The Velar may be stunning, but there are cheaper ways to have a unique SUV.
The massive demand for SUVs has certainly helped Land Rover, a company that exclusively sells utility vehicles, to expand its lineup with new models like the Range Rover Velar. While we are smitten with the new luxury SUV, it certainly isn't cheap. Even the base P250 version starts at nearly $50,000. That seems like a lot of money for a 2.0-liter 247 horsepower turbocharged SUV. Fully-loaded Velar models can cost over $90,000 and we think that there are plenty of alternatives on the market worthy of your attention.
Land Rover is reportedly working on an SVR version of the Velar, but for now the most powerful version is a 380-hp supercharged V6. Our first car not only blows that power figure out of the water, it pretty much invented the Coupe-SUV segment. That's right, it is now possible to buy a BMW X6 M for well under $50,000. We found a few examples of the refreshed X6 M within budget, but the first generation model is the better value. We saw examples of the original X6 M for under $30,000. The X6 M was powered by a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 with 555 hp. Power was upped to 567 hp in 2015 and the transmission gained two extra gears for a total of eight.
The Velar might be the hottest new model in the Range Rover lineup, but we shouldn't forget the original expansion of the Range Rover line, the Range Rover Sport. For less than the price of a four-cylinder Velar, we found examples of the latest body-style Range Rover Sport with the Supercharged V6 and V8 engines. Most of the examples we found were 2014 models, which was the first year of the new-look Range Rover Sport. The Supercharged V6 produced 340 hp while the V8 put out a whopping 510 hp. Most examples that we found were around $45,000 with the V6, although we did find two V8 models with 85,000 and 90,000 miles on their odometers.
The supercharged V6 in the Range Rover Sport is a great option, but we wouldn't mind having a big V8. Our next cheap alternative is one of the most unique V8 engines ever produced, because it was only ever put into one car. The Infiniti FX was eventually renamed the QX70 and was later discontinued. Before it was killed off, Infiniti gifted the FX SUV with a 5.0-liter V8 that was derived from an LMP3 race car. In the FX50, this V8 produced 390 hp. We found high mileage examples for less than $20,000, with pristine examples commanding around $30,000. The FX50 is one of the ultimate sleeper cars because most people have forgotten that it even existed.
The next car on our list is the oldest and cheapest alternative. The Isuzu VehiCross has mostly been forgotten, but we still think that is has value as a collector car. Old SUVs like the Jeep Wagoneer have been rising in value, and we think that the VehiCross is due to be worth more than it is now. The most expensive one we could find was around $15,000, but most can be purchased for less than $10,000. The VehiCross was powered by a 3.5-liter V6 with 210 hp, which was a lot at the time. The VehiCross is a solid off-roader thanks to its advanced Torque On Demand system. The VehiCross is rare with only 4,153 units ever produced and we'd love to have one.
Our final cheap alternative is the only new model on our list. Even though the new Ford Edge ST isn't even on sale yet and hasn't had any time to depreciate, we still like it as a cheap alternative to a new Velar. Ford hasn't released pricing yet, but it should be close to the current Edge Sport, which costs $40,675. This is around $10,000 less than a base Velar, and the Edge ST will have two extra cylinders, an extra turbo, and 335 hp (88 more than the Velar). Of course, the Edge ST cannot match the Velar on prestige, but it will be a more affordable car to maintain and an all-around great SUV.
Check out the best SUVs under $30k.