audi, autos, cars, reviews, audi q7, audi q7 review
audi, autos, cars, reviews, audi q7, audi q7 review

The second-generation Audi Q7 is 300kg lighter than its predecessor

audi, autos, cars, reviews, audi q7, audi q7 review

Enlarged, extra-chromey single-frame grille is one of Audi’s latest design features. It looks like it’s machined-from-billet aluminium — but it couldn’t be, for pedestrian protection

audi, autos, cars, reviews, audi q7, audi q7 review

Large front doors are aluminium, so they play their part in the weight-saving regime. They also overlap the sills, so you won’t risk muddying your trouser legs when getting in and out

audi, autos, cars, reviews, audi q7, audi q7 review

These ‘five-arm turbine’ alloys are one of a pair of 21in wheel options. SE cars have 19s, which look very small on the car indeed

audi, autos, cars, reviews, audi q7, audi q7 review

LED tail-lights are wide, with striking running light illumination in the shape of a double arrow. Indicators sweep left and right, for added visual drama

audi, autos, cars, reviews, audi q7, audi q7 review

Front occupants have lots of room and the cabin ambiance is top-notch

audi, autos, cars, reviews, audi q7, audi q7 review

S line cars gain nappa leather sports seats over base SE models

audi, autos, cars, reviews, audi q7, audi q7 review

Three individual seats in the middle row slide fore and aft; folding them to give access to the third row requires some muscle, despite the hydraulic assistance

audi, autos, cars, reviews, audi q7, audi q7 review

Practically every VW Group infotainment system is up to snuff, but Audi’s version always nudges it a bit further into rarefied technophile pleasure

audi, autos, cars, reviews, audi q7, audi q7 review

Q7’s buttons click and select with a heavy-duty sense of quality

audi, autos, cars, reviews, audi q7, audi q7 review

Q7’s wide centre console means that Audi’s touch-sensitive panel for doodling addresses and phone numbers gets bigger than ever

audi, autos, cars, reviews, audi q7, audi q7 review

Q7’s load area is 770 litres with five seats raised and 1955 litres with the middle and back rows flattened; rearmost seats fold out of the boot floor easily

audi, autos, cars, reviews, audi q7, audi q7 review

Audi claims 6.5sec to 62mph for our test car, and we validated that at 6.2sec to 60mph

audi, autos, cars, reviews, audi q7, audi q7 review

Optional air springs result in a comfortable, compliant ride over most surfaces

audi, autos, cars, reviews, audi q7, audi q7 review

The Q7’s grip and general stability allow it to be driven with limit-defying briskness without appreciably taxing its driver

audi, autos, cars, reviews, audi q7, audi q7 review

The Q7 is a rather obvious but effective symbol of the sudden, puffer-fish-style expansion of Audi’s model range.

Ten years ago, this car maker didn’t build SUVs. Although it had plenty of quattro-branded four-wheel-drive know-how, it had never taken that next big logical step. It had only recently started making a Sportback in the guise of the previous-generation five-door Audi A3 and had yet to launch the Audi R8 sports car. When Audi launched the original Q7, it was a different form.

Audi SUVs have quickly become big business. From a standing start, the previous Q7 sold fairly strongly and consistently across Europe and North America throughout its lifecycle

Matt Saunders | Road test editor

Now, as we welcome the second generation of Ingolstadt’s unashamedly full-sized luxury 4×4, it is one of three Q cars in the range. By the time the next Q7 comes along, its high-riding siblings could number as many as six, certainly four with the Audi Q2 on its way. That would be an astonishing rate of expansion, but not necessarily a foolish one.

Audi SUVs have quickly become big business. From a standing start, the previous Q7 sold fairly strongly and consistently across Europe and North America throughout its lifecycle.

It didn’t trouble the volumes of the segment leaders, but since it’s larger and slightly pricier than the average large luxury 4×4, that was predictable. But the Audi Q5 and Audi Q3 have smashed every sales target that the firm has put in front of them. If this new bigger brother for them can replicate just a bit of that success, it’ll be a huge money-spinner for Audi.

As you’re about to read, Audi is evidently determined to deliver that greater success, having thrown the kitchen sink at the new Q7 in terms of new platform, powertrain, chassis and infotainment technology. This car is the first of many new Audis (and Porsches and Bentleys) based on the firm’s new MLB-Evo platform. It’s a bit of a strategic milestone. Already it has spawned a hybrid Q7, the monstrous SQ7 and the highly anticipated, customisable, height-of-luxury Bentley Bentayga.

Audi’s claim is that it’s also advanced, lightweight, aerodynamic and efficient – at the same time as being luxurious, refined, fine handling, capable and laden with sophistication. It sounds like a serious piece of work. But is it any more discreet than the previous Q7, or any easier to like? Let’s see.

Audi Q7 design & styling

The Q7 is, in Audi’s own words, “still a big car” – and relatively so, in a segment full of necessarily big cars. It has shrunk marginally compared with its predecessor, but by no more than a couple of inches in any of the major dimensions.

However, the biggest success of the car’s styling could be to make it appear as though a more significant amount of bulk has been dispensed with. An effective combination of reduced body volumes and strong horizontal bodywork creases makes this car look much lower and less hulking than the previous one.

In the broadest sense, most people probably wouldn’t pick this as the most visually striking or appealing car of its ilk. But its new-found sense of understatement seems much more becoming of an Audi, and it’s a change of which we heartily approve.

What’s more, although it hasn’t cut down on the Q7’s kerbside footprint much, the truth is that Audi didn’t need to. The company has done what it’s famous for: employed cutting-edge technology to deliver the gains that other car makers use more obvious means to achieve and often court compromise for the sake of.

The Q7 is 300kg lighter than the car it replaces. That’s an enormous saving, even on a two-tonne-something car, and it has been made on component parts as various as seats (19kg), doors (24kg), brakes (8.5kg), exhaust systems (19kg) and electrical wires (4kg).

As remarkable as it is, the car’s mixed-metal underbody ultimately amounts to just another item on that list of weight savings (71kg). Made up of just over 40% aluminium and 12% hot-formed ultra-high-strength steel, it features joining techniques new to Audi, as well as structural reinforcements, dubbed ‘torsion rings’, arranged both horizontally and vertically.

UK buyers will be offered a 3.0-litre V6 TDI engine in 268bhp and 215bhp states of tune, driving all four wheels through an eight-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox, a proper centre differential (as opposed to a clutch-actuated power split) and a limited-slip differential between the rear wheels. The Q7 e-tron will be offered with a 3.0-litre V6 TDI and electric motor working in tandem to produce 254bhp, while those wanting a ballistic SUV should look no further than the SQ7, fitted with a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 diesel engine forcing out 429bhp.

Steel springs are standard fit, but a height-adjustable adaptively damped air suspension system is on the options list and delivers ground clearance of up to 245mm. Our test car was a 268bhp diesel on air suspension.

Also on the options list is a four-wheel steering system capable of turning the rear wheels up to 5deg in the opposing direction to the fronts at low speeds, to reduce the car’s turning circle. At higher speeds, it can turn them up to 3.5deg in the same direction as the front wheels, to improve cornering stability and steering response.

It’s an unusual and welcome feature to find on such a large and potentially unwieldy SUV. More’s the pity, then, that it wasn’t fitted to our test car.

Good

Outstanding cabin refinement

Towering material quality

Roomier than most seven-seat SUVs

Bad

Remote, assistance-heavy steering

No handling finesse

Unexceptional residual values

Continue to Interior

Audi Q7 review | page 1 of 7

Audi Q7 First drives

  • Audi Q7 55 TFSIe 2021 UK review

    Luxurious seven-seat SUV gains second, less expensive plug-in hybrid powertrain

    Audi Q7 55 TFSIe 2021 UK review

  • Audi Q7 60 TFSIe quattro 2019 review

    Facelifted luxury SUV finds its soul mate in a 443bhp plug-in hybrid powertrain

    Audi Q7 60 TFSIe quattro 2019 review

  • Audi Q7 2019 review

    Facelifted Q7 gains a fresh new look inside and out, the latest Audi infotainment systems, and 48V mild-hybrid powertrains. We head to Ireland to try it out

    Audi Q7 2019 review

  • Audi Q7 e-tron 2017 UK review

    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer

    Audi Q7 e-tron 2017 UK review

  • 2016 Audi Q7 e-tron review

    Plug-in hybrid Q7 promises economy of 156.9mpg and BIK rates of 10%. It’ll take you a while to recoup the £10k premium over a standard Q7, though

    2016 Audi Q7 e-tron review

  • 2016 Audi Q7 3.0 TDI 218 review

    Lower-end Q7 is as luxurious and well-mannered as any, although still not quite the model to plump for

    2016 Audi Q7 3.0 TDI 218 review

  • 2015 Audi Q7 e-tron review

    The Q7 e-tron combines the standard SUV's big cabin and sumptuous finish with plug-in hybrid technology. Does it make a good package?

    2015 Audi Q7 e-tron review

  • 2015 Audi Q7 3.0 TDI S line UK review

    We drive the new Audi Q7 in the UK to find out if it can better its phenomenally successful predecessor and beat off the strong competition from the new Volvo XC90

    2015 Audi Q7 3.0 TDI S line UK review

  • 2015 Audi Q7 3.0 TDI 218 SE review

    Audi’s seven-seat SUV is revitalised at last – but is very big still beautiful?

    2015 Audi Q7 3.0 TDI 218 SE review

  • 2015 Audi Q7 review

    Audi's new Q7 will face some tough competition when it goes on sale in August, but we think its strengths will ensure it's a popular choice.

    2015 Audi Q7 review

Keyword: Audi Q7 review

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