Used car tests

Used Audi Q7 review

A full used car buyer’s guide on the Audi Q7 covering the Q7 Mk2 (2015-date)

With many car makers now offering SUVs in all shapes and sizes, it would be hard to imagine a world in which the Audi Q7 didn’t exist. Ever since the original was launched in 2005, this generously proportioned seven-seat SUV has been one of the most desirable in its segment.

The first-generation Q7’s success led to Audi expanding its SUV portfolio significantly, with the Q5, Q3 and Q2 all following, each one proving to be a smash hit. By the time the second-generation Q7 arrived six years ago, Audi had perfected the formula with a car that looked stylish, drove well and packed all of the latest comfort and safety kit.

Models covered

  • Audi Q7 Mk2 (2015-date) - Second-generation seven-seat SUV delivers space, performance and tech.

History

The second-generation Q7 arrived in August 2015 with power from a 3.0 TDI V6 diesel engine that came in 215bhp and 268bhp forms. The economy-focused Q7 e-tron from May 2016 was a diesel-electric plug-in hybrid that offered an electric-only range of up to 34 miles, while the SQ7 that arrived two months later was a 429bhp performance flagship with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 diesel.

A new range-topping Vorsprung trim level was added in February 2019, eight months before a facelifted Q7 arrived with a redesigned nose and tail, LED headlights for most models, recalibrated adaptive air suspension and mild hybrid fuel-saving technology; plus the 3.0-litre TDI engine’s outputs were raised to 228bhp and 286bhp.

From July 2020 the SQ7 featured a 500bhp 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine in place of the previous diesel V8.

Which one should I buy?

The 3.0 TDI engine is all you need, although it’s best in high-power form, especially if you’re towing. The SQ7 is impressive, but in reality it simply costs more to buy and run without offering much performance benefit.

All Q7s are generously equipped, with the entry-level SE getting xenon headlights, 19-inch alloys, Audi Drive Select with five modes, electrically folding door mirrors, heated electric front seats, leather trim, dual-zone climate control, navigation and an electrically operated tailgate.

S line trim includes 20-inch alloys, LED headlights, privacy glass, sports seats, four-zone climate control and front seats in leather and Alcantara. The Vorsprung adds heated rear seats, 22-inch wheels and matrix LED headlights, plus upgraded infotainment with a head-up display.

Alternatives to the Audi Q7

The full-sized premium SUV segment is a crowded one and the Q7 competes with a variety of different models, depending on how important a seven-seat layout is to you.

If you need three rows, the Volvo XC90 must be on your shortlist, and the BMW X5 should be, too. Both can seat seven, but the Land Rover Discovery rules the roost when it comes to offering space for a driver and six adult passengers. The Mercedes GLS also impresses, but if you want a luxurious and roomy SUV, and seating for five is sufficient, then you should consider Audi’s own Q8, the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport.

If dynamic brilliance is key, home in on the Porsche Cayenne, while the VW Touareg and Mercedes GLE are also worth a closer look.

What to look for

Drive system

All Q7s come with quattro four-wheel drive as standard, with no fuel-saving front-wheel-drive option on offer.

Codename

The original Audi Q7 was codenamed the Typ 4L by the factory, whereas the successor was dubbed the 4M behind the scenes.

Towing

Without adaptive air suspension, the towing limit is rated at 2,800kg, but with it fitted this jumps up to an even more useful 3,500kg.

Coolant

Some Q7s have suffered from coolant leaks. Audi is fully aware of the problem, and it takes a day or so to have it fixed at a dealership.

Interior

Audi cabins are full of premium materials and have a user-friendly design, and the Q7 is no different with its touch-sensitive switchgear, alloy details and standard leather trim.

There’s no shortage of space for five, but the third row is cramped for adults; things are helped by a sliding middle row.

Boot space is excellent at 770 litres with two rows of seats in use, which expands to 1,955 litres with the middle row flat (705/1,890 for the SQ7, 605/1,835 for the e-tron).

The 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit is a great feature and you should look for cars with the Comfort and Sound pack, which includes a Bang & Olufsen speaker system.

Prices

Check out the latest Audi Q7 prices n our sister site BuyaCar or use our free valuation tool to value a specific model.

Running costs

As with most Volkswagen Group products, Q7 owners can choose fixed or variable servicing schedules. Go for the former and checks are every 9,000 miles or 12 months for an oil change, while the major service is due every other year; the two services cost £240 and £425 respectively.

Anybody choosing the variable regime can go for 18,600 miles or two years between visits, but it’ll be a major service each time, at £425. On top of this the brake fluid needs to be replaced every two years (at £70), but because the Q7’s engines are chain-driven there are no cambelts to renew. There’s no set interval for the coolant to be replaced, but it’s recommended that the air-conditioning is serviced every couple of years at £149 each time.

Recalls

The Audi Q7 Mk2 has been recalled seven times so far, the first time being in September 2016 because of unsafe third-row seats that could deform in the event of a collision. The next campaign came in February 2019, and this was because of poorly manufactured suspension castings, while an overheating rear-view mirror led to the third campaign, which took place in November 2019.

Faulty curtain airbags led to another recall being issued, this time in February 2020; just a month later more Q7s were recalled because of faulty steering racks. Audi recalled 130 Q7s in March 2020 because of faulty head restraints, then only a month later the most recent recall was issued; this time the issue was because of incorrect welding, which could lead to transmission oil leaks in a worst-case scenario.

Driver Power owner satisfaction

The Q7 doesn’t sell in big enough quantities to make it into our new or used Driver Power surveys. Audi is represented in the Brands survey each year, however, and in 2020 it came 21st out of 30; the previous year it came 16th. Audi’s only top 10 score is for the quality of its infotainment systems, while owners also like the ergonomics and cabin quality, but not the driving experience, reliability or maintenance costs.

Verdict

Whether or not it’s right for you, the Q7 is a deeply impressive car. Audi has created a generously proportioned seven-seat SUV that’s good to drive, with excellent performance and reasonable economy, an inviting cabin and impressive quality. Auto Express ran an SQ7 TDI in 2017, and when we handed it back after seven months we reckoned that it was “a bit clinical in execution and a car to admire rather than love”. As with most Audis, the Q7 is desirable in standard form, but those with deeper pockets can spend plenty on premium extras such as upgraded trim, infotainment, wheels, special paint finishes, chassis upgrades and a panoramic sunroof. As a result it’s key that before you buy any Q7 you know exactly what you’re getting for your money.

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