover brass aims for the populace to desire a Range Rover not because they need one, but because they want one.
This is exactly the effect that the newest addition to the Range Rover lineup, the Velar, had on us. After spending a glorious three days exploring the incredible landscape of Norway in a First Edition, we came to the stark realization that we didn’t need a Velar in our life to be happy; however, we lusted after one more than is probably healthy.
What’s in a Name?
It may seem a bit odd at first blush, but the name Velar actually has a storied history. A quick jaunt in the way-back machine takes us to 1969. It was at this time that British Leyland engineers were testing a new vehicle: a type of Land Rover meant more for the wealthy elite than farmers. This upscale model was badged as Velar, a word constructed of letters found in Land Rover and with roots in the Latin word velum, meaning to curtain or veil; a fitting name for a secretive prototype. One year later, in 1970, what was previously disguised as Velar arrived in European showrooms as the very first Range Rover. Since then, the family has grown and matured, and for ’18 has added a fourth sibling, now officially named Velar.
Behind the Wheel
The majority of the roads where we experienced Velar were narrow and low-speed, with but a single lane in each direction. Thankfully, there were some fun twisty forest roads to carve, but the joy was often cut short by a blind corner, local traffic, or wildlife.
When we first jumped behind the wheel of Velar, we weren’t quite sure what to expect. Was it filling a hole in the lineup that even existed? Would it be too much like the F-Pace? Luckily, all doubt was quickly put to rest. Velar is perfect for the Range Rover buyer needing more space than an Evoque, but not quite ready to foot the bill for a Sport. It’s more refined and upscale than the F-Pace.