Audi Q7

Beautifully made large 4x4 can seat seven people

8.4
wowscore
This is the average score given by leading car publications from 18 reviews
  • Another great Audi interior
  • More frugal than old model
  • Clever dashboard display
  • Styling lacks imagination
  • Pricey optional extras
  • Volvo XC90 more spacious
 

£48,455 - £54,540 Price range

 

7 Seats

 

47 - 48 MPG

Review

Audi’s first attempt at beating the all-powerful Range Rover was a superb effort, offering all the presence of its UK competitor (if in a slightly crass fashion), a superb range of engines, genuine off-road ability and (as it’s an Audi) one of the best interiors in its class.

Since then, though, Range Rover has seized the initiative by shaving hundreds of kilograms from its behemoth, adding an interior to die for and fitting it with a new range of power plants that even includes a hybrid model.

This is the German’s response and quite a response it is, too. The endless quest for fuel economy means the new car is 240kg lighter than the old one to offer better-than-ever performance and fuel economy. It’s closest rivals are the Range Rover, the Mercedes GL-Class and the Volvo XC90.

Prices start from £48,455 and if you buy your new Q7 using carwow, you can save £4,710 on average.

It says a lot about Land Rover’s grasp of how to do interior fixtures and fittings that the Range Rover knocked the Q7 off its top spot, but Audi’s retaliation is pretty comprehensive. The focal point of the inside is its Virtual Cockpit – a full-sized screen that replaces conventional dials and looks, well, awesome! 

The traditional necessities of a large SUV haven’t been overlooked – the new model is more spacious than the car it replaces and has, the all important, seven seats.

All models come with plenty of kit including 19-inch alloy wheels, auto lights and wipers, keyless go, cruise control, parking sensors all round, adaptive dampers and hill decent control that means anyone can tackle steep off-road inclines.

The more powerful, 265hp 3.0-litre turbodiesel delivers stonking performance (for such a large car) and fuel economy that borders on the affordable. The entry-level diesel is 54hp down on power and offers negligible savings on fuel. The diesel-electric e-tron model is the cheapest to run by a fair way and also offers great performance, but this is offset by its huge price.

If you’re not so fussed about fuel consumption but want the fastest Q7 you can buy, check out the new Audi SQ7. This uses a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 diesel engine with 435hp and cutting edge air compressor technology to offer petrol-like responses.

Losing that weight also means the Q7 is easier to hustle round corners, although even with the weight loss it is still far happier tackling a fast and straight motorway.

Keep reading for the lowdown on Audi’s new flagship SUV and remember to check out our colours and dimensions guides to learn more about the Q7. 

Audi is planning to launch a new coupe-SUV, called the Q8. See this new Prototype Q8 undergoing testing by reading our dedicated price, specs and release date guide.

Cheapest to buy: 3.0-litre SE 218hp diesel

Cheapest to run: 3.0-litre SE 218hp diesel

Fastest model: 3.0-litre S Line 265hp diesel

Most popular: 3.0-litre SE 218hp diesel

Just when you thought Audi couldn’t nail interiors any better a new one comes along which is, yes, better! Plastic quality as ever is top notch, but what really impresses here is the simplicity of the design, especially given the Q7’s plethora of equipment and systems.

All Q7’s come with a central screen that rises from the dashboard and allows the company to cut down on conventional buttons, but the real wow factor arrives in the form of the optional Virtual Cockpit screen. First seen in the Audi TT, it replaces the need for analogue dials and can perform dual roles depending on the needs of the driver. The most impressive of which is its ability to transform into a huge sat-nav screen that is crystal clear and a joy to use.

Audi Q7 passenger space

Despite being shorter and narrower than the car it replaces the new Q7 manages to be bigger inside. The front seat passengers get electrically adjustable heated seats with acres of space – views of the road don’t come much more commanding than the Q7’s either.

The middle row of seats is also spacious and parents will be happy to hear that all three spaces on the bench feature ISOFIX mounts for the safe fitting of child seats. The rearmost seats, meanwhile rise electrically from the boot, which makes for a nice piece of theatre, but ultimately they’re too small for adults – it loses out to the new Volvo XC90 in this respect. Hybrid e-tron models make do with just five seats.

Audi Q7 boot space

Unlike some seven-seaters, even with all the seats occupied the Audi Q7 has  room for 295-litres worth of luggage – about 50 litres more than you’ll get in the boot of a small city car such as the Volkswagen Up. That grows substantially to 770 litres when the back row is folded away, while the echoes you’ll here with all the back seats folded confirms that the resulting 1,955 litre maximum load capacity is plenty big enough.

Losing a substantial amount of weight means the new Q7 feels happier to corner quickly than the old model ever did and there’s noticeably less body roll than their used to be. Buyers can also opt for a four-wheel-steering system that turns the rear wheels a couple of degrees and makes the car feel even more agile at high speed and easier to manoeuvre in town.

Really, though, it’s not worth the bother, because the Q7 is never going to feel like a sports car – it’s just too big and tall. What it does do well, though, is lollop down motorways, shielding its passengers from any imperfections that threaten to intrude on their comfort. For the best set-up, go for the optional air suspension, which makes the Q7 positively glide along the road.

All models come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox that, while not offering the lightening shifts of a twin-clutch unit, is very smooth and in keeping with the DNA of the rest of the car.

The top-spec 3.0-litre diesel delivers 268hp – enough to spirit the Q7 from 0-62mph in a sparky 6.5 seconds and on to a heady top speed of 145mph. It’s so restrained one tester remarked “you need to make sure you keep an eye on the rev counter because the engine is so very smooth and quiet it’s a job to know it’s running”.

There’s also the choice of a lower-powered, 215hp diesel. Its power deficit means you have to work it harder, with more noise and vibration making its way into the interior as a result. Anyway, unless you’re put off by the higher-powered model’s price, there’s little other reason to choose the 215hp diesel. It’s only marginally more economical (52.3mpg versus 47.1mpg in the 268hp model) and the £35 annual saving on road tax is unlikely to register with most Q7 owners.

Audi Q7 e-tron

The e-tron takes the top-spec diesel model and adds to it with a 94kw electric motor and a battery pack that’s sits under the boot floor, the reason why it is restricted to just five seats. It’s expensive to buy, but has notable advantages such as an ability to travel up to 35 miles on a single charge, meaning short journeys cost buttons. Official fuel economy sits at a huge 166.2mpg, but this will be difficult to achieve in the real world, what’s more impressive is the fact that the huge Audi is free to tax. Yet despite all this, the e-tron shave’s half a second off the the powerful 3.0-litre diesel’s 0-62mph time.

Audi SQ7

If you want the fastest Q7 on the roads, however, look no further than the new Audi SQ7. This monster uses a 435hp 4.0-litre V8 twin-turbocharged diesel engine fitted with a air compression system to offer fast responses to throttle inputs. It hits 62mph from rest in 4.8 seconds but, despite its power, it can average 31.8mpg if driven carefully.

Audi Q7 towing capacity

All Q7s have a decent towing ability, but models fitted with the standard steel springs are limited to pulling 2,800kg. Fit the car with the optional air suspension and that rises to 3,500kg.

When crash tested by Euro NCAP, the new Audi Q7 got the maximum five-star rating thanks to the impressive amount of driver assistance technology.

Every new Q7 comes with an emergency automatic braking system that can stop the car if it thinks you’re about to hit a stationary object at slow speeds, and four-wheel-drive is standard.

Optional safety equipment includes lane assist, adaptive cruise control that can completely stop in traffic, traffic jam assist (which can steer, accelerate and brake for you in queues up to 37mph), traffic sign recognition, and even a system that’ll steer around a crash if one occurs in front of you.

There’s no denying the Q7 is an expensive car, but with 19-inch alloy wheels, auto lights and wipers, keyless go, cruise control, parking sensors all round, adaptive dampers and hill decent control (that means anyone can tackle steep off-road inclines), it is a well-equipped one, too.

As ever there’re plenty of options to spec that make it even plusher, but we would reserve our money for the Virtual Cockpit display (at £1,950) and the pricy Dynamic Pack. It costs £2,655 but gets you the super comfy air suspension as well as additional safety features such as lane assist, active cruise control, and automatic emergency braking.

Conclusion

This latest version of the Audi Q7 ticks all the boxes needed to be a success in the big premium SUV market – thanks to its seven seats, classy interior, decent performance and comfortable ride. The Volvo XC90 will appeal more to buyers looking for restrained looks and seven full-sized seats, but to most others the Q7 should prove to be the better car overall.

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