Every Range Rover packs a surprise or two but the luxurious Velar simply bubbles over with them.

Larger than an Evoque and smaller than a Range Rover Sport, the Velar is a dashing five-door vehicle with a starting price of about £45,000, slotting it into the price gap between the entry-level Evoque and the cheapest Range Rover Sport.

Yes it’s pricey, but its sleek eye-catching looks, refined interior and awesome level of technology are more than enough to compensate.

The winner of the 2018 World Car Design of the Year, its tight, slim silhouette with sleek uninterrupted surfaces looks and feels sophisticated.

That clean, classy shape is helped by one of the first neat features you encounter – the four flush-fitting door handles that deploy at the touch of a button.

Hop into the 20-way electrically-adjustable, heated and cooled driver’s seat – with five-choice massage function naturally – and the cabin is even more of an eye-opener.

The new glass cockpit, housing two 10-inch touchscreens with an array of displays and controls, is a tactile blend of style and function. The intuitive easy-to-operate controls are vital as the car simply bulges with equipment.

Information is fed back to the driver through a digital instrument cluster that can be switched at the touch of a button between a two-dial layout with an information panel in the centre, a one-dial layout flanked by dual information displays, or a full-map view.

Key information such as speed, turn-by-turn navigation instructions and active safety system warnings are also displayed on a colour head-up display with the virtual images projected on to the windscreen appearing to hover in front of you.

The specification sheet accompanying the car driven here listed no fewer than 77 standard features, with a further 13 options adding another £6,300 to the bill.

All models are fitted with a rear camera, front and rear parking aids, driver condition monitor, emergency braking and lane keep assist.

Sharing its underpinnings with the Jaguar F-Pace, the elegant Velar is in its element on the road, despite having off-road capability that probably exceeds the bravery of most drivers.

The four-cylinder, 2.0-litre, turbocharged petrol engine on the test car develops a whopping 300 horsepower and even more powerful units are available.

Driving through an eight-speed automatic gearbox it delivers smooth, quiet cruising with low wind and road noise. On a long journey, the high driving position gives a superior view of the road ahead allowing you to plan well ahead and keep everything dignified, with no lurches or body roll to bother passengers.

Light accurate steering added to the sense of smooth progress and the test car came with electronic air suspension that gives a choice of settings depending on your driving mood. But go elsewhere if you want boy-racer agility, as the Velar is far too graceful to be seen being hustled at speed into tight bends.

The unusual name, in case you were wondering, is not a mere marketing invention and has its roots in Range Rover history.

When Land Rover was developing the original Range Rover back in the late 1960s, the firm was anxious to conceal its identity and the pretend Velar car company of Croydon gave cover for its creation. The name came from the Latin verb 'velare', meaning to hide.

Last word to my inquisitive 22-year-old nephew who thoroughly enjoyed his trips in the passenger seat: “You know Uncle David, I expect to push a button in this car and a bottle of Champagne to slide out.” Knowing Land Rover I bet that could be arranged.

Auto facts

Model: Range Rover Velar HSE P300 R-Dynamic

Price: £71,565 as tested

Insurance group: 45 (1-50)

Fuel consumption (combined): 36.2mpg

Top speed: 145mph

Length: 480.3cm/189in

Width: 214.5cm/84.4in

Luggage capacity: 19.7 cu ft

Fuel tank capacity: 13.8 gallons/63 litres

CO2 emissions: 178g/km

Warranty: Three years/unlimited mileage