PALM SPRINGS, CA – It’s taken a few years and a few models to get there, but in the all-new Velar, Land Rover design chief Gerry McGovern and his team finally may have created the pitch-perfect Range Rover.

Slotting between the compact Evoque and the pricier Range Rover Sport, the premium midsize 5-passenger CUV offers buyers the sporty appeal of the Evoque’s clipped greenhouse and tapered rear roofline without straying too far afield from the commanding cues drawn from decades of safari-grade Range Rovers.

Tempering that stiff-upper-lip styling are hints of artistically stretched lines borrowed from sister brand Jaguar’s F-Pace, with which the ’18 Velar shares its underlying architecture and technology.

“Glamor, modernity, elegance, underpinned by strength, solidity and that fantastic presence,” McGovern intones in a video walkaround of the new model. “It’s compelling design, it’s tailored technology and it’s relevant innovation. They combine to create a vehicle that will truly resonate on an emotional level.”

During a recent test drive here, the Velar resonates on many levels, from the stylish interior and all-new infotainment system to the diverse powertrain offerings and low-speed cruise control for rugged trails.

Upon approaching the Velar, side mirrors deploy and flush handles automatically extend from the doors to invite entry. Inside, the Velar’s cockpit is artistic and functional, employing curved-glass screens from supplier Panasonic to create an integrated piano-black central control panel – dubbed the “blade” by designers – and second upper information screen.

The twin 10-in. (25.4-cm) capacitive-sensing screens, dubbed InControl Touch Pro Duo, eliminate the clutter of knobs and switches that have typified the brand and befuddled its well-heeled buyers for years. The upper screen provides access to navigation, audio and communication functions while the lower screen handles climate controls and the brand’s trademarked Terrain Response chassis and powertrain controls.

The optional 12.3-in. (31.2-cm) reconfigurable instrument panel offers an array of options, including full-screen mapping and driver-assistance views. A 5.0-in. (12.7-cm) panel is standard.

Leather is available, but JLR went the extra mile to source unique woven-wool interior fabric from Danish supplier Kvadrat. The material incorporates a new Cut Diamond pattern that is now a JLR signature look. Seating is tall and perhaps a touch too bolstered for American tastes, but is highly adjustable and features a variety of massages.

Technology is a tool in the Velar, with full-range cruise control, lane-keeping assistance and forward-collision warning all contributing to a more relaxed, premium driving experience. New steering-wheel-mounted touch controls include a left-hand module for managing audio programming and volume via an iPod-like circular interface while the right-side unit is devoted to adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping operation.

One negative is the inability of the navigation system to accept voice destination inputs, although an update is in the works to solve that shortcoming, says Mark Burniston, vehicle engineering manager for the Velar.