From a drivetrain point of view it never feels as if you are being fobbed off with something less than suitable for the car and even in this middling specification the Velar’s looks and the upholstery are genuinely different and undeniably delightful.
I’m far from convinced these luxury plug-ins are doing much for the planet, but for those running their car through the company a PHEV such as this can make good financial sense – as well as looking good in the car park.
2021 Range Rover Velar S P400e PHEV
TESTED 1,997cc four-cylinder, in-line turbo petrol with belt-driven starter/generator and an AC electric motor, eight-speed automatic gearbox, four-wheel drive
PRICE/ON SALE P400e from £56,550 (£61,770 as tested)/now
Engine: 296bhp/295lb ft
Motor: 141bhp/203lb ft
Total system output: 398bhp/472lb ft
TOP SPEED 130mph
ACCELERATION 0-62mph in 5.4sec
EV RANGE 33 miles
FUEL ECONOMY 141mpg (WLTP), 42mpg on test
CO2 EMISSIONS 49g/km (WLTP)
VED £0 first year, £365 next five years, then £140
VERDICT Still a standout good-looking car, but with an up-to-the minute PHEV drivetrain. On 21-inch wheels the ride quality on broken surfaces is a bit harsh and the seating accommodation is far from generous, but as a long-distance all-weather cruiser, with a highly innovative interior, it stands alone.
TELEGRAPH RATING Four stars out of five
Audi Q7 PHEV, from £57,965
Audi’s remorseless occupation of all and every market niche is evidenced by the Q7, a coupé version of the Q8 SUV. All-wheel drive, a 34-mile EV range and decent performance are the plus points, but it only seats five and not everyone will love the appearance.
Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 de, from £61,360
Wow, a diesel plug-in hybrid. But while you can’t argue with the engineering, or the economy and the 62-mile EV range, the GLE is far from the best-looking vehicle in the class although the plug-in versions are restricted to five seats. Also available as a petrol plug in.
BMW X5 xDrive45e PHEV, from £66,415
With a 54-mile electric range, this understated (for the class) PHEV has quite a lot going for it. With a chassis tuned for comfort rather than speed it is long legged and economical, especially if you have a home wall box where it can be charged overnight. Five seats only.
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