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Mid-Size SUVs: Range Rover Velar vs BMW X6

When it comes to luxurious, sports-focussed mid-size SUVs that turn heads and ignite the senses, Range Rover’s new Velar and BMW’s latest X6 lead the pack. But does either of these showpiece models edge it?

The beautiful vs. the brave

The Range Rover Velar sits between the smaller Evoque and larger Range Rover Sport in size terms. With a sleek, curvaceous silhouette, perfectly balanced proportions, super-slim Matrix-laser LED headlights plus an array of exquisite details from flush deployable door handles and a floating roof to stylised vents, the dynamic Velar is one of the most beautiful SUVs in today’s market. In fact, it won the coveted ‘World Car Design of the Year’ award for 2018. R-Dynamic models convey even greater visual impact with a deeper bumper, revised exhaust outlets and many other subtle details.

BMW’s X6 has long been known for breaking from convention with a steeply-raked Coupé-like rear that certainly makes a talking point. Approximately 10cm longer and also slightly wider than the Velar, the unmistakable X6 is imposing and exudes sporty prowess from all angles. BMW’s trademark kidney grille has been subtly widened and flattened to accentuate the car’s width and road presence, and is flanked by slender wraparound headlights. Strong lines flow up the bonnet and sides towards the abrupt rear and L-shaped taillights, while a long wheelbase, short overhangs and various bumper contouring give the X6 a planted stance and robust aura.

Conclusion: the more conventional Velar epitomises class

Minimalism or sportiness

Range Rover have purposefully adopted a reductionist philosophy of minimalism for the Velar, which is as evident inside the cabin as it is externally. Its uncluttered interior is designed to provide a calm and comfortable sanctuary and many of the car’s controls and buttons have been relocated to a sleek pair of 10-inch touchscreens. The Velar’s thoroughly contemporary interior can be specified not only in luxurious leather including two-tone, but also in durable wool blend and suede-cloth fabrics made by world-renowned Kvadrat.

With a wealth of indulgent options available from the enhanced Meridian sound systems and four-zone climate control, to rear-seat entertainment and a remote-control watch, the Velar excels at pampering, practicality and prowess off the beaten track in equal measure - all thanks to Range Rover’s renowned 4x4 technologies and current focus on connectivity. Its 632-litre boot expands to an impressive 1,690 litres with the rear seats down.

Inside the BMW X6, driver focus and sportiness dominate, while high quality craftsmanship is abundant here again. Adeptly balancing light and dark surfaces, the standard leather seats are as supportive as they are luxurious, and although conventional buttons and other controls are present, they are ergonomically excellent allowing the driver to fully enjoy the commanding driving position and road ahead. BMW’s now highly intuitive iDrive system is operated not by touching the screen but by using the rotary controller, and the X6’s interior comes with plenty of standard features like navigation and a reversing camera.

Headroom in the rear isn’t quite as impressive as the Velar because of the BMW’s steeply-sloped rear window, but comfort is still maximised and back seat passengers can indulge in the optional entertainment package, while technology such as wireless smartphone charging, night vision and ambient lighting really bring the X6 to life. Its boot is somewhat more compact at 580 litres but can be specified with runners, nets, hooks and other storage accessories to further boost its practicality.
Conclusion: The Velar’s minimalist interior is simply a work of art and can boast being slightly more spacious

Incredible Engines

 • The Range Rover Velar’s diesel options range from the 2.0-litre D180 through to the D240, a 4-cylinder engine, before arriving at the powerful D275 and D300. The latter serves up an astonishing 700Nm torque and can reach 62mph in just 6.7 seconds. 
Petrol is proving preferential for many drivers these days and the Velar P250 is a great choice, but if maximum power is the order of the day, P300, P340 and P380 petrol engines are offered. They are all V6 Supercharged units and deliver a smooth yet punchy Velar experience. 
The car’s diesel and petrol engines are all mated to the refined 8-speed automatic transmission, while diesel CO2 emissions commence at 151g/km and petrol from 189g/km.
BMW X6 engines are also combined with eight-speed automatic driving courtesy of the marque’s Steptronic sport gearbox. 
The car’s sporty intentions are evident from its engine line-up, which starts with the highly-respected xDrive30d that emits 183g/km CO2 and achieves upto 40.4mpg combined. 
Those credentials remain the same for the xDrive40d but its 0-62mph sprint time drops from 6.7 to 5.8 seconds thanks to an increase in horsepower from 258 to 313hp. 
Petrol X6 drivers are in for a treat, with the xDrive50i that produces a remarkable 449hp and reaches 62mph in a mere 4.8 seconds. 
The top of the range is the M50d with the M Performance TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder diesel engine at its heart, outputting a mighty 740Nm torque.
Conclusion: the BMW xDrive30d is a fabulous engine, powerful yet efficient

In numbers…


Range Rover Velar






Power (HP)





Fuel (comb MPG)





Emissions (CO2, g/km)





Top Speed (mph)





0 – 60mph in…. (seconds)










Combining the latest in contemporary design, ground-breaking technology, off-road ability and the incredible performance of the brands’ latest engines, the Range Rover Velar and BMW X6 excite on so many levels. Why not test-drive them at Inchcape Land Rover and Cooper BMW?