Audi Q7 hits back at competition

Audi Q7

Audi’s initial Q7, which was unveiled in late 2005, was created in response to the rapidly expanding premium SUV market. The E53 X5 was proving to be tremendously successful, the ML-Class was now in its second generation, and the Range Rover was essentially unmatched as a prestige symbol.

With only the Discovery 3 and XC90 having the same option at the time, the Ingolstadt-based automaker used the Q7 to set itself apart from the competition.

In 2015, the second-generation Q7 was unveiled, building on the qualities that made the first-generation model so popular as a roomy, high-end family SUV with a suitably sturdy interior. Audi has updated its opulent leviathan to remain competitive.

A new grille and (optional) Matrix LED headlights modernise the exterior with subtle aesthetic changes. The traditional design is also refreshed.

Our test vehicle had the sporty S-line package, which gives an otherwise modest SUV a dash of ferocity. You will be happy to know that the package also includes stylish 20-inch alloy wheels that preserve the beautifully smooth ride.

Simply put, the interior is vast. Large door apertures make it simple to carry children and car seats into the back. The second row will be very comfortable, and even the tallest passenger will have plenty of room to spread out. The third row, which is optional, increases functionality, but is best used for young children.

It’s a luxurious and techy place to be and the experience is heightened by high-quality finishes, incredibly effective noise cancellation measures and optionally sold, height-adjustable dampers.

With the second row folded flat, an astounding 2 050 litres of carrying space — already generous — can be found in the roomy luggage area.

One of the top facias in the industry will welcome passengers who are seated in the front. The interior of the Q7 has been updated, making it a comfortable place to sit and bringing it into line with other four-ringed options.

The dashboard is dominated by two digital screens, with the upper touchscreen used for navigation, infotainment, and vehicle functions and the other for climate control. While touchscreens aren’t as user-friendly as actual buttons, those on the Q7 deliver haptic feedback, giving the user the impression of pressing a genuine button.

In addition to the remarkable technology, the interior has a definite sense of class. Everything you touch feels pricey and solid, from the thick soft-touch plastics to the plush leather.

Driving the Q7 45TDI is a tremendously enjoyable experience. Although it may not be as dynamically adept as an X5, for instance, the air suspension smoothes out bumps and other road imperfections like they don’t even exist. The steering is very precise and has a certain luxury feel to it. Before it takes off, there is a slight lag in the engine, and the enormous SUV reacts with an unexpected sweetness thanks to Dynamic mode’s tweaking of the steering and damper characteristics for a touch of rigidity.

A 3,0-litre turbo diesel engine under the hood cranks out 183kW of power and a substantial 600Nm of torque. This is sufficient to send the large Audi careening swiftly down a section of tarmac.

According to claims, the 45TDI accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in just 6,9 seconds and tops out at 225 km/h. Despite how impressive that is, the Q7 is not about it. In a city, the Q7’s buttery-smooth oil burner easily manoeuvres the vehicle while the excellent air suspension protects you from potholes and speed bumps.

It is at its best while driving on broad roads, when it exhibits little body roll and feels firmly planted wherever you go. The 3,0l V6 TDI will want you to pack on extra speed delivered by a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission, so you will need Herculean restraint to keep it in that gentle travel condition.

A little bit of torque is available from the V6 even at low revs. As a result, the Q7 is the perfect long-distance tourer, with enough power and in-gear oomph for passing. Audi’s quattro four-wheel-drive technology maintains control.

In daily driving, the Q7 45TDI easily achieves 8,5 litres/100km, which is excellent fuel economy (provided you drive it sensibly). The overall figure, according to Audi, is 8,0 litres/100km. Unquestionably, the efficient and flawless eight-speed automatic transmission contributes to this.

My decision

Audi’s Q7, a slight upgrade over the model before the facelift, competes with a variety of high-end automobiles in this category. However, it is quite difficult to find fault with it.

The 45TDI not only provides excellent economy, practicality, and a high-quality interior, but it also adds refinement, sophistication and pure desirability to those attributes. The S-line package’s necessity is another matter: personally, I would rather use the money on more opulent extras. But the Q7 is undeniably a highly accomplished product. Audi produces the best interiors in the industry.

The Q7 45TDI should unquestionably be on your shortlist if you are searching for a sizable, opulent SUV. Let me know your decision. — [email protected]

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