2018 Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic SE Long-Term Update 3

In the Arrival article for the Velar, I mentioned my thrill at experiencing this crossover’s 825-watt Meridian sound system. Now for some details as to how good this system actually is.

With a suitably hi-def audio file loaded up, you can hear the finger drags on the slinky opening bass line of Chris Isaak’s “Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing.” You can hear the distinction between the first and second violins in Mozart’s Divertimento in D major, K. 131. And you can actually hear the soul of Radiohead singer Thom Yorke crack just a little in the soaring bridge of “Fake Plastic Trees.”

Car stereos aren’t supposed to be this acoustically dynamic. A car’s interior contains too many oblique angles and soft surfaces for sound waves to bounce off and be absorbed by—creating aural chaos. I’m a serious audiophile, and the fidelity of the Velar’s Meridian system is one of the finest I’ve heard in more than 2,500 cars I’ve reviewed—in the same class with the fullness and range of the Bowers & Wilkins system in the new Volvo V90, and the clarity of the Nakamichi in the original Lexus SC 400 coupe.

A great stereo is key to a vehicle that is going to make lengthy road trips—in this latest case, that of senior copy editor Jesse Bishop, who squired his betrothed Teresa from L.A. to be married outside of Seattle. And back.

Other than a long-suffering right-rear tire that needed a quick replacement, the occasional proximity key nonfunction, and some infotainment system quibbles (which we’ll detail in the next Update), the Velar was a luxurious wedding coach for 3,000 miles over a week’s time.

“Overall, the Velar is outstanding,” Bishop noted. “Probably my favorite vehicle I’ve driven from the MT fleet.”

However, Jesse noticed that the power rear hatch doesn’t cotton to countermanded, “Whoops, I forgot that last little box,” orders when closing, preferring to force its way through physical declinations unless seriously resisted or keyfobbed.

Seeing this as a potential safety hazard for the fingers of Great Britain’s royal family, (to whom Jaguar Land Rover provides vehicles), I undertook some scientific investigation. Three rolled-up magazines? Smooshed, without the hatch retracting. An empty soda can? Crushed. Two cans? Again, crushed, with no retraction. One could only imagine the commotion on Fleet Street should the Duchess of Kensington or HRH Baby Arthur get a pinchy-owie. See to this promptly, Land Rover engineers.

Read more about our long-term Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic SE:

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