The first-generation Audi Q7 was the significant luxury SUV to buy, when it came out in 2006. It had been massive-looking on the exterior, beautifully built on the inside, and what made it even more popular was that it was light, easy and enjoyable to drive. Audi, however, pedalled back a little on the second-gen Q7 — 300kg lighter on average, the new car is smaller and looks less imposing on the outside.
Audi Q7 Detailed Review Interior& Performance
Now, together with the revamped but yet-to-be-launched-in-India Q7, Audi is trying to find that imposing look back. The nose still isn’t quite as lofty, but it now gets a’more powerful’ appearance, courtesy the larger, octagonal single-frame grille, and also those massive air intakes that sit under every headlight, which seem quite striking. Its signature’L’ shaped air-spliters give the chin plenty of definition and the now-standard HD Matrix lights also get Audi’s new trademark LED design; the cars we are driving additionally come with laser lights. Walk round the back and there is now also a new chrome strip which runs between the tail-lights, which makes the SUV seem somewhat wider in the trunk. And, even though it does not look quite as large, the new Q7 is now also 11mm more, at 5,063mm.
While we only drove the five-seater version powered by a 340hp, 3.0-litre petrol, Audi, at a subsequent stage, will also receive a BS6 version of the 3.0 diesel. These two units are mated into an 8-speed automatic gearbox and get a 48V mild-hybrid electric system to enhance efficiency. In a bid to make them more efficient, they also get a coasting function which permits them to be driven for up to 40sec with the engine switched off. The new Q7 is also available with optional electromechanical active roll stabilisation and electrical steering to boost handling, both with standard steel spring or optional air suspension.
Audi Q7 Interior Review
On the interior, it is apparent… Audi has got its mojo back. The look of the cottage is very minimalist and techy, and what Audi designers have managed to do is permit the sheer quality of the piano black and chrome highlights to shine through. Together with the acceptable amount of brushed aluminum that has been used to divide the mass and increase the quilted, perforated, contrast stitched leather (also in black), the look is complete. To add a little bit of extra bling, the insides currently get a third screen for your air con controls and various other functions; this truly gives the cottage the look of a’glass cockpit’, as you’re surrounded by three fair-sized displays, instrument panel comprised.
The brand new Q7 also features the newest version of Audi’s MMI infotainment system, with a main 10.1-inch display and an optional head-up display. Comfort on the large front seats is also excellent, and because this five-seater has massive legroom in the rear, sitting on the big and inviting chair is rather a treat also. We will, of course, get the seven-seat variation here in India, and this time round, it will have place to get a space-saver spare tyre under the ground, meaning you won’t need to put it to the chair beside you in the next row.
Make no mistake, this remains a heavy and large SUV, but the all-new, slightly sportier, installation on this S-line version makes a huge difference to the way Audi’s behemoth pushes. To begin with, despite the installation being a bit lighter and lower, journey is really better. Whereas the current car feels a bit cluttered and loose, particularly over undulating segments, this one feels tight, nicely controlled, and extremely comfortable, all in precisely the same moment. There is a small firm layer, but bulge absorption still is excellent — the huge wheels soak up the bumps easily and that which comes as a surprise is that, despite the 21-inch wheels, there is no actual’jigglyness’.
What is also enhanced, aside from the ride, is the steering. Yes, it is still light and easy just like all Audis, but begin to corner this behemoth and in addition, it feels a bit more connected today. And that provides the driver a lot more confidence, especially on a car of this size. What also adds to driving pleasure is the new Q7 rolls less and feels tighter and more in control of its mass in corners. This, naturally, is all down to the 48V system along with the active anti-roll bars. And , what improves the driving experience hugely is that this particular Q7 additionally has rear-wheel steering which makes this’bus’ feel more agile and pleased to strike corners.
Audi says it is going to be the petrol that comes to India first. Now, this 340 horsepower turbocharged petrol V6 has a lot of grunt, and the fantastic thing is it just loves to rev. It takes a bit for going at low motor speeds, but the unit is quiet, smooth and extremely responsive when you place your foot down. What’s also really nice is that, in its midsize and even in prime end, it actually revs and pulls like it is a naturally aspirated engine.
Audi’s face lifted Q7 is very different looking from the current car. Imposing, fresh and quite attractive, it’s the ability to get many appreciative glances. The insides will also be completely upgraded. So much so, in fact, that the cottage today looks nearly all-new. And what has you wow is that the black with chrome cabin is still another high-water mark when it comes to minimalism and elegance. The new Q7 also pushes and rides better with its slightly sportier installation, and efficacy aside, the 55 TFSI gasoline engine is also a good addition to the range. We still haven’t experienced the cabin with seven chairs and the 286hp petrol is only going to come somewhat later, but one thing’s for certain, with this new face lift, Audi’s Q7 should be well and truly back in the match. Certainly one to have on your shortlist when it comes to Indian shores in 2020, in an estimated cost from Rs 74 lakh.