Audi Q7: Quintessentially refined SUV and a luxurious family hauler
Audi's molecular building blocks speak the language of understated elegance and the second generation Q7 is a sleek and sophisticated take on the large SUV. With three rows of seating and room for seven, the Q7 is a luxurious family hauler.
For 2015 it has been completely redesigned to reflect Audi's latest design language and the headlights and rear lights have adopted the corporate look while the front is dominated by the muscular new single frame grille. The Q7 is also significantly lighter; up to 325kg, has been shed from the kerb weight compared to the previous generation.
With an elegant and modern body the spacious interior has been constructed with the same thoughtful attention to detail that is synonymous with Audi cabins. Reminiscent of the TT's interior, it shares the same digital instrument cluster and simplicity of design.
It is also crammed with cutting edge technology. One of our favourites is the raft of parking aids, this car will parallel park, forward park, reverse park and even stop the car automatically if you reverse out on to oncoming traffic. A drive through the Swiss alps confirms the Q7 is the very last word in refinement. While it is not the most engaging car to drive, you will be wafted along in such comfort that you won't care.
Our test car was fitted with an optional four-wheel steering system that Audi claim can reduce the turning circle of this large car by up to a metre and as our Q7 tightly hugged the alpine bends it was a reassuring feature.
Audi's Q7 improves in nearly every way and it is more spacious, lighter and significantly more fuel efficient.
There is a choice of three engines, a 3-litre diesel with either 218bhp or 272bhp. The 218bhp version returns 5.7l/100km (50 mpg) and emissions of 148/km mean it will cost €390 for motor tax.
The 272 bhp version will be available from launch next month while the 218bhp will be in Ireland at the end of the year. Prices start at €72,125 for the entry level diesel.
When the original Q7 was launched in 2006 it was Audi's first foray into the SUV market and it was a huge success in Ireland.
First impressions of the second generation Q7 suggests that Audi are likely to emulate that success all over again. - GH