Audi Q7 Reviews

One of the best in class, the seven-seat Audi Q7 is not only very practical but supremely comfortable, quiet and luxurious

Despite being one of the early champions of four-wheel drive, it took Audi a little while before it introduced its own SUV. The Q7 was released in 2006, and now in its second generation hasn’t deviated much from the formula of the original. Majoring on luxury, refinement and seven-seat practicality, the new version builds on the old model’s strengths while adding sharper styling, more efficient engines and a whole lot more technology. Based on the MLB Evo platform that it shares with the Volkswagen Touareg, Porsche Cayenne and even Bentley Bentayga, the new Q7 is lighter than before, to the benefit of performance, efficiency, handling and comfort.

What’s it like on the road?

New car reviews are undivided in their opinion here: the Q7 is a supremely refined and comfortable form of transportation. The ride is excellent, only very rarely upset over the worst surfaced roads, and the optional air suspension system eradicates this entirely, even with the largest 21” wheels. Similarly, there is the very occasional hint of diesel engine noise (of the undesirable sort) but in all other circumstances the Q7’s interior is supremely quiet and well insulated.

The standard eight-speed automatic is super smooth and the controls are all light but accurate, making the Q7 easy to drive. Only the size is a hindrance to ease-of-use sometimes, although proximity sensors and the optional four-wheel steering help here. On that note, although the Q7 is surefooted, grippy and well composed, its weight and light steering mean it can never be described as fun on country roads. There are far more entertaining and satisfying seven-seat SUVs to drive, such as the BMW X5 and Porsche Cayenne.

Which engine is the best for me?

By far the two most obvious engine options are the 3.0 V6 TDI in either 218hp or 272hp variants. The higher-powered version is appreciably punchier, more refined and barely less economical (up to 47.9mpg combined against 48.7) so reviews all recommend this one. The Q7 e-tron combines a highly efficient version of the V6 TDI with a battery and electric motor to give greatly reduced CO2 emissions, but real-world fuel economy might not outweigh the higher purchase price. There’s also a V8 TDI powered version with 435hp, making the SQ7 one of the fastest seven-seaters around.

Will it be nice to live with?

This is the Q7’s calling card. Space for all onboard isn’t an issue in any direction. Even third row passengers have a reasonable amount of space, certainly no less than they’d have in any other car in the class. The boot is predictably vast, and all seats are individually adjustable in every way, for exceedingly configurable and flexible loading options. The highly adjustable seats also mean comfort is assured for at least the front five passengers. And, stylish and beautifully constructed, in typical Audi fashion, the sumptuous interior provides a healthy dose of luxury as well as practicality.
The technology available is supreme, too. The entry-level SE includes most things you’d need – dual-zone climate control, 8.3” infotainment screen, fully electric, heated, part leather seats, parking sensors, Bluetooth, satnav, DAB radio and voice control – but most will upgrade to S Line purely for the styling enhancements. Options are generally bundled together so don’t come cheap – Technology (virtual cockpit, head-up display and internet connection); Dynamic (air suspension, traffic jam assist, traffic sign recognition and lane assist); and Parking Pack Advanced (surround view camera, rear traffic crossing and blind spot monitor) – but will enhance the ownership experience markedly.

What about the sensible stuff?

Perhaps surprisingly, Audi as a brand doesn’t score particularly highly in customer satisfaction surveys, and the old Q7 as a model didn’t fair very well either. That’s no guarantee the new Q7 will perform as badly, but it’s worth taken into account. An area where the Q7 does score faultlessly is safety. A maximum five-star score in Euro NCAP and a full suite of the latest, most advance safety systems and features means the Q7 is a supremely safe place in which to travel.

How about the costs?

No doubt about it, the Q7 is an expensive car to buy and run. However, that’s true of most premium SUVs. There are cheaper seven-seat options, but they don’t provide the refinement and luxury of the Audi. Only Volvo’s XC90 offers a similar package with a significantly lower price and cheaper running costs, due to its four-cylinder diesel engine.

Should I buy an Audi Q7?

Relaxed and refined to drive, the Q7 also comes with an interior that is beautifully built, well equipped, hugely spacious and extremely practical. It’s not the cheapest SUV to buy or run, but the Q7 is such a desirable and well-rounded package that it justifies these costs easily. It’s not the most dynamic drive in the class, but if this doesn’t matter to you then the opinion of Audi Q7 reviews is that big SUV from Ingolstadt should be at the top of your premium SUV shopping list.

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“The Audi Q7 has a relaxing blend of performance and refinement. It’s also beautifully built, practical and well equipped.”  Read more...

Audi Q7 Awards

What Car? Best Large SUV, more than £40,000.

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