FORM A Q FOR QUALITY
Audi’s new SUV is well worth the six-figure price tag, PETER BARNWELL writes
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.
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.