With the supercharged V6 under the hood, the Velar feels more like a performance SUV than one designed for the country club set. It whisks passengers from zero to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds – no easy feat for vehicle weighing almost 4,300 pounds. The engine feels a bit raucous at full throttle, but settles down nicely for cruising.
The eight-speed automatic shifts seamlessly through hills and passing maneuvers. Paddle shifters are on hand, but aren't likely to be needed. The same can be said of Land Rover's excellent all-wheel-drive system. The capability to go anywhere is there, even if the desire isn't.
The electric power steering provides easy and responsive handling in everyday driving. Moving the Velar around parking lots and city streets takes surprisingly little effort. The Sport steering mode reduces the assist to a level more appropriate for highway speeds.
The adjustable air suspension can raise or lower the body up to three inches. Maximum ground clearance is 9.9 inches, enough for recreational off-roading. The Velar is rated to tow up to 5,400 pounds.