Audi’s continued revision of its mannequin line-up has prolonged to its largest SUV, the Q7. It has a full vary of 48-volt mild-hybrid drivetrains, uprated tech and a brand new look inside and outside serving to to freshen it up.
The facelifted automotive continues to be based mostly on the identical bigger iteration of the VW Group’s MLB EVO platform because the Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus and Volkswagen Touareg. Not like its cousins, the Q7 boasts a regular seven-seat format and so stands as Audi’s reply to the Land Rover Discovery, Mercedes GLE and Volvo XC90.
Externally, Audi has tweaked the Q7’s styling to fall consistent with that of the newest Q3 and Q8, with a wider, octagonal grille and redesigned LED lights entrance and rear. The result’s a Q7 that appears rather less ungainly than earlier than, with stronger horizontal strains that assist it seem decrease and higher proportioned. There’s a sharper look inside, too, with a lot of the Q8’s dramatic dashboard structure carried over. As common, S line fashions get a extra aggressive type and larger wheels.
At over 5 metres lengthy and slightly below two metres vast, the Q7 continues to be a big automotive. It’s a heavy one too, weighing in at over two tonnes. On our take a look at route in County Kerry, Eire, the Q7 feels its dimension on slender roads however elective four-wheel steering helps to make low-speed manoeuvring and tighter corners extra manageable. The elective 360-degree parking digicam system is without doubt one of the finest round and signifies that tighter spots are a lot much less daunting.
There are three mild-hybrid engines on provide – two diesels and one petrol. Each diesels are a three.Zero-litre V6, however it’s obtainable with two energy outputs – 228bhp within the 45 TDI or 282bhp within the 50 TDI – whereas essentially the most highly effective choice (till the following SQ7 arrives) is the 335bhp three.Zero-litre petrol V6 within the 55 TFSI. All use an eight-speed Tiptronic automated gearbox and include quattro four-wheel drive as normal.
Then there’s the standard vary of Sport, S line, Black Version and Vorsprung trims, every with incremental will increase in normal tools. Nevertheless, our German automotive doesn’t fairly match into the UK-market trim construction, as a result of it has the appears and tools of a Sport mannequin, however options the 50 TDI engine, which is reserved for S line fashions and above within the UK.
And that engine is our decide of the Q7’s revised vary. With 600Nm of torque obtainable low down, acceleration is brisk (5.9 seconds from Zero-62mph) and overtaking is straightforward; issues begin to tail off previous four,000rpm, however getting as much as motorway velocity is an easy affair. Bigger throttle inputs are accompanied by an interesting six-cylinder woofle that doesn’t unduly interrupt the in any other case serene atmosphere within the plush cabin.
The eight-speed gearbox isn’t simply confused and is especially steadfast in its sportiest Dynamic setting, holding onto gears in auto mode or delivering snappy handbook shifts through the paddles.
Straight-line efficiency is matched by dealing with and physique management which might be effectively resolved for what is without doubt one of the largest SUVs available on the market. The usual adaptive air suspension frequently adjusts to the floor and – even on our automotive’s 20-inch wheels – soaks up the worst of tough roads with out compromising physique management, even in laid-back Consolation mode. Bigger, extra abrupt imperfections can upset the automotive’s composure, however the Q7 by no means feels as at sea as a Vary Rover can in comparable situations.
Extreme pitch and roll are notable by their absence, even with out Audi’s new lively roll stabilisation system – an choice that received’t make it to the UK. The Q7 feels a bit extra composed than the Volvo XC90, with a greater compromise between trip and dealing with: as plush in its comfiest setting and extra pliant when set to its stiffest.
In any other case, the brand new Q7 gives the whole lot that a big premium SUV ought to: nice construct high quality, high-class supplies, acres of area and a sizeable boot. The latter is among the many greatest in its class however its lip feels notably excessive off the bottom.