The Asian Age
THE Q7 4.2 V8 TDI IS CAR THAT CAN TAKE YOU REALLY LONG DISTANCES, WITHOUT TROUBLE. HERE’S WHAT ELSE YOU NEED TO KNOW
Eight years is a long time. Most marriages don’t last that long. World wars have been won and lost in less. In car terms, eight years is an Ice Age. Especially these days, since preferences are so fleeting and buyers’ minds so fickle.
That Audi has thought to keep the Q7 on sale for that long is a moot point for the pub. It stands to reason that no car, no matter how unique and special it was, could have survived this long.
When the Q7 launched in India, it was a massive hit. It was the obvious choice for the rich and infamous. Big, bombastic and four- ringed, it was the only proper luxury SUV on the market. It also had a great run for many years until Land Rover, Mercedes- Benz and BMW joined the party. And even then, the Q7 held its own. The trouble with this scenario is diminishing exclusivity. Rich people always want to be different. Particularly with their cars. And we’ve arrived at a point now where the Range Rover is the best Uber SUV and the Mercedes GL and ML Classes fill in the rest. So, has the giant Q7 turned irrelevant? Let’s find out.
It’s still big. No, wait. It’s still huge. Imagine two Adnan Samis ( circa 1998) and you know what I mean. The looks, whether good or grizzly, are debatable. What isn’t debatable is its pres- ence. Or rather it is because the Q7 is just too familiar on city streets. Its head- turning capabilities have left the building.
Inside, the age is beginning to show as well. There’s a slot for the key leftover from the old car. This is odd because it has keyless entry and keyless go. The DriveSelect only gives you suspension options. It has separate buttons to start and stop. And the selection for Sport on the gearbox is below Drive, not beside it. This meant that I found myself wondering a few times if I hadn’t in adver-tently awakened the God of war while parking and doing 3point turns.
On the upside, the quality is legendary Audi. Everything feels solid and extremely well put together. It has a full- length glass roof, a high- quality stereo from Bose and the MMI has many things to fiddle with in traffic jams.
It is a little difficult to drive in the city, especially if you’ve driven the similarly- sized Merc GL. It feels like a land- yacht. We’ve said time and time again that all luxury cars and even sportscars are easy to drive in cities. And the Q7 is in some ways. Except in terms of manoeuvrability. You can feel the distinct lack of enthusiasm for agility. Let me put it this way; if you see a gap, don’t bother.
But it does have a sweet spot. Like our beloved Q5, it has the inherent ability to cruise exceptionally well over bad roads. And good ones for that matter. Unlike the Q5, it has a 4.2L V8 Diesel. The V8 diesel Range Rover has 700Nm of torque. An AMG Mercedes GL with a biturbo petrol V8 makes 760Nm. This has the same. The result of this is cruising as effortless as I’ve ever experienced. The power is relentless through all eight gears. It never peaks. It’s just one long constant surge. I loved it. As engines go, this one is brilliant when you want to simply haul yourself long distance. And long distance it goes because it has 100L fuel tank and a highway kpl figure of 13kpl. Theoretically, that 1300km on a tank. Practically, it’s about a 1000. But 1000km is still Mumbai to Bengaluru. In the face of its modern competition, the Q7 4.2 V8 TDI is a difficult car to consider, especially since an allnew Q7 is due next year.
But I like it for its long distance abilities on real Indian roads. If you have a family of seven — all of whom are afraid of flying — then the Q7 is the car for you.
The Q7 has the inherent ability to cruise exceptionally well over bad roads