FORM A Q FOR QUAL­ITY

Audi’s new SUV is well worth the six-fig­ure price tag, PETER BARN­WELL writes

Geelong Advertiser - Motoring - - USED CARS -

WE turn the spot­light on the car world’s new­est and bright­est stars as we ask ques­tions to which you want an­swers. But there’s only one ques­tion that really needs an­swer­ing: would you buy one?

WHAT IS IT?

This is Audi’s sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion big Q7 SUV. It’s lighter by nearly 250kg, has more go, uses less fuel and is avail­able with a huge ar­ray of op­tional driver as­sist tech­nol­ogy in­clud­ing col­li­sion avoid­ance, which a video cam­era to take con­trol if you look like hav­ing prang. Traf­fic jam as­sist is sim­i­lar the car tak­ing over ac­cel­er­a­tion, brak­ing and steer­ing if you’re feel­ing lazy.

HOW MUCH?

The ba­sic car costs $103,900, but there are about four or five op­tion packs that quickly run that up. Ap­par­ently, most Q7 buy­ers tick plenty of the op­tion boxes.

WHAT ARE COM­PETI­TORS?

BMW X5, Mercedes GLE, Volvo XC90, though it’s only a four banger. The new Lexus RX per­haps, Ranger

Rover Sport, Porsche Ma­can per­haps.

WHAT’S UN­DER THE BON­NET?

Plenty of grunt comes from a 3.0litre turbo diesel V6 — sim­i­lar to the pre­vi­ous model but sig­nif­i­cantly up­graded with some new tech­nol­ogy to achieve 200kW/600Nm out­put.

Drive all four wheels goes through a quat­tro per­ma­nent all­wheel-drive sys­tem via an eight-speed tip­tronic au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

HOW DOES IT GO?

Whoosh — like a sporty sedan which is quite im­pres­sive from 2100kg large lux­ury diesel SUV. It will clock 0-100km/h sprint in 6.5 sec­onds no less. Smooth, with nice rum­ble to the ex­haust on en­er­getic throt­tle use. Stops well and rides and han­dles with com­po­sure.

IS IT ECO­NOM­I­CAL?

Amaz­ingly eco­nom­i­cal. Ca­pa­ble of a mere 5.9-litres/100km which given the 85-litre tank, means a po­ten­tial range of 1400km.

IS IT GREEN?

Yep, achieves a Euro 6 rat­ing, has en­gine stop/start and range of fu­el­sav­ing tech­nol­ogy in the pow­er­train and even rel­a­tively aero­dy­namic body. The weight re­duc­tion also helps.

IS IT SAFE?

Five stars but goes way be­yond that with su­per ad­vanced driver as­sis­tance op­tions. Cruise is stan­dard as is side as­sist, a 360-de­gree cam­era, park as­sist, hill hold and cross traf­fic alert among a fair amount of stan­dard kit.

IS IT COM­FORT­ABLE?

Yep, seven leather-clad seats with plenty of room in each pew, but a lit­tle tighter the third row. Heated and elec­tri­cally ad­justable the front, pre­mium au­dio, ex­ten­sive in­fo­tain­ment/con­nec­tiv­ity, large info screen and vir­tual in­stru­ments.

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?

Won­der­ful big SUV to use ev­ery day whether it’s com­mut­ing or tour­ing. Has plenty of poke if you need it.

IS IT VALUE FOR MONEY?

Against the com­pe­ti­tion very much so. It would be on our short list if shop­ping in this ter­ri­tory.

WOULD WE BUY ONE?

Win the Lotto, buy the Q7 or salary sac­ri­fice if you are there.

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