AUDI Q7

These lux­ury seven-seat SUVs have been a long time com­ing. Now, which one is su­pe­rior? Joshua Dowl­ing ad­ju­di­cates

Herald Sun - Motoring - - HEAD TO HEAD -

VALUE

The pre­vi­ous Q7 started at $90,000. The new one is so dear be­cause Audi is launch­ing with its big 3.0-litre turbo diesel. More af­ford­able mod­els may fol­low but don’t hold your breath. The op­tions list is sig­nif­i­cant: our test ve­hi­cle had $25,950 worth of ex­tras in­clud­ing me­tal­lic paint ($2400), air sus­pen­sion ($4950), pre­mium au­dio ($2775), am­bi­ent cabin light­ing ($1380), alu­minium trim ($2170). The list goes on.

DE­SIGN/TECH

With its mas­sive grille the Q7 is very much in your face but in­side it’s a sim­pler de­sign. De­spite the acres of space and the vast dash­board, the Q7 has a small cen­tre con­sole, and the gearshift gets in the way of the cabin con­troller. You can easily think you’ve put the Q7 into Park even though it may still be in Drive. Dis­turbingly, it doesn’t lock into Park once the driver’s door is open, mean­ing you could have a run­away Q7. We nearly did.

EN­GINE

The 3.0-litre (200kW/600Nm) is epic and ef­fort­less. Don’t be­lieve the fuel rat­ing la­bel, though (5.9L/100km). As has been well doc­u­mented re­cently, this is a lab test not a real world num­ber. Drive smoothly, how­ever, and you will use less than 10L/100km.

SAFETY

All the usual mod cons are cov­ered and it has fives­tar safety. But some of its high­lights are op­tional, such as radar cruise con­trol with au­to­matic lane keep­ing ($4075). Cur­tain airbags ex­tend to the third rows.

DRIV­ING

Su­perb on the road, it has ef­fort­less power and light and pre­cise steer­ing. The Q7 has lost 200kg so it feels more nim­ble than be­fore. With a slightly lower and wider stance than the XC90, it feels more se­cure in corners.

$103,900+

16.5 pts

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