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Audi Q7 – loads of luxury, space and desirability

12:53 24 September 2015

Second-generation Audi Q7 is lighter and more efficient but has huge road presence, space and flexibility.

Second-generation Audi Q7 is lighter and more efficient but has huge road presence, space and flexibility.

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Audi’s first sport utility vehicles, the Q7, is back for a second instalment with less weight, better efficiency and even more space. says Matt Joy.

What’s new?

Large premium sport utility vehicles are more popular than ever and, after the original Q7 was around for nearly nine years, Audi has launched a new one.

The second-generation Q7 has a new body and chassis with a substantial weight reduction, a new exterior and interior, the latest engines and a major upgrade of standard and optional technology in the quest for the best-in-class title.

Audi Q7

Price: Audi Q7 3.0 TDI SE £50,340 (range from £47,755)

Engine: 3.0-litre, 269bhp, V6 turbo diesel

Transmission: Eight-speed automatic gearbox driving all four wheels

Performance: 0-62mph 6.5 seconds; top speed 145mph

MPG: 47.9 combined

CO2 emissions: 153g/km

Looks and image

Presence and stature are everything at this end of the market, and Audi has given the Q7 as much of both as possible. Ditching the grey plastic cladding around the lower portion of the car for body colour makes it smarter, and the curvy waistline has been ditched for something more squared off. Whether it’s better looking or not is a matter of opinion – the front grille is inspired by the smaller Q3 but looks huge on the Q7.

There’s nothing to touch the Q7’s image this side of a full-size Range Rover. People will see you coming and be in no doubt about which manufacturer your mighty SUV comes from.

Space and practicality

It might be lighter than the old car but the new Q7 is not short of space. Inside it is vast – wherever you sit there’s head, leg and shoulder room in spades. Larger windows add to the roomy feeling while the space is very well managed. The third row of seats stow electrically while the second row tilts and folds for easy access. You can fit three child seats across the second row. With five seats in use there’s 770 litres of boot space, and 1,990 with them all folded.

Behind the wheel

There are few better views than from behind the wheel of the Q7, thanks to the high driving position and large glazed area. There’s fewer buttons now thanks to the slick MMI Touch system and it all works beautifully well.

The latest 3.0-litre TDI turbo diesel is a gem. Refined and with plenty of torque, it can move the Q7 along very briskly with 0-62mph taking only 6.5 seconds, although it’s so refined it doesn’t feel as fast. Remarkably it’s also frugal with it, with a claimed combined consumption figure of 47.9mpg with 153g/km of CO2.

It’s secure and stable rather than thrilling to drive but the level of comfort is most important, and the refined driving experience and low noise levels are impressive.

Value for money

All Q7 models come with a lengthy standard specification, with highlights such as DAB audio with satellite navigation, electrically-operated and heated front seats, electrically-folding third row and electric tailgate, cruise control, automatic lights and wipers, front and rear parking system, keyless start and hill descent control. SE models get 19in wheels and S Line 20in ones.

The options list is huge too but includes goodies like the clever virtual cockpit already seen in the TT, Apple Car Play or Google Android Auto and a smart rear tablet for entertaining passengers.

Who would buy one?

If there was ever a perfect family wagon then the new Q7 is it. With so much space inside, and a great deal of flexibility, it can cope with all kinds of passenger and luggage combinations. It’s not cheap of course but it’s a luxurious cabin and an effortless driving experience to boot.

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Meet the Editor

Andy Russell

Andy Russell

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EDP motoring editor, journalist who loves wheels and engines but hates cleaning them.

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