ALL CHANGE: A MIGHTY MAKEOVER FOR THE AUDI Q7
Audi’s first SUV is back for a second instalment with less weight, better efficiency and even more space inside
AUDI Q7 3.0 TDI S LINE
Large premium SUVS are more popular than ever and, given that the outgoing Q7 is nearing its ninth birthday, Audi has decided it’s time for a new one.
Rather than a refresh, the German maker has gone to town with Q7 MKII; there’s a new body and chassis with a substantial weight reduction, a new exterior and interior, the latest engines and a major upgrade in terms of standard and optional technology too. Few stones have been left unturned in the quest for the best-in-class title.
LOOKS AND IMAGE
Presence and stature are everything at this end of the market, and clearly Audi have given the Q7 as much of both as possible. Ditching the grey plastic cladding around the lower portion of the car for body colour gives it a smarter look, and the old car’s curvy waistline has been ditched for something a little more squared off. Whether it’s better looking or not is a matter of opinion however; the front grille is inspired by the smaller Q3 but looks huge on the Q7.
There’s nothing to touch the Q7’s
image this side of a full-size Range Rover. People will see you coming and be in no doubt about which manufacturer your mighty SUV comes from.
SPACE AND PRACTICALITY
It might be lighter than the old car, but the new Q7 is certainly not short of space. Inside it is absolutely vast; it doesn’t matter which seat you sit in, there’s head, leg and shoulder room in spades. The larger windows help the feeling of space too, while the space itself is very well managed. The third row of seats can stow electrically while the second row tilts and folds for easy access. You can fit three child seats across the second row, giving you the nightmarish prospect of being able to carry six infants in one car. Even with all seats in place there’s 770 litres of boot space, and 1,990 with them all folded.
BEHIND THE WHEEL
There are few better views than from behind the wheel of the Q7, thanks to the high driving position and large glazed area. There’s fewer buttons now thanks to the slick MMI Touch system and it all works beautifully well.
Diesel will be the preferred option in the UK and the latest 3.0-litre TDI unit is a gem. Refined and with plenty of torque on offer, it can move the Q7 along very briskly indeed, with 0-62mph taking only 6.5 seconds, although it’s so refined it doesn’t feel as fast. Remarkably, it’s also frugal with it, with a claimed combined consumption figure of 47.9mpg with 153g/km of CO2.
It’s secure and stable, rather than thrilling to drive, but it’s the level of comfort on offer that is most important, and the refined driving experience and low noise levels are impressive.
VALUE FOR MONEY
All Q7 models come with a lengthy standard specification, with highlights such as DAB audio with satellite navigation, electrically operated and heated front seats, electrically folding third row and electric tailgate, cruise control, automatic lights and wipers, front and rear parking system, keyless start and hill descent control. SE models get 19-inch wheels as standard too, whilst S Line models add 20-inch wheels, leather seats, privacy glass and four-zone climate control.
The options list is huge too, but includes goodies like the clever virtual cockpit already seen in the TT, Apple Car Play or Google Android Auto and a smart rear tablet for entertaining passengers.
WHO WOULD BUY ONE?
If there was ever a perfect family wagon then the new Q7 is it. With so much space inside and a great deal of flexibility on how that space is used it can probably cope with any kind of combination of passenger size, number and accompanying luggage as you could throw in it. What’s more, those passengers will be carried in comfort. It’s not cheap of course, but it’s a luxurious cabin and an effortless driving experience to boot.
IN A NUTSHELL…
This car summed up in a single word: Massive If this car was a... boat, it would be a luxury cruise liner; big, comfortable and a fine place to relax.
FACTS AT A GLANCE
Audi Q7 3.0 TDI 272 S Line, £54,540 Engine:3.0-litre unit producing 268bhp and 443lb.ft of torque Transmission: Eight-speed automatic gearbox driving all four
THE OPTIONS LIST IS HUGE TOO, BUT INCLUDES GOODIES LIKE THE CLEVER VIRTUAL COCKPIT ALREADY SEEN IN THE TT, APPLE CAR PLAY OR GOOGLE ANDROID AUTO
Inside the Q7 is absolutely vast; there’s head, leg and shoulder room in spades
Many in the UK will opt for the 3.0-litre TDI option