What is it like to own a 2023 Range Rover Velar P250 R-Dynamic SE? Follow our long-term ‘ownership’ journey.

Welcome to our new long-term review format. We don’t actually buy these cars, but do try to replicate as much of the purchase experience as we can so that you get the full picture.

UPDATE OCTOBER 26th – Follow the update on our ownership journey, click the jumplink below to find out more.

We got the keys to the 2023 Range Rover Velar and it’ll be in our Drive garage for the next six weeks. Our model is the Range Rover Velar P250 R-Dynamic SE AWD.

Confused with the variant description? I was too, so here’s a quick explainer for you all. The P250 describes the engine, which is a 2.0-litre turbocharged in-line four-cylinder, R-Dynamic represents the styling, while the SE is the trim level. Trim levels in the range include S, SE and HSE.

The range kicks off with the R-Dynamic S that starts at $96,660 plus on-road costs. The next step is our model, the R-Dynamic SE, which starts at $98,900 excluding on-roads.

To summarise the line-up for you, basically there’s a choice of two petrol engines, three specifications, and you have the ability to mix and match engine and spec. There’s also a plug-in hybrid option available.

Our vehicle is packed with options including electronic air suspension, adaptive dynamics, 21-inch diamond-turned with satin dark grey contrast wheels, sliding panoramic roof, privacy glass, power socket pack, premium cabin lighting, premium carpet mats, black contrast roof, Argento pinstripe veneer, configurable dynamics and 14-way heated, driver memory front seats.

With all of these options, the total cost of our model is $134,985 drive-away.

The start of this ownership journey began at the dealership for a handover experience – mirroring what real-life buyers will experience when collecting their car. You can jump to my first diary entry, which takes you through our encounter at Land Rover Essendon.

We have a lot planned for this large and luxurious SUV. Along with daily commutes to and from work and cruising around town on the weekends, the plan is to take the Velar on road trips to see how it fares on longer journeys. We’re also keen to take it off-road, as it’s all-wheel drive and boasts several off-road drive modes.

We’ll give you diary updates on things we enjoy on our drives, features that we may not like, how we are performing on fuel, how the technology works, the interior comfort, and any other details that may pop up throughout the course of our loan.

At the end of it all, we’ll have a detailed video and written review that will delve into everything we’ve learnt throughout the six weeks.

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At a glance 2023 Range Rover Velar P250 R-Dynamic SE
Price (MSRP) $98,900
Our spec (inc. options) Sliding panoramic roof – $4420
Electronic air suspension – $2110
21-inch diamond-turned with satin dark grey contrast wheels – $2080
Black contrasting roof – $1425
Configurable dynamics – $940
Premium cabin lighting – $540
Argento pinstripe veneer – $220
14-way heated, driver memory front seats – $810
Premium carpet mats – $640
Power socket pack – $290
Privacy glass – $890
Adaptive dynamics – $2410
Price as tested (drive-away) $134,985 drive-away
Engine 2.0-litre turbocharged in-line four-cylinder
Drive type All-wheel drive
Transmission Eight-speed torque converter automatic
Power & torque 184kW @ 5000rpm
365Nm @ 1300–4500rpm
Dimensions (L / W / H / WB) 4797mm/2041mm/1683mm/2874mm
Mass (tare) 1827kg
Fuel consumption (claimed combined) 7.8L/100km

What do you want to know?

If you’d like to know something about this car, or want to see us doing something specific with it, then here’s your chance. Think of it as talkback TV, except via the web. We want to know what you want to know about our latest test car, and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.

Previous tests and reviews

This is not our first experience with the Range Rover Velar. We first tested the Velar at the international launch back in 2017. Since then, we’ve reviewed several models in the range, including this exact model, which was recently in the Sydney garage. You can see all of our recent reviews here.

October 10, 2022: Picking up our Range Rover Velar

As mentioned, the very start of the journey started at the dealer. Here we were treated to a handover – mirroring what real-life buyers will experience when collecting their car. 

Our car was waiting for us at Land Rover Essendon, and on arrival we were greeted by Martin and Michael. A big thankyou to both of them as the entire experience was premium from the get-go, and I genuinely felt as though I was picking up my brand-new car. If only!

The vehicle was dressed up and waiting in a separate room, which gives the customer privacy to go through the car with the dealer (and, of course, the opportunity to take photos and make Instagram reels without any interruptions).

The team had gone to the trouble of ensuring there was a stand with my name (spelt correctly), a sheet over the car, and finished it all with a big red bow. This is exactly what you can expect from the brand when picking up your new vehicle.

The reveal process is a real thrill, especially when you have a car like this under the sheet. You have to agree – this is a very good-looking car. Ours is finished in Ostuni Pearl White with rose gold accents. The interior trim is ebony and includes ebony perforated grained leather and suede cloth seats.

We were then taken through the car step by step, including how to use the infotainment, the technology, down to each and every dial and button. Finally, we were connected to the Land Rover Remote app, which will be a very handy tool in the coming weeks.

With this, we’ll be able to check on our car from any location. The app will notify us if we’ve left the car unlocked, it’ll record our journeys, and perhaps its greatest asset is its ability to remote-start and set the car to a desired temperature.

When we were setting up the application, it asked me for a nickname, which is always ‘Notar’. In this case, I decided to enter a name for the car instead. So, meet Lala, the Velar. I think it has a nice ring to it.

The car is also equipped with in-built ‘Hey Alexa’ and ‘Hey Siri’ functions, which I look forward to testing on the move.

Michael alerted me to the fact that this particular car doesn’t come with a surround-view camera – an option that’s unfortunately unavailable in this current climate due to the ongoing chip shortages.

It’s certainly a feature I’d expect if I were spending this kind of money, but unfortunately no-one knows when this function will be reintroduced and it’s really out of their hands.

Would you wait? The team advised me that with the high demand right now, the majority haven’t been too fussed. Disappointed, yes, but are willing to take the vehicle without certain additions.

Currently, this is the only feature that you will miss out on when ordering your Velar. The wait time for a Range Rover Velar is six months to a year, which is standard right now.

So, six weeks and lots to cover. First item on the agenda was to show her off to anyone who happened to be on the route back to the office. Next stop – MotoGP, Phillip Island.

October 25, 2022: My first long journey in the Range Rover Velar

This was my first long drive in the Velar and just my luck, it was bucketing down in Melbourne. Roads closures were occurring all over due to flooding, and I knew that I had a decent, traffic-filled stint ahead of me. The destination – Phillip Island for the MotoGP. 

Thankfully, the ride quality of the Velar is excellent. It never got flustered over potholes (and there were lots of them, especially as I arrived closer to the island), plus its cabin insulation is exceptional. 

So much so that I received a phone call from my colleague, Susannah Guthrie, and the first thing she commented on was the quality connection and the fact that it sounded so quiet. 

The cabin silence continued through the back roads of the island, where it was calming and still – until I pumped the stereo, which is exceptional as this car scores a high-quality Meridian sound system. 

Driving to the island in this premium SUV was a breeze. When you’re driving in these conditions, it’s comforting to be travelling in a pleasant and luxe vehicle like this one. Adaptive cruise control was active for much of my stint, which is incredibly intuitive.  

However, I forgot that this car isn’t equipped with wireless charging and being the forgetful person I am I left my charger in the boot and I certainly wasn’t pulling over on a freeway. 

You may or may not agree with this, but jumping in a car that’s over $130,000 and having to pull out your charging cable is disappointing. 

What’s more, it’s not an option on this specification, which is unfortunate. 

This is a rather roomy car. There’s a decent sized boot and if I’m sitting in the rear then I’ve got plenty of head and leg room (I’m 173cm). But, with taller adults, it’s a little bit squishy. 

On one of our outings my front passenger had to manouver forward for our rear passenger and both looked rather crammed. But, I can’t say that I often travel with a packed vehicle so it was fine for the short stint. 

In a nutshell, my first road trip was a success. I’m really enjoying getting to know this Range Rover and be sure to stay tuned for more updates.

November 2, 2022: Using the Land Rover app

Car apps are becoming increasingly widespread and they are quite a handy tool. I set up the Land Rover app at the dealership so that I can easily access imperative information through my iPhone.  

For example, if I’ve forgotten to lock my vehicle then I’ll get an alert 15 minutes after I’ve parked my car, and I can do so from the app without having to return to the car.

It tells me my current range in kilometres and percentage, along with additional security information, such as whether or not my windows, bonnet, boot and sunroof are all locked. 

The fun part comes at the end of the working day when it’s freezing cold outside (as it always seems to be in Melbourne) and I can set the temperature of my car so that it’s warm and cosy by the time I get to the carpark. 

It has a 30 minute timer on it so if you’re not at the vehicle within that time, it will automatically switch off. So far so good as it’s all working seamlessly. 

You can also beep and flash your lights, which sounds pointless – I’m sure a lot of people do this for a bit of fun when the car is no longer in their possession but still have access to the app. 

But, this is obviously useful for forgetful people like myself that can’t remember where they’ve parked their car in a shopping centre. Thankfully, I’m yet to use this function.

Let me know if your car has an app and if it works well. More importantly, do you take advantage of this application?

October 10, 2022: Let’s talk about the surround view camera, or lack thereof

I don’t ever want to be one of those people that relies solely on safety devices and technology to drive appropriately. That means that essentially when I’m driving, I will always drive in the centre of my lane, still check my blindspots, and park without relying solely on beeps or alerts. 

Don’t get me wrong, a car equipped with items such as blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist and other safety features is absolutely a must these days, in fact, basic safety should be  standard. 

Maybe I have trust issues, but I never seem to have complete faith in park assistants. I’m still apprehensive to let it completely drive itself and end up taking far too long to complete the process, wanting to be extra careful. 

I guess I won’t be driving a self driving car anytime soon. 

One feature I do appreciate is the blind spot monitor that you’ll find in a lot of Hyundai’s and Kia’s, which shows you a view of what’s in your blind spot when you click the indicator. Now that I have full trust in. 

There comes a time, though, when it’s nice to have a helping hand, and that’s where something like a surround view camera comes into the equation. 

If you’ve missed some of my earlier updates, this car misses out on a surround view camera thanks to the current chip shortages. Land Rover is yet to be updated as to when this feature will be available again.

With obscene wait times for vehicles these days, I can understand why buyers will go ahead without this or other features. I’m not sure that I could as if I’m spending this kind of money, I want and expect a lot.

The 3D surround camera is an option on the Velar and will cost an additional $1,650. Our car comes with a standard rear view camera and front and rear parking aid. 

Let’s keep in mind that this is a rather large SUV and after driving it around for a few weeks, rear visibility is definitely lacking. Front and side views are decent, but the rear isn’t ideal. 

I’ve got a photo below which shows you what pops up on the screen when I’m parking – a rear camera song with an animated image alongside it. 

There have been times where I absolutely would have appreciated the addition of a surround view camera. Parking in my building is narrow and packed with large SUVs and utes so I’m always having to do a good two or three manouvers to reverse into my spot. It can be tricky. 

Another time when you might want this is if you’re heading off-road. Not that I think it’s something you buy this car for. A swanky, luxury car going through mud and gravel doesn’t sit well with me, but people may feel differently.

But, with this feature you’ll get a clear view of the car from every angle and be able to see where your tyres land. 

So, do I want it? It’s one feature that would be nice in a sizable vehicle like this one. Would I buy it without? Probably not, I’d most likely continue shopping. 

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Emma has been on our television screens for over a decade. Most of her time in the industry has been spent at racetracks reporting at major motorsport events in Australia – from TCR and Superbikes to Porsche Sprint Challenge and Supercars. Emma has also hosted various MotoGP and F1 events interviewing the likes of Daniel Ricciardo and Jack Miller. Having previously presented on an automotive show, she made her move to the Drive family in 2020.
Fiercely proud of her Italian heritage, Emma is a coffee loving, stylish-black wearing resident of Melbourne.

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