Audi Q7 review
Audi Q7 flagship 4x4 offers a sporty drive, and has few problems turning heads
The huge Audi Q7 4x4 combines space, comfort and quality with real driver appeal. In the main, its attempt to be all things to all men is a success, and there's no doubt that the car is an impressive feat of engineering. The Q7 offers offers crisp handling for an SUV, together with a well made seven-seat interior plus an enormous boot. Entry level versions are the best value for money, but sporty S line models look smarter. All variants offer Audi's quattro 4x4 system, but while the car is capable off road, its sporty chassis is far better suited to the tarmac.
Our choice: 3.0 TDI quattro
There's no doubt that the Audi Q7 looks like a premium product. Dressed up in S line trim, the Audi Q7 has no problem turning heads - thanks to its big alloy wheels, brushed metal detailing and underbody protection. Despite this, we don't think it's the prettiest car in the German firm's line-up. Its heavy flanks and bulbous nose make it look bulky.
For such a big car, the Audi Q7 feels surprisingly sporty to drive. There's very little body roll through corners, and the steering is responsive and accurate. Over undulating roads and through tight bends the car always feels stable. The only fly in the ointment is the very firm suspension, which picks up even the smallest bumps in the tarmac.
The engine range is limited to one petrol and three diesel engines, but its the entry level 3.0-litre V6 diesel that we like best, combining power and economy in equal measure. A special nod must go to the mighty 6.0-litre V12 version, which offers a staggering 0-62mph sprint of just 5.5 seconds, while still returning 25mpg.
Audi's cars are very well engineered, and the Q7 is no exception. Uneven tyre wear can blight some vehicles, and some early cars were recalled to fix the electric motor that powered the optional powered bootlid, but other than that, problems are few and far between. Safety meanwhile is a bit of a worry, as Euro NCAP only deemed it worthy of four stars, with five being pretty standard these days. As well as the car's size and tough construction, all Q7 models offer driver, passenger and side airbags.
Inside, the quality of the cabin is beyond question, but the rearmost seats are difficult to access. The boot, however, is simply massive. Not even the Land Rover Discovery 4 can match the Audi's 2,040mm maximum load length. A one-piece tailgate makes stowing bulky items easy, although even with this car's air-suspension on its lowest setting, the boot floor is still 830mm off the ground! With all seven seats in place, the Audi offers a very usable 330 litres of space in the boot, but fold them flat into the floor and that figure rises to a huge 775 litres.
There is no Audi Q7 in the range that is particularly cheap to run. The most frugal of the bunch is the 201bhp 3.0 TDI diesel, but that still falls short of the 40mpg mark. The 3.0-litre petrol is worse, with a combined fuel economy figure of 26.4mpg. Insurance will be costly too, as will the road tax bill when you take into account CO2 emissions that range from 189g/km to 242g/km.