Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
The Velar is anything but small, so front space is generous. There’s plenty of head room and the seats go back a long way to accommodate taller drivers, with a big gap between them so you won’t be rubbing shoulders with your passenger when you both use the split centre armrests.
There are lots of storage spaces dotted about. The door bins can take a 500ml bottle of water and a few oddments, and there are a couple of healthily sized cup holders behind the gear selector. There’s also storage under the armrest, but that’s surprisingly small.
Reach behind the lower touchscreen and you’ll find another cubby that’s a decent size, but the way it's obscured can make it easy to forget your belongings when you leave the car. Finally, there’s a glovebox big enough to swallow more odd and sods.
Those in the back seats are unlikely to complain about head room, because, even with a panoramic roof fitted, there’s easily enough space for the vertically gifted. Unfortunately, leg room isn’t quite so generous; while a six-footer can fit behind an equally tall driver, they will have precious little space between their knees and the back of the front seat. The Porsche Macan is tighter in the back, though, and if you think you’ll need more space, there are roomier luxury SUVs, such as the Audi Q8 and BMW X5.
If you try to fit three in the rear of the Velar, the middle passenger has to straddle a small hump in the floor, but that isn’t as annoying as the massive hump that besets some of its rivals. The door bins are smaller than those in the front, but are still useful.
Seat folding and flexibility
Entry-level models have an eight-way manually adjustable front passenger seat, with S and SE models upgrading this to a 14-way electrically adjustable seat. HSE goes one step further with 20-way adjustment.
All Velars, meanwhile, feature a handy 40/20/40 split for the rear bench so you can carry long items, such as skis or a ladder, between a pair of passengers. From S trim you also get electrically reclining rear seats, but a sliding rear bench, which you get in other large or luxury SUVs from an Audi Q5 to a Volvo XC90, isn’t available on the Velar.
It’s worth adding the optional release handles, mounted on the sides of the boot, to drop the rear seatbacks. They aren’t very expensive and save you from having to walk round and open the rear doors to drop the rear seats.
At a quoted 513 litres, the Velar’s boot is a touch bigger on paper than those of rivals, such as the Porsche Macan and BMW X4. In reality, though, it’s a lot bigger – bigger even than an Audi Q8’s boot. We managed to fit a highly creditable 10 carry-on cases inside, compared with eight in the Q8.
The bottom of the Velar's tailgate opening is quite high off the ground, which is something to bear in mind when you need to lift things up and into the boot, but at least the lip down to the boot floor isn’t that big. Air-sprung models lower automatically when you park, aiding access.
You get a few hooks in the boot as standard, while a variety of partition and storage options are available. Accessing the boot on S models and above is easy – a powered tailgate comes as standard. If you upgrade to SE trim you can open the tailgate using gesture control (the gesture being a waggle of your foot under the rear bumper), which makes life easier if your hands are full.