KNOW THIS. Because they control virtually everything on the vehicle, should the Touch Pro Duo screens on your Range Rover Velar go down, things go south pretty quickly.
Drive modes, navigation, air conditioning settings and the ability to escape Mick Molloy on the radio are no longer within your aegis. Such a fate has befallen our Velar a couple of times this month, leaving us feeling about as hamstrung as the Newcastle Jets when the realised their marquee signing for 2014 was Emile Heskey.
Car of the Year: Range Rover Velar: 2018 Car of the Year review
On the first occasion the main screens both went blank and, upon a hard reboot, the supervision screen between the main clocks locked itself into Dynamic mode and refused to budge, no matter which drive mode the vehicle was actually set to. It’s an unfortunate blip on what has thus far been an enjoyable tenure, the Velar impressing with its dynamic sang froid. Put simply, the Velar can do almost anything you ask of it, short of only the most extreme dynamic assignments. It’s easy to see why it’s proving such a sales hit for the marque worldwide, taking up the slack against declining Evoque and Discovery Sport figures.
This month has seen another couple of thousand kays tick onto the clock, supporting Wheels photoshoots, repeatedly returning Ozito tat to Bunnings and serenely negotiating the giant gongshow that is rush hour on Melbourne’s Monash freeway. It’s easy to forget quite what a looker the Velar is, other gridlocked motorists giving it the once over as you let the adaptive cruise do its thing while you ponder the next nasal excavation exercise.
After some experimentation, I think I’ve hit upon the sweet spot for the various dynamic modes. Basically, you need to jump into the custom mode, marked by a Stig-like white helmet icon, and amp everything up to its sportiest setting aside from the dampers, which are best left in Comfort. The racier damper setting doesn’t actually afford you that much additional composure through corners but comes with a hefty penalty in terms of ride quality. The difference in steering between the disconcertingly oleaginous Comfort mode and sharp-witted Dynamic is night and day.
We’ve had some pretty tasty metal through the office in the past few weeks, filming for the forthcoming WhichCar TV show on Ten, yet the Velar hits the mark of a good long termer insofar as no matter what you’ve been flinging round a track or up a mountain road, getting back in after a long day still feels good. Screen burps aside, it’s settling in well.