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HomeWest Palm Beach, FLEye Candy: Range Rover Velar Dynamic SE

Eye Candy: Range Rover Velar Dynamic SE

The Dynamic P400 SE with the optional mild-hybrid 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six packing a more robust 395-horsepower and muscley 406 pound-foot of torque
The Dynamic P400 SE with the optional mild-hybrid 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six packing a more robust 395-horsepower and muscley 406 pound-foot of torque.

Brad Pitt celebrated his big 6-0 last year. Hard to believe, I know. Whatever dietary supplements, facial balms, and anti-wrinkle concoctions he’s been using are working.

I’m thinking Brad’s anti-aging regime has also been adopted by Range Rover for its rakish Velar SUV. Introduced back in 2018, this mid-size, super-refined 4×4 looks as sleek, sexy, and fresh-faced as the day it landed.

Spy it on the street, and that raked-back windshield, mile-long hood, high waist, and coupe-like roofline spins heads faster than a J. Lo sighting at Saks.

The refreshed Range Rover Velar Dynamic SE
The refreshed Range Rover Velar Dynamic SE.

For 2024, the Velar got a mild freshening to keep it high on the wish list of luxury SUV shoppers also considering a BMW X3/X4, Mercedes GLC, Audi Q5, Porsche Mecan, or Genesis GV70.

The makeover gave me an excuse to spend a week in the latest Velar Dynamic SE 3.0, base price $71,875 or $79,933 very nicely loaded.

In general, Velars don’t come cheap. They’re generally pricier than their key rivals, with stickers kicking-off with the Velar P250 S from $62,775, powered by a rather tame 247-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder. For that price you could get into a much more athletic BMW X3 M40i ($63,900) with a 382-horsepower, twin-turbo 3.0-liter under the hood.

The Velar's slightly redesigned front grille and headlights,
The Velar’s slightly redesigned front grille and headlights.

Way more appealing is our Dynamic P400 SE with the optional mild-hybrid 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six packing a more robust 395-horsepower and muscley 406 pound-foot of torque. It’s one of the best sixes money can buy.

As for those changes for 2024, they amount to a slightly redesigned front grille, new headlights, new wheel offerings, and a re-styled rear bumper that makes the Velar look wider and lower.

Inside, there’s a new, iPad-like 11.4-inch curved-glass touchscreen that pretty much eliminates all physical controls.

The new, iPad-like 11.4-inch curved-glass touchscreen
The new, iPad-like 11.4-inch curved-glass touchscreen.

The good news here is that it comes with apps like Amazon Alexa and Spotify; the bad news is that to operate the most basic of tasks, like turning up the stereo, setting the temp, or picking a different drive mode, you’re tapping, swiping, and taking your eyes off the road.

The keep-it-simple-stupid theme, however, does include the most elegant of center consoles out there, with a ski-slope-like swath of grained timber with not a switch or button to interrupt the lines. Only the lovely, stubby shifter breaks up the flow.

While we’re inside, take-in the standard 400-watt Meridian sound system, which is one of the best standard set-ups I’ve listened to. Splash the cash and you can upgrade to a 17-speaker, 750-watt Meridian 3D system that can perforate ear drums quicker than a Metallica concert.

Inside the Range Rover Velar Dynamic SE
Inside the Range Rover Velar Dynamic SE.

Other features that will impress include the pretty much full-length glass roof, surprisingly plentiful rear-seat legroom, and above-average 30 cubic foot cargo space that swells to 60 with the back seat folded. That and the impressive overall quality and fit-and-finish.

So how does it drive? One word: Elegantly.

The six-cylinder in our P400 Dynamic SE is a so-called MHEV, or Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle, with the emphasis on mild. It consists of a starter-generator with a 48-volt lithium-ion battery under the rear load space.

The roomy rear row in the Velar
The roomy rear row in the Velar.

It’s there to give a little boost when accelerating and to smooth-out the stop-start system. Alas, no, it won’t allow the Velar to run on electric-only.

But step on the gas and the Velar will rush from standstill to 60 miles per hour in a solid 5.2 seconds, its 8-speed automatic firing through changes with the smoothness of a hot knife through warm butter.

And smoothness is the word here. The straight-six is supremely refined, emitting a wonderful, muted roar under hard acceleration. In the Dynamic drive mode, it feels positively alive and almost V8-like. I love it.

A re-styled rear bumper makes the Velar look wider and lower
A re-styled rear bumper makes the Velar look wider and lower.

No, through the twisties it’s not as nimble or agile as that BMW X3 M40i or Mercedes-AMG GLC43. But it trades sharp handling for a smooth, absorbent, unruffled ride, keeping with the Velar’s high-luxe character.

It makes this style-focused, off-road-accomplished Range Rover a true luxury all-rounder that’s hugely satisfying to drive, delightful to live with, and, like the evergreen Mr. Pitt, still very easy on the eye.

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