I remember reading about the #Audi Pikes Peak #quattro concept in a Car Magazine. The car was first introduced to the world in 2003, long before the #SUV market exploded as it has now. Two years later and Audi got the go-ahead to put the car into production. It was given the #Q7 designation and since its introduction has become increasingly popular. The latest generation, introduced in 2015 has been given a significant makeover.
When a #German manufacturer introduces a new luxury SUV they are faced with a few challenges. Most of which comes from the vast array of competitors and the second from the price that these cars carry. Customers seem to be flocking towards the compact SUV segment where offerings are easy on the pockets and seem to feature many similarities to their bigger siblings. However, if you have your heart set on the new Q7, here is what you need to know.
This, the facelifted Q7 is easily recognisable by its revised single-frame grille. Front-end styling is further enhanced by virtue of being equipped with new headlights which feature Audi’s Matrix LED technology. The #45TDI quattro S Line exudes further elegance courtesy of its brushed-aluminium roof rails the cabin area, which is framed in chrome-look trim also adds to the design appeal. This particular unit also features 21-inch, 5-double-spoke V-style alloys finished in Graphite Grey. The rear makes use of LED taillights as well as chrome-like detailing, a slightly larger rear roof spoiler adds to the visual appeal however the fake tailpipe outlets seem to be a waste in my opinion.
It is however the interior that has received the biggest update as the entire facia has been changed. It now features the updated design which can be found in the #AudiQ8. This new design features three high-resolution screens. The one in front of the drive is the digital instrument cluster which can be customised to display various information. The second is the infotainment screen and the third houses the climate control features as well as a few other items such as the writing pad for the Navigation input. The two centre screens feature haptic feedback and are relatively easy to use. I found the wireless #Apple #CarPlay or #Android Auto functionality a bonus.
Everything inside offers a premium look and feel, everything that you interact with returns a pleasant experience and the overall theme offered by the interior is that of effortlessness. In terms of space and practicality, the Q7 has much to offer. The third row of seats are hidden in the luggage floor, with them down you can expect 865 litres of utility space.
Should you need to load longer or bigger items, you can fold the middle row of seats down individually for a maximum load space of 2 050 litres. This can be done by the press of a button. The rear of the car can also lower to make loading larger items easier. Unfortunately when the third row is in use, luggage space and occupant space is minimised, great for short trips, not so much for the long road.
I do love a large, luxurious German SUV that is powered by a torque generous diesel and the #Q745TDI offers just that. Under the bonnet is a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 which produces 183kW and 600Nm of torque. Those numbers are directed to the tar via a buttery-smooth 8-speed automatic transmission and Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system. The engine and transmission are superbly matched and you will be hard-pressed to notice the gear changes. I averaged 8.3-litres per 100km which is massively impressive for a vehicle of this calibre.
Now, despite there being paddle shifters I let the car handle the job of swapping cogs. I also spent most of my time in Comfort mode and decided not to exploit the limits offered by Dynamic mode, even though it does sharpen the throttle, lowers the ride height makes the steering slightly heavier. The reason for this is simple, it’s a diesel, driving it hard is actually pointless. The car seems to prefer a gradual yet steady right foot. It surges forward effortlessly which makes any trip, be it to the shops or out on the open road one of comfort and serenity. The rear steering makes parking this large luxury barge easy, so easy in fact that it can be done with one finger. The 360-degree cameras and all the host of safety features also make driving the car easy.
There is one really big problem with the Q7. It’s not the build quality or the engine, it’s not the ride quality or the sound system. It’s not the looks or the safety features. It is in fact the Volkswagen Touareg. You see, just about everything offered by the Audi can be found on the Volkswagen, for less. However, if money is not a concern to you then the #Audi #Q7 #45TDI is undoubtedly worth a moment of your time.