2019 Range Rover Velar S P340: Why I’d Buy It – Duncan Brady

I’m Duncan Brady, the newest and youngest member of MotorTrend‘s editorial team. I recently moved out of my parents’ house in Rhode Island and arrived in Southern California only three weeks ago. Not only am I crazy excited to be working with MT, but I’m also looking forward to getting lost in all of the mountains, deserts, and forests easily accessible within an hour or two of Los Angeles. Even though I walk to work and mostly avoid the infamous L.A. traffic, I still crave the isolation of camping in the middle of nowhere and a long road trip with friends.

Yes, the name is long and cumbersome, but the Velar, the latest addition to automaker Land Rover’s luxury line of Range Rovers, might be the sweet spot of the entire range. It’s big enough to avoid the Evoque’s unfortunate proportions and comfortably accommodate four people plus camping gear, but it’s still small enough that it doesn’t feel cumbersome to drive around town or off-road. Like any luxury vehicle worth considering, it has plenty of sound-deadening and comfortable seating to ease passengers on long rides. The new dual-screen infotainment system is worlds better than Jaguar Land Rover’s previous efforts, and even the lower-tier 11-speaker Meridian audio system is more than adequate for podcast listening and the occasional impromptu new album listening party with my pals.

Spending my hypothetical money, I’d opt for a lightly optioned Velar S P340, which comes standard with Land Rover’s 340-horsepower supercharged V-6 and all-important goodies like adjustable air suspension for 9.5 inches of ground clearance and minimal clench factor away from pavement, plus the aforementioned Meridian audio setup.

Give me roof rails in case I want to strap a ski box on top and head up to Mammoth and the optional tow hitch receiver for my hopeful future race car. The $3,800 driver assist package with adaptive cruise control is a must for a vehicle that will spend a lot of time on the highway between destinations, and I’d add the Power Pro package for bonus phone charging capabilities after a weekend of camping. Maybe spend the extra $300 for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility to future-proof that infotainment setup.