The Audi Q7 has an interior that feels like it’s built from solid rock and technology that would put a spaceship to shame
Even the entry-level Q7 SE looks plush. It doesn’t have the sea of buttons you might expect for a complex car and the air vent that runs the length of the dashboard produces an air shower (Audi speak for a light breeze) that gently ventilates the interior. The Audi’s controls aren’t as fiddly as the ones you’ll find in the Volvo XC90, although it doesn’t feel quite so decadent either.
SE models come with two-tone leather seats and have expensive looking pieces of brushed aluminium trim. You can have the dashboard plastics, seats and headliner finished in a range of different colours including shades such as Pistachio Beige and Nougat Brown, although good-old-fashioned black leather is easier to keep clean (and arguably more tasteful to look at).
Sporty S line is the only other trim level available with the standard Q7. To the entry-level SE it adds expensive feeling Alcantara seats with ‘S line’ embossed on the backrests. Super-soft Valcona leather is a £1,100 option that just isn’t needed when the interior’s already so nice.
The Q7’s interior might not be quite as ornate as the Volvo XC90’s but it’s less fiddly to use, has more tech and feels even better built
All Q7s come with Audi’s top-of-the-range MMI Navigation Plus infotainment system that operates through a high-resolution 8.3-inch display that’s sharp, pretty and has menus that are easy to navigate – even if they’re not quite as logically laid out as the BMW X5’s.
The car comes with a 36-month subscription to Audi Connect services that uses Google Maps for navigation. It looks great and the maps are really detailed. Inputing a postcode is easy via the scroll knob in between the two front seats and you also get a touchpad that lets you write in addresses with your finger, although its central location means it’s easier to use if you’re left handed.
Audi’s brilliant Virtual Cockpit is a £1,695 option (as part of the Technology Pack), but it’s well worth going for. It replaces the analogue instrument binnacle with a 12.3-inch digital screen that looks brilliant and is highly functional – its party piece is its huge map display that makes following the sat-nav’s directions an absolute joy.
Much like the standard infotainment system, the Q7’s standard stereo is very good – it sports nine speakers, a subwoofer for extra bass, six channels and sound that’ll be just fine if you rarely venture past midway on the volume knob.
Upgrades are available, though, and they start with the £1,100 Bose 3D Sound System, which has 19 speakers and a 558W output that sounds a good deal more potent than the basic setup.
If you want the full works however, you’ll need the eye-wateringly expensive, £6,300 Bang & Olufsen 3D Advanced Sound System. It has 23 speakers and an earth-shuddering 1,920W output that can just about knock birds out of the sky.