THE GOOD Infotainment system allows smartphone-like interaction ■ Steering controls are touch-sensitive and allow lots of control ■ Great audio experience
THE BAD Not the most intuitive infotainment system ■ You are likely to take your eyes off the road when using the screens
New Delhi: The Range Rover Velar looks like a car that was meant to be a concept. Its striking looks do turn some heads. The car’s door handles sit flush with the doors, popping out when you need them. When they do come out, they project the Range Rover logo on the ground.
While there’s no shortage of style with this one, it also packs in some heavy-duty tech. Most of this technology is accessed through Range Rover’s new Touch Pro Duo infotainment system.
This includes two screens—one on the dashboard and another just below it. The screen on the dash tilts outwards when you get into the car, so it does not reflect sunlight and is easy to use when you drive.
The tech features are split between these screens. While the upper screen takes care of phone calls, navigation, Bluetooth control and more, the lower screen lets you adjust terrain response (to shift between different driving modes), music, climate and more. Both displays are reasonably responsive to touches, though they could have been better.
You will also find two dials on the lower display, which allow you to change the temperature, seat-massager settings and more.
The steering controls are also touch-sensitive and change based on what functions you’re using.
So, you will see volume controls and track-skip buttons when you are using them for music, but they can also be used to control driving modes, etc., on the virtual instrument cluster in front of the driver.
The Range Rover also has a host of apps called “InControl" that allow you to control the car from your phone or watch.
You can remotely turn on the engine, air conditioner, lock or unlock the car and check how much fuel it has.
It’s worth noting that InControl, seat massagers and some other features aren’t available in all the Velar models, so you have to check that before you buy one.
The car’s speakers are done by Meridian Audio and unless you’re an audiophile, you will have nothing to complain about in terms of audio quality.
However, with all that tech inside the car, it might take you a few days to get accustomed to the features and use them effectively. You will also have to take your eyes off the road when you’re navigating the touch-enabled screens, which you will have to at times, despite Range Rover’s best efforts.
Also missing are Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support, meaning your phone won’t directly integrate with the infotainment system. So, while you can make or take calls, you may still need your phone to dial numbers, reply to texts, etc.
That said, the Velar’s in-car technology is a step forward. As far as infotainment systems go, this is among the best you can get.