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Brad Pitt celebrated his big 6-0 last year. Hard to believe, I know. Whatever dietary supplements, facial balms and anti-wrinkle concoctions he’s been using is definitely working.

I’m thinking Brad’s anti-aging regime has also been adopted by Range Rover for its rakish Velar SUV. Introduced way back in 2018, this mid-size, super-refined 4×4 looks as sleek, sexy and fresh-faced as the day it landed. 

Spy it on the street, and that raked-back windshield, mile-long hood, high waist and coupe-like roofline can still spins heads faster than a J-Lo sighting at Saks.

For 2024, the Velar got a mild nip, tuck and jab of Botox freshening to keep it high on the wish list of luxury SUV shoppers also considering a BMW X3/X4, Mercedes GLC, Audi Q5, Porsche Mecan or Genesis GV70. 

The makeover gave me the excuse to spend a week trying out the latest Velar Dynamic SE 3.0, base price $71,875, or $79,933 very nicely loaded.  

In general, Velars don’t come cheap. They’re generally pricier than their key rivals, with stickers kicking-off with the Velar P250 S from $62,775, powered by a rather tame 247-hp 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder. For that price you could get into a much more athletic BMW X3 M40i ($63,900) with a 382-hp, twin-turbo 3.0-liter under the hood.

Way more appealing is our Dynamic P400 SE with the optional mild-hybrid 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six packing a more robust 395-hp and muscley 406 lb-ft of torque. It’s one of the best sixes money can buy. 

As for those changes for ’24, they amount to a slightly redesigned front grille, new headlights, new wheel offerings, and a re-styled rear bumper that makes the Velar look wider and lower.

Inside, there’s a new, iPad-like 11.4-inch curved-glass touchscreen that pretty much eliminates all physical controls. 

The good news here is that it comes with apps like Amazon Alexa and Spotify; the bad news is that to operate the most basic of tasks, like turning up the stereo, setting the temp, or picking a different drive mode, you’re tapping, swiping and taking your eyes off the road.

The keep-it-simple-stupid theme however, does include the most elegant of center consoles out there, with a ski-slope-like swath of grained timber with not a switch or button to interrupt the lines. Only the lovely, stubby shifter breaks-up the flow.

While we’re inside, take-in the standard 400-watt Meridian sound system, which is one of the best standard set-ups I’ve listened to. Splash the cash and you can upgrade to a 17-speaker, 750-watt Meridian 3D system that can perforate ear drums quicker than a Metallica concert. 

Other features that will impress include the pretty much full-length glass roof, surprisingly-plentiful rear-seat legroom, and above-average 30 cubic foot cargo space that swells to 60 cu. ft. with the back seat folded. That and the impressive overall quality and fit-and-finish.

So how does it drive? One word: elegantly. 

The six-cylinder in our P400 Dynamic SE is a so-called MHEV, or Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle, with the emphasis on mild. It consists of a starter-generator with a 48-volt lithium-ion battery under the rear load space. 

It’s there to give a little boost when accelerating and to smooth-out the stop-start system. Alas no, it won’t allow the Velar to run on electric-only. 

But step on the gas and the Velar will rush from standstill to 60 mph in a solid 5.2 seconds, it’s 8-speed automatic firing through changes with the smoothness of a hot knife through warm butter.   

And smoothness is the word here. The straight-six is supremely refined, emitting a wonderful, muted roar under hard acceleration. In the Dynamic drive mode, it feels positively alive and almost V8-like. I love it.

No, through the twisties it’s not as nimble or agile as that BMW X3 M40i or Mercedes-AMG GLC43. But it trades sharp handling for a smooth, absorbent, unruffled ride in keeping with the Velar’s high-luxe character. 

It makes this style-focused, off-road-accomplished Range Rover a true luxury all-rounder that’s hugely satisfying to drive, delightful to live with, and like the evergreen Mr. Pitt, still very easy on the eye. 

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