Once you start driving the new Land Rover Range Rover Velar, it becomes obvious that this compact luxury SUV is a new breed of Land Rover. It sits lower than other Range Rover models and takes corners better, with quick steering and graceful handling over undulating roads. But the ride transmits nearly every bump to the cabin, and it can get jittery on rough surfaces.

The 2018 Range Rover Velar feels perky because of a turbo four-cylinder engine that’s helped along by its smooth and decisive eight-speed automatic transmission. But turbo lag and an abrupt start/stop system can make in-town driving annoying. It’s not as well-mannered as it should be for a high-priced luxury vehicle. The Velar gets 21 mpg overall on premium fuel, a bit below the segment average.

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Land Rover’s new dual-screen infotainment system dominates the high-caliber cabin. But the bottom screen is mounted too low and requires too many steps to execute everyday tasks.

The door handles slide out as you press the unlock button. The seats are comfortable and supportive, but we were surprised that the standard seat lacks lumbar adjustment.

Thick pillars and tapering glass make it difficult to see out of the back. And drivers might object to the clunky manual steering-wheel adjustments.

The 2018 Range Rover Velar has standard low-speed automatic emergency braking and optional blind-spot warning. Its Overall Score is hurt by poor predicted reliability based on the brand’s history.

Read the complete Land Rover Range Rover Velar road test.

2018 Land Rover Velar

HIGHS: Handling, fit and finish, standard automatic emergency braking
LOWS: Stiff ride, distracting controls, visibility, fuel economy
POWERTRAIN: 247-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine; 8-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive
FUEL: 21 mpg on premium fuel
PRICE AS TESTED: $59,503

Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the March 2018 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.