Testing the $90,000 Range Rover Velar’s Off-Roading Prowess in the California Desert [Ruts & Guts]

Since 1970, Range Rover has been a byword for luxury SUVs.

When you think “Range Rover”, what immediately comes to mind? Handsome, restrained looks. Refined elegance cocooned in pale leather and a gloss black finish. Success and affluence against the glamorous backdrop of Hollywood or Beverly Hills.

What you don’t imagine is a $90,000 SUV crushing off-road trails, its Terrain Response system propelling the 2.2-ton Range Rover Velar up steep, rock-laden inclines. In this Ruts & Guts video, however, TFLcar’s Roman Mica does just that. We take this sexy, stylish, sleek crossover off-road in the California desert to test to efficacy of it’s Range Rover DNA. Check out the video above to see Roman’s impressions of the new Range Rover Velar.

Highlights of the new Range Rover Velar:

1) Price

As tested, the Range Rover Velar costs just north of $90,000. While not as expensive as the full-fledged Range Rover, the Velar not cheap, by any measure. For that reason, most owners will likely keep their posh SUVs strictly on-road. Still, there’s something to be said for off-roading in leather-lined, air-cushioned comfort.

2) The engines

The Range Rover Velar is available with a choice of 3 engines:

  • Supercharged 3.0L V6, 380 horsepower & 332 ft. lb. torque (available in all but the base trim)
  • Turbocharged 2.0L I4, 247 horsepower & 269 ft. lb. torque (available in base, S, R-Dynamic SE and R-Dynamic HSE)
  • Turbocharged 2.0L TD4 diesel, 180 horsepower & 317 ft. lb. torque (available in S, R-Dynamic SE and R-Dynamic HSE)

3) Ground clearance

Awhile back, I listed the Range Rover Velar at number 8 of the Top 25 Ground Clearance vehicles on sale today. With air suspension, the Range Rover Velar features 9.9 inches of ground clearance – ideal for tackling boulder-laden off-road trails. Really, if you’re looking for ground clearance, you’d do well with any of the Range Rover family. It’s nice to see the Velar doesn’t disappoint its cousins with its ground clearance capability. The air suspension comes standard on all V6 models.

4) Features

Being a Range Rover, the Velar is not wanting for features. Whether for reasons of comfort or off-roading capability, the Velar has a suite of features to suit its potential owners. For comfort, there’s the dual-10-inch InTouch Pro Duo infotainment system. For off-roading, you get the latest generation of Land Rover’s Terrain Response traction management system. Also to ensure you stay moving off-road, there is an Active Rear Locking Differential, All Terrain Progress Control, Low Traction Launch, Hill Descent Control and Gradient Release Control.

Testing the $90,000 Range Rover Velar's Off-Roading Prowess in the California Desert
The Range Rover Velar combines Land Rover’s legendary off-roading prowess with sleek, modern styling. [Photo: Land Rover]