Q here for coupe-SUVs

Audi’s new SUV-cum-coupe makes a lot of sense as a pre­mium pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle, writes Richard Bos­sel­man.

The Southland Times - - Motoring - Why would I buy it? Why wouldn’t I buy it?

en­gine for up to 40 sec­onds. It’s a schmoozy and solid per­former, yet ob­vi­ously more about torque than power, so those seek­ing hard-out per­for­mance might prefer to await next year’s 250kW tur­bocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol ‘‘55 TFSI’’ or the RS Q8 that’s been seen pound­ing the Nur­bur­gring.

Cos it’s the best-look­ing large Audi SUV yet, not just at the kerb but also in­side, where A8-level up­mar­ket cabin ma­te­ri­als and an ex­pen­sivelook­ing dash­board lend a fully pre­mium im­pres­sion.

It is also the most so­phis­ti­cated Q-car, mainly through hav­ing adopted the Vir­tual Cock­pit and split-level MMI Touch in­fo­tain­ment con­soles. As well as be­ing bril­liant to use, it also en­sures ex­clu­siv­ity be­cause, while set to spread into next year’s A6 and A7, it won’t reach any other Q model for a while yet.

Even though it’s clearly not as prac­ti­cal as the Q7, it is still more user-friendly than the cited ri­vals.

For sure, the ex­tra ‘‘tum­ble­home’’ on those side win­dows and the lower roofline above your head makes it feel less airy than a reg­u­lar SUV wagon, yet by not suc­cumb­ing to the temp­ta­tion to give it a dra­matic slop­ing roofline the rear-chair pas­sen­ger space isn’t nearly as con­strained here as in a cer­tain other style-con­scious SUV ri­val.

The boot is a de­cent size – partly be­cause there’s no spare.

Cos it costs more than the equiv­a­lent Q7 and, this time next year, it risks be­ing over­shad­owed as the ul­ti­mate Audi SUV so­phis­ti­cate by the E-tron, which though smaller, looks just as sharp and, of course, with its all-elec­tric mo­ti­va­tion might rate higher for uber-cool.

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