Smart, spacious and highly capable, the Q7 is a luxury SUV with a lot of admirers. Their numbers are set to increase with the launch of the latest generation, featuring mild hybrid technology, a new infotainment system and refined styling.
The new Q7 has been given a comprehensive design refresh, starting with the octagonal Audi singleframe grille. This now has six vertical slats and is flanked by two-part side air inlets. The side sills have also been reworked with an insert that emphasises the ground clearance and off-road capability of Audi’s biggest SUV. At the rear, slimmer taillights are linked by an aluminium strip. The new Q7 is also marginally longer than the outgoing model, offering comfortable accommodation for seven as well as a luggage capacity of between 865 and 2,050 litres.
All Q7 models, whether petrol or diesel powered, feature mild hybrid technology, with a 48V electrical system that can recuperate and recycle energy that would otherwise be lost under braking. This feature saves fuel by enabling the Q7 to coast with the engine off for up to 40 seconds at speeds between 34 and 99mph. Engines include the 45 TDI and 50 TDI diesels, which are equipped with eight-speed Tiptronic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive. If you don’t want diesel power, there’s also a petrol 3.0 V6, that’s badged 55 TFSI. All drivetrains feature Audi Drive Select, for a choice of Auto, Comfort, Dynamic, Individual, Off-road and All-road driving modes.
The Q7 falls into line with the new Audi line-up in dropping the former MMI rotary controller in favour of two touchscreens, which offer haptic feedback by pulsing when your finger selects a function. Driver instrumentation is via the Audi Virtual Cockpit, so you can choose how you want information to be displayed, including a mirror image of the navigation screen right in the driver’s sightline. The Q7 offers full connectivity, with LTE Advanced, a Wi-Fi hotspot, natural voice control and a free 36-month subscription to Audi Connect, which gives access to everything from online traffic information to the Google Alexa voice assistant.
All Q7 models come as standard with Audi Pre-sense Front which monitors the traffic in front of the vehicle for potential collision hazards. If it recognises a potential accident, the system first gives a warning signal, and – if ignored – follows it up with a warning jerk caused by a brief touch of the brakes. Optional packs such as City Assist and Tour add side assist, lane assist, cross-traffic assist rear and turn assist, as well as camera-based traffic sign recognition. The predictive efficiency assistant (PDA) helps the driver drive in the safest and most efficient way, using Audi Car-to-X technology to ‘see’ hazards and holdups beyond the driver’s view.
Verdict: previous versions of the Audi Q7 have won many awards for their refinement, versatility, space and capability, and the new generation is set to maintain its class-leading repute. It’s a great-looking SUV with Audi’s excellent interior creating a driving environment that’s calm, comfortable and rewarding. For long distance travel with a full complement of people or kit, on or off-road, it has few rivals.
The Q7 is available in different versions, known as trim levels. These allow you to choose a version that reflects your preferred styling, driving experience and equipment level. Standard equipment and the choice of options both vary by trim.
Q7 Sport trim highlights include:
In addition to Sport, the S line trim highlights include:
In addition to S line, the Black Edition trim highlights include:
In addition to Black Edition, the Vorsprung trim highlights include: