Audi Q7 Review
The Q7 is Audi’s successful SUV model, how does it fare in its latest generation guise?
- Highly stylish interior
- Plenty of advanced technology on the car
- Good standard equipment list
- Lack of a choice of engines
Audi have sold over half a million units since 2005 of their Q7, the larger sibling of the Q3 and Q5. Often seen as a vehicle for the image conscious mum, does the second generation still deserve that tag?
Weighing less, more technologically advanced and with a new powertrain the latest Q7 is all-new in a lot of respects, so does it still feel like you’re driving a big old bus? Read on to find out.
On the Road
There is one engine available for the Q7, the 3.0-litre V6 TDI quattro making its debut on this latest version. Available either as 218 PS or 272 PS, the latter we drove propels the Q7 from 0-62mph in just 6.5 seconds, 1.3 seconds less than the previous model.
Using a redeveloped 8-speed tiptronic gearbox it smoothly uses the 600 Nm of torque available to get up to a maximum speed of 145 mph. It can sometimes feel like it needs more power when moving away despite Audi claiming it has one of the highest power-to-weight ratios in the segment.
It still has impressive figures and is nearly a second quicker than rivals such as the Porsche Cayenne and Mercedes-Benz ML models with an aluminium drivetrain that is 20 kg lighter.
Audi drive select adaptive dynamics system is available as standard on the Q7 with the option to adapt the car to your driving needs with choices including Comfort, Offroad and Efficiency, also Quattro permanent all-wheel drive comes as standard.
The rear suspension has been improved so the ride is very comfortable, rough road surfaces are easily soaked up by the Q7.
There is a bit of body roll on tight hairpin bends but the steering is very precise with great handling abilities.
All-wheel steering for better agility and stability can be fitted as an option giving the Q7 the smallest turning circle in its class and across the Q range of Audi models. It’s ideal when parking the Q7 or using it to tow a trailer and the load can also be increased if the adaptive air suspension is added too.
As the first SUV to use a new platform from the Audi the Q7 is a lot lighter using a mix of aluminium and steel, the doors save 24 kg and the entire car is 325 kg lighter than the previous generation model.
The cabin is pretty quiet and well insulated with little wind noise, there is the occasional groan from the 20-inch wheels but nothing too off-putting.
The 8-speed transmission flows through the gears and comes with a coasting mode and a start-stop system.
Comfort is one of the Q7’s strong points and the electronically operated front seats provide maximum support with 4-way lumbar support too. The only drawback is that the steering wheel is manually adjusted for reach, bit poor considering the cost of the car.
In the car
Audi do interiors very well, they are stylish, comfortable and of a high quality. With more onboard systems than any other Audi ever, the Q7 has plenty of standard equipment.
A foldaway 8.3-inch colour display screen which features navigation, car settings, media, Bluetooth and Audi Connect internet can be controlled by the MMI touchpad.
It is well worth paying the extra for the optional Audi Virtual Cockpit that made its debut on the TT. The customisable, 12.3-inch LCD display dominates the instrument panel and because it is high resolution the graphics look amazing. It comes as part of a Technology Park which adds a Head-up display, High beam assist, Audi Connect which connects the Q7 to the internet and Audi Phone Box which can charge mobiles wirelessly. It is also worth investing in the Parking Pack as because of its size it’s not always that easy to navigate into a space.
There are four trim levels, SE, S-Line, Black Edition and Vorsprung. An electric tailgate, Xenon Plus headlights, Keyless Go, dual-zone electronic climate control and a Colour Driver Information System are just some of the features in a heavily equipped car.
S line additions include all-weather LED headlights, front sports seats, rear privacy glass, 4-zone electronic climate control and S line styling on the exterior and interior.
Seven seats come as standard on the Q7, the third row aren’t the easiest to access but an average sized adult can sit in the back with enough leg room. This row of seats can also be folded electronically at the touch of a button, either in the luggage compartment or just behind the second row of seats.
Boot space has more than doubled over the previous generation to 770-litres and with all rear seat seats folded flat this increases to 1955-litres, and this is despite the Q7 decreasing in length and width.
Buyers looking to use their Q7 to tow can make use of the optional tow bar, which at the touch of button appears from underneath the car electronically.
The Audi Q7 in SE trim with the 272PS engine costs from £51,110, while its rival the BMW X5, is priced from £48,140.
Efficiency has been much improved with the Q7 now returning 47.1mpg and CO2 emissions dropping by a quarter to 150g/km of CO2. It makes it highly competitive in its class with it marginally being beaten by the Volvo XC90. But real world mpg figures are likely to be less, we managed around the 35mpg mark on a mix of motorway and country lanes.
The Audi Q7 also has strong residual values with 45% of its original on the road price being retained after 36 months / 60,000 miles.
Audi excel at build quality, everything from the exterior to the interior is solidly put together, materials used are of a very high standard and the new technology definitely makes the Q7 worth the money. It is everything you expect from the brand in producing a luxurious SUV.
One let down is reliability, it hasn’t always done well in surveys and Audi as a brand also struggle in this area against rival manufacturers. But a plus point is that Audi models have a long shelf life so expect it to run for miles and miles.
The Q7 benefits from airbags, six ISOFIX child-seat points, Audi pre-sense city which will assist with braking to avoid a collision, Electronic Stabilisation Control, Hill descent control and Hill hold assist, all as standard, while options include the Tour Pack which features active lane assist, adaptive cruise control and traffic sign recognition.
This second generation Q7 took part in the Euro NCAP tests in 2015 scoring the full five stars thanks to the safety technology on board, with 94% for adult occupant protection and 88% for a child.