Off to give the Range Rover Velar a go...

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Mbadger77
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Re: Off to give the Range Rover Velar a go...

Post by Mbadger77 » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:52 am

Very nicely reviewed as always. A good Monday morning read and hope all stays well with her.
8.5 is a fine enough score and holds back a little until you feel more at ease. Sounds like a move forward in nearly every area. It one car can fulfill every aspect for some. I’m still with my FPace but some bits of your car really resonate with me but I know right now I won’t follow the Velar route simply due to the engine configurations and pricing of such.
I do envy your build quality, interior and tech though :)
3L Petrol, 22 black Helix (swapped with FIrst Edition 22 Helix), Ultimate Black, BP, Pano, Brogue, Jet, Priv, 825W, Control Pro, ASR, Climate Front Seats, Practicality Pack, Scuff Plate, Blind Spot


Birthwaite
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Re: Off to give the Range Rover Velar a go...

Post by Birthwaite » Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:38 pm

Great stuff Arianne - Just been to the factory to have the tour and saw the F-Pace and the Velar on the same robot line being built. Very interesting. Velar is a great looking car and I wish you all the best with it but sorry I still prefer the F-Pace if you get a good one. Have fun.... :)
Very happy F-Pace user ..... 3l S diesel. Ammonite - 22" wheels - mood lighting - 14 way memory seats - pano roof - LED headlights - electric tow bar - ICTP - boot release - etc.


F-Pace S
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Re: Off to give the Range Rover Velar a go...

Post by F-Pace S » Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:21 pm

Mbadger77 wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:52 am
Very nicely reviewed as always. A good Monday morning read and hope all stays well with her.
8.5 is a fine enough score and holds back a little until you feel more at ease. Sounds like a move forward in nearly every area. It one car can fulfill every aspect for some. I’m still with my FPace but some bits of your car really resonate with me but I know right now I won’t follow the Velar route simply due to the engine configurations and pricing of such.
I do envy your build quality, interior and tech though :)
Agreed, and I am looking forward to the pictures.

The pricing puts me off as well currently, maybe a bargain or two in a couple of years though....
Rejected two beautiful F-Pace 3.0d S's, loved them both, other than the many faults. :cry: Back to a 535d BMW for me, not ruling out another JLR...Velar...but not in the first year of production again. JLR need to pull their socks up.


JLRnumber5
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Re: Off to give the Range Rover Velar a go...

Post by JLRnumber5 » Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:39 pm

Thanks for the initial thoughts Arianne. Sounds like the lazy torque converter is still in evidence. I look forward to reading your further comments before I take myself off for a test drive.
Two 3.0D F-pace S gone but not forgotten.


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Arianne
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Re: Off to give the Range Rover Velar a go...

Post by Arianne » Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:43 am

Birthwaite wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:38 pm
Great stuff Arianne - Just been to the factory to have the tour and saw the F-Pace and the Velar on the same robot line being built. Very interesting. Velar is a great looking car and I wish you all the best with it but sorry I still prefer the F-Pace if you get a good one. Have fun.... :)
I have learned many things from this 18mth journey.

One of them is that, if you have an F-Pace that isn't faulty, you have an amazing car. I am sure of this. Why? Because, even though I now have my RR Velar and I love her, I still have a deep fondness for my Italian Racing Red 3.0d V6 S F-Pace. Really I do. I have driven four cars since the part-ex of my Volvo XC60. Two F-Pace cars (one my own and the other a dealer courtesy car for about six weeks), the JLR long-term loaner XJ and finally my Velar. All of them were smashing cars.

I will never forget the sheer thrill of the F-Pace's outright performance and physics-defying dynamics on the fast Scottish Borders' country roads.

Am I pleased with my Velar. Yes I am and I am looking forward to a good few years with Holly. Am I pleased that I am now in a Velar and not the F-Pace? No. The difference is marginal. The two cars are different, they have different strengths and one costs a lot more than the other. In my head, when I total all of this up on the left column / right column basis of accountancy, I am left with the conclusion that the final scores tally at the bottom is much the same - albeit that the granular scores for the individual elements will be very different.

Let's be honest, to drive an F-Pace or Velar is to be in a privileged position when compared to most of the other 7bn people on Planet Earth.

Have a lovely day.

Arianne
Rejected but still affectionately remembered: F-Pace 3.0d V6 S, IRR, 18 way jet/red sports seats + full memory, privacy glass, 22" silver/black double helix, cold climate pack!


JLRnumber5
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Re: Off to give the Range Rover Velar a go...

Post by JLRnumber5 » Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:24 am

Well said that man.
Two 3.0D F-pace S gone but not forgotten.


JLRnumber5
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Re: Off to give the Range Rover Velar a go...

Post by JLRnumber5 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:12 pm

I see you have a trip to Kent tomorrow Arianne. Looking forward to a post trip write up if you find the time!
Two 3.0D F-pace S gone but not forgotten.


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Arianne
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Mid-term 2,300 mile (3 week) review

Post by Arianne » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:21 pm

Hello folks,

It’s been three weeks and 2,300 miles of ownership. Today we are hunkered down at the beautiful Inn on The Lake at Glenridding in The Lake District. Awful weather and so this hotel is the perfect way to chill for an afternoon. We have nabbed the seating around the open fire, rain pelting down and Velar parked right outside. Tea and sandwiches on order. You must try it - a top tip from Arianne :D

And so, the perfect opportunity to enjoy drafting my mid-term, honest review of our Velar D300 V6 R-dynamic.....

....... this review covers our experience of day to day ownership coupled with three longer trips - Southern Scotland to Cambridgeshire, Kent and this overnight jaunt to The Lake District.

Summary
We think our Velar is a wonderful car. Mrs A remains besotted and my 25yr old son also thinks it is great. I have increased my score from 8/10 to 9/10. I have found the Velar to be a superb all round, accomplished exec-SUV. It does everything so, so well. Long motorway journeys are serene while it disposes of fast, twisty country roads like the A68 without fuss. She cuts through grotty weather and standing water as if it were just a sunny day with a light breeze in the air. The boot is big enough for all of our junk when we are away on holiday, the cabin is a truly comfortable and relaxing place to sit. Overall, this is a superb car - albeit an expensive one.

Recommended Options
First up, the heated steering wheel - it's an essential option people! Why, I hear you ask in disbelief? Well, look at your steering wheel on the configurator and you will spot a metal ring embedded in the steering wheel. That ring is cold on chilly mornings. It’s going to be very, very cold on freezing mornings! The heated steering wheel option isn’t expensive but it’s worthwhile. After a few minutes the heating element has warmed even the metal ring. On other cars we had this option as a discretionary choice but on the Velar I would suggest it’s an important option to tick on the configurator.

Next, park sensors on the front - very useful because, unless you have chosen the front camera, you cannot see the tip of the front bumper. Unlike the F-Pace, it’s possible to automatically have the front sensors activate below a certain speed. This means that you don’t need to keep pressing a button to switch them on every time. In the three Jaguars I drove earlier in 2017, I needed to press a button, which one forgets to do, unless I had recently selected reverse gear.

Finally, the activity bracelet - if, like me, you do sports like football, badminton or skiing. Leave the key in the car and just wear the bracelet. Nobody can pinch your key from your jacket or locker and then drive your expensive car away. Works better on the Velar than with my F-Pace. Love it.

Build Quality
Compared to my earlier F-Pace the Velar is rock solid and perfectly screwed together - almost (I will come to that later). I think this must be the very first car I have ever owned from new where there is not a single squeak, rattle or creaking noise from anything in the cabin. It is all tightly built with perfect alignment inside and out. Shut lines are perfect and, having washed the car twice, the whole thing feels more substantial than the Jaguar F-Pace and my previous Volvo XC60.

Now the latest F-Pace's may be much better. I can't say because I don't own one but folk on this forum say things have improved. If so then that is a testimony to the fact that the production line team have clearly got it together on the same line that builds both the F-Pace and the Velar.

Performance
Of course, the many options, build solidity and post-apocalyptic all terrain running gear adds weight. More weight than the Jaguar F-Pace. And so, sadly, the Velar doesn’t deliver that same thrill in performance and handling as the Jaguar. I also think that the cossetting ride and cabin acoustics mean that acceleration arrives without the same sense of drama as in the F-Pace. The D300 has all the torque needed to dispense with the nightmare convoy of a Nissan Micra, followed by the Argos articulated lorry limited to 40mph for your safety on these country roads and the Honda Jazz making up the rear. It does so without any fuss. Slipping the car into Dynamic mode and selecting the Sports gearbox results in a noticeable change in overall character of the car. But the F-Pace beats the Velar in this area even if the Velar has a much better overall ride on its air suspension.

Handling
It’s good, very good. You can hustle the Velar on twisty roads and, for a two ton SUV, it’s excellent. The Velar requires very little driver forethought as you approach bends but it does feel as if there is a slight disconnect between the steering and handling compared to the pinpoint precision of the F-Pace. The latter is a true driver's car, the Velar is a lovely car to drive in all circumstances. The Porsche Macan is the benchmark in this area but anyone who suggests that the Velar is a competitor for the Macan is mistaken. The Macan is a jacked up hatchback and performs brilliantly. But the Velar is a truly gifted lifestyle SUV that has many talents rather than narrowly focusing upon just one or two tricks. All three cars occupy a different market segment, albeit micro-segments. I do miss the thrilling performance and handling of my F-Pace. But overall, I prefer to Velar. Even if it’s more expensive than the Jaguar! But I can see, indeed feel, why it costs more and the extra money is more than fashion or vanity - the Velar has the better build, possesses more toys and is a more classy product. Now, if I was still an F-Pace owner and dabbling with the possibility of buying the more expensive Velar, I have to say that I would be very happy with my F-Pace and be quite smug in the knowledge that I had saved myself approx. £10k on the Velar (that would negate the Velar's strengths). I just know that's how I would think and rationalise the whole thing.

So Velar and F-Pace do indeed occupy different slots and don't steal sales from each other. They are similar but different, including the price!

Technology, including SatNav
So the SatNav is the best I have ever had in a car. It’s brilliant. This is a truly connected car. It’s ground breaking, especially for JLR, and so there are a few minor glitches as one would expect. I am an early adopter and I factored this into my mind set and expectations before our Velar arrived. The software is continually being updated as I have witnessed on the troublesome F-Pace stories from this very forum. The effect is a user experience that, for the most part, is stable and rewarding. I anticipate further updates being released over the next few years and, because this system is being introduced to the revised RRS and eventually the rest of the JLR range, improvements are assured as this is not a legacy software system.

I use the Remote Planning App to select my journey which is then automatically sent to my car. The App itself is a bit archaic on my iPad and sometimes thinks my car is parked miles away from where it actually is sitting. But none of this impacts upon the functionality of pre-loading my SatNav before I get into the car. I get in, simply select the journey from the option that pops up on the SatNav screen and away I go. Real time traffic information (I have an EE 2Gb per month PAYG data sim for 12mths installed) is clearly visible and it is dead reliable. It shows traffic accurately, has re-routed us properly and even nipped us up and down a slip road to avoid the final cause of a queue on the A14 which was stuck between the junction on the main carriageway - naughty Holly (that’s her name) as it’s not my style but I was just following her instructions!

Data consumption is tiny. Three weeks in and 2.3k miles has used about 500Mb of data, including one update to the Live Apps. Data input is fast and there is no lag on the keyboard. Holly finds my preferred Shell fuel stations en-route when I ask her and adds the filling station as a waypoint.

The weather App is nice and will be great when we are heading to The Alps for skiing as we will know what to expect before we get there (probably no snow and mild temperatures if the last three years is anything to go by!).

I love the configurable screens. I have music on the lower centre screen, perhaps SatNav on the upper centre or even in front of me on my digital TFT driver display. I find the whole interface easy to use, responsive and intuitive. I was worried that touchscreen would be a fashion piece but functionally frustrating. But no, after a few weeks of use it is fabulous and the designers have done a great job. It is reliable and hasn’t let me down.

The touch buttons on the steering wheel are lovely, perhaps just not quite as responsive but good enough. The change of function is context specific and works well. Voice commands are reliable and I can use my voice speed dial on my phone which connects each and every time without fuss.

All perfect except for.....

The Music Interface ..... which is glitchy. Playing music from my phone or iPad via Bluetooth is perfect. Everything works, including album art etc. But, being a perfectionist means I am an audiophile and Bluetooth compresses the music file too much and one loses a little of the music integrity as a result (the Bluetooth playback experience is actually very good on decent quality MP3, AAC or FLAC file formats but I chase perfection, sadly!).

And so the files on my USB drive are my media source of choice. The problem is that the Velar is inconsistent in reading these USBs. They are FAT32 format, clean and I have played with various different folder indexing and file types but to no avail. Depending upon Holly’s mood, she will say there's a format error, the music queue is corrupt or won’t recognise that the USBs exist at all. Unplugging them helps. Once Holly forgot she even had an on-board hard-drive!

However, I have a workaround. I find that, even when she tells me she cannot play the USB files, I can simply press the Find option, select songs and they all appear. All of them, not just a few. I choose a track, select shuffle and away she goes. Not ideal but, because the rest of the car is so amazing, including the ground breaking ICT (for any car, especially a British car), I can live with this until JLR find a solution. My next stop is to try loading the music onto the hard-drive and see what happens.

I have spoken before about the sound quality. It’s very precise and the Meridian Tri-field Surround Sound System truly creates a sound stage whereby different elements of the music arrive from different parts of the car cabin. It’s excellent and very engaging. But it lacks a certain richness that was evident by the bucket load in my previous long-term JLR loan car, the XJ. That’s a shame. It’s very, very good but not quite as good as I had hoped. A little too bright, a little too digital rather than that analogue richness. Perhaps the sound is a little thin, albeit precise. Tonal adjustment is across just three frequencies of bass, treble and subwoofer so that’s not exactly the best. I am fiddling and it is getting better. I hope that the speakers may loosen up with use in the same way one runs in high end speakers in a home audio system.

Gearbox & Fuel Economy
The gearbox is sweet with almost seamless changes between gears. I have tried the paddle shifters but, to be honest, I am not that kind of driver so I tend to only use the downshift when negotiating steep descents with hairpins (Carter Bar on the Scottish / English border) to use the engine as a brake.

It’s not so good pulling away. The curse of the F-Pace's lazy torque converter from standstill isn’t quite as bad on the Velar but it is still present. Shame that. If I did lots of city driving then it might bug me, but we live in a mainly rural county so I am cool about it.

Fuel economy is good. This is, after all, a 3.0d V6 pulling a fairly heavy SUV. Mrs A managed 45mpg on a long drive up the A1M. Typically upper 30s is very easy to achieve. Sub-30 is only returned on a short, cold skip to Mrs A’s elderly parents’ house for the daily check-up on their wellbeing and general happiness! The tank isn’t huge though, as is the case with these modern cars, so I end up filling the tank up more often than usual and then I am pleasantly surprised at the total bill being a bit less than expected as a result!

Problems?
There is one. Not completely unexpected but slightly disappointing nonetheless. It’s the same issue as my rejected F-Pace and so I suggest everyone else with a Velar D300 on 21” or 22” rims will suffer the same problem too.

There is a quiet, cyclical rubbing noise on the offside front wheel. I can hear it in reverse and at slow speeds in forward motion. Turn the steering and it is slightly louder. At speed, it is almost drowned out, but because the Velar is so quiet in the cabin I think there is a low level drone that shouldn’t be present when torque is applied. Deja vu? I think so!

I have notified my dealer and JLR. I await their response. When I rejected the F-Pace back in April 2017, upon which the Velar’s running gear is based, JLR had no fix. Now they have published a Technical Bulletin on Topixx which says that they have a fix but it won’t be available to dealers until November. Encouraging. And so, because we love the Velar so, so much and the noise is quieter than on my previous F-Pace, we will keep the car and work with the dealer to resolve it. The reason it’s quieter is that my 21” rims resonate the sound less than the larger, heavier 22” rims of the Jaguar. Aesthetically, I don't adore the 22" rims on the Velar so 21" pleases my eye better. On the F-Pace it was the 22" alloys I yearned for. But dropping down a size to 20" rims isn't my preference on the Velar even though the smaller wheels reduce the resonance of the noise through the half-shaft.

TBH, I can’t be bothered to go through the whole rejection process again, I don’t want another car as we love the Velar, JLR has a potential fix about a month away and my dealer has been truly amazing - I actually feel sorry for them (Lloyd Kelso) as it’s not their fault and I will work with them on this issue. Annoying? Yes, but not a show stopper this time for me. You really need to strain to hear it but, as I have said earlier, I am a perfectionist and it seems a shame that the perfectly designed Velar should suffer this slight issue when I can have the dealer potentially fix it soon. As long as they promise to do this then that’s fine by me.

Conclusion
Well done JLR, well done Britain and well done Tata. Together, collaboratively, they have worked to produce a fantastic car that injects style, flair and true competence into the SUV segment. The same can be said of the F-Pace, of course and rightly so. Are German SUVs rock solid? Yes they are. But the Velar’s cabin is also solid and a work of art. You cannot truly say that about the Q7 interior. Externally the Velar is a stunner in a sea of lookalike SUVs.

Tick similar option boxes on the Audi, Porsche or BMW configurators to level up the specifications and the Velar doesn’t look quite as expensive as it does at first glance. It represents Value for Money (don’t read Cheap), but only just! Cars at this price point are an indulgence of the heart and the Velar ticks that box perfectly.

A revised RR Sport anyone? Well, for some folk perhaps - it's a bigger car (although any third row seating is for little kids so don’t be thinking you can take your mates for any significant trip to the Away Ground for football back there). But not so svelte in design and Mrs A says absolutely not when thinking about navigating narrow lanes or town car parks. It's approaching 'cash-cow' status in the model's life-cycle as the marketing people would say.

Our Velar then. "Holly". Not completely perfect but we love her nonetheless. She is almost perfect and, with a bit of perseverance, we will get there.

Well folks, I will settle the tab at The Inn on The Lake here in Glenridding and we will be off back up the A7 into Scotland. What a great road to drive and Holly will love it too.

Best wishes.

Arianne

PS. I hope you enjoyed reading this update. Sorry if it bored you but I genuinely hope it has been informative for those considering a Velar or an F=Pace. Unlike journalists, this is a honest, perhaps quirky long-term review. And that’s unique. That’s its value and I enjoy drafting it.

PPS. And I have just received our invitation to the Land Rover off-road experience. Driver and up to two guests go free! I will choose the venue in the Scottish Highlands, book during winter for maximum mud and ensure I use their car and not Holly! JLR certainly are not perfect but, having owned Volvo and Audi as well as tested at BMW & Porsche dealers too, I can say that I kind of like what JLR stand for and am happy with our choice so far.
Rejected but still affectionately remembered: F-Pace 3.0d V6 S, IRR, 18 way jet/red sports seats + full memory, privacy glass, 22" silver/black double helix, cold climate pack!


Mbadger77
Posts: 2055
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2016 8:04 am

Re: Off to give the Range Rover Velar a go...

Post by Mbadger77 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:34 pm

Hi Arianne,

Another great review and read. I’m wondering about the USB stick and formatting and do you have it as FAT32 or something else?. Also have you had better success with a hard drive. ? I did have the issue once or twice but recently haven’t had any problem so maybe it’s the progression of ICTP software or just that I haven’t used the USB as much until last few weeks or it’s the new brand I’m using. (USB3 Kingston traveller currently)
Either way if the hard drive has better success then a SSD external would do the job nicely, having no chance of trashing the platter and not overheating.
3L Petrol, 22 black Helix (swapped with FIrst Edition 22 Helix), Ultimate Black, BP, Pano, Brogue, Jet, Priv, 825W, Control Pro, ASR, Climate Front Seats, Practicality Pack, Scuff Plate, Blind Spot


Jags cat
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Re: Off to give the Range Rover Velar a go...

Post by Jags cat » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:49 pm

In depth, informative and of course as unbiased as one can be given the circumstances of your departure from the F pace fold. I am considering the same move myself next year to the Velar and have spent many a hour trying to get the price under 58K !! Hopefully by next year there will be some discounts on offer.

Please keep the updates coming if you wouldn't mind, as fore warned is forearmed as they say. I am pleased that at last you are enjoying driving once again ,and enjoying the best the British hospitality has to offer, even if the weather is typically British also!!
All that remains now is to find a good reg plate to adorn the Velar and find a buyer for JAGS CAT.

Regards, JC
Arrived,JA65 CAT plate, 2 ltr R-sport,ammonite grey, black pack, pano roof, 22" silver helix alloys, meridian upgrade, black/red interior, mood lighting, full size spare,rear camera, serv pack,H/screen, and anything else I can get pass the wife!


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