The 2018 Range Rover Velar is the newest vehicle in the Land Rover stable, adding an elegant and capable ride that fits between the Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Sport. The Velar is a rare combination of good looks and off-road capability for discriminating buyers.

At press time, the Range Rover Velar had just been named the “2018 World Car Design of the Year” at the New York International Auto Show, beating out finalists Lexus LC 500 and the Volvo XC60.

Available with a diesel or a choice of two gasoline engines, the Velar is available in five trim levels: Velar, Velar S, R-Dynamic SE, R-Dynamic HSE and Velar First Edition. The least expensive Velar starts around $50-grand, and you can spend six figures if you deck out a top end First Edition trim.

My test Velar for the week was the R-Dynamic HSE diesel, and it had an MSRP of $69,100. That price jumped to more than $75,400 with options and freight.

But if your pockets are deep enough, the Velar is a fabulous vehicle, well worth the premium price tag. Like Land Rovers do, the Velar will take you anywhere you want to go. Except the Velar will do it with an extra dose of class and style.

Slipping inside the new Velar, the first thing you notice is two gigantic touchscreens that govern vehicle functions and infotainment. The screens have sharp and crisp graphics with easy-to-navigate commands.

The new InControl infotainment system – called Touch Pro Duo – delivers a wealth of information and entertainment with advanced technologies. The dual screens allow the user to see required information while at the same time being able to access additional features. For example, you can put the navigation on the upper screen and media on the lower screen.

“High tech” and “luxurious” go hand-in-hand in the Velar. Front seats adjust an amazing 20 ways, they’re heated and cooled, and my test car even had a massage feature. If you can’t find a comfortable position in the Velar’s seats, you might need to make that chiropractic appointment.

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but if you ask me the new Velar is gorgeous. It has sleek lines and a striking profile. Headlights dazzle and the front end has an aggressive, bold look. Wheels are up to 22 inches, which surprisingly don’t affect the ride that much. The jury at the World Car awards, methinks, got it right.

One really cool feature of the Velar is the disappearing door handles that wind up flat against the body of the car when the doors are locked. Hit the unlock button and the handles pop out. It’s the feature mentioned most often by the people who saw my test Velar.

On the inside, the Velar has a head’s up display for the driver and media screens behind the front seat headrests to keep the kids entertained. It’s an opulent cabin, for sure, with soft touch materials in all the right places.

None of the Velar’s three engine choices is a chump, especially the diesel power plant. The 2.0-liter 4-cylinder develops 180 horsepower and impressive 317 Lb.-ft of torque.

The 2.0-liter gasoline 4-cylinder delivers a turbocharged 247 horses and 269 lb.-ft. of torque, while the 3.0-liter 6-cylinder supercharged gas engine delivers 380 horsepower and 332 lb.-ft. of torque. The transmission is an 8-speed automatic.

Properly equipped, the Velar can tow up to 5,291 pounds.

While the Velar is luxurious and opulent, it’s an off-road status symbol that can get the job done off-road. It can clear 8.4-inch-tall obstacles, it can ford streams up to 23.6 inches deep, its approach angle is 24.3 degrees and its departure angle is 26.3 degrees. Range Rover’s All Terrain Progress Control and Terrain Response systems are standard equipment, as is an active locking rear differential.

2018 Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic HSE

Engine:

2.0-liter turbodiesel 4-cylinder

Horsepower/Torque:

180/317 lb.-ft.

Transmission:

8-speed automatic

Price:

$69,100 ($75,415 with options & freight)

EPA mileage estimates:

26 mpg city/30 mpg highway/28 mpg combined

Estimated highway range:

498 miles