An elegant beast

Omkar Paranjape
Saturday, 27 April 2019

Audi Q7 TDI, the second generation of the German  full-size SUV, steals the thunder

The Audi Q7 TDI is an imposing SUV, and without doubt, makes its starry presence felt.

Don’t be fooled by its huge size, as in essence, the Q7 is a very comfortable and refined cruiser with a surprisingly sporty feel, thanks to its overall stability and unruffled obedience in most situations.

The first and immediate impression is just how quiet the 3.0-litre TDI V6 is, at idle and under load. And smooth too. The NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) heads at Ingolstadt, Germany, have done a sterling job.

For those wondering if the Q7 will fit in their garage, it’s 5.05 metres long, 1.97 metres wide and 1.74 metres tall. It’s a big jigger, but at 2060kg, among the lightest in this large SUV class.

Only clumsy behaviour from the driver tricks the Q7 into a hint of kneeling down front-end push, which can be easily corrected by stability control or getting off the throttle.

Not many Q7 owners would take their expensive SUV into a seriously rugged territory, but we did put it over some rutted, bumpy and corrugated gravel tracks, which it handled easily, thanks to its good 210mm ground clearance. We didn’t need it but we noted that the Q7 has hill descent control as standard.

Equipped with air suspension on almost all models, it rides very well and combines this with enough cornering aids to feel far smoother and more wieldy than it should (a massive 300kg weight saving over the old Q7 plays a big part in this). 

This is the area that arguably matters just as much as what it’s like to drive. This, after all, is not a sports SUV, but a stylish, desirable people/ pet/ holiday carrier. It needs to haul stuff, in other words. It’s not as good at this as the new Volvo XC90 — the rear seats are quite cramped and dark in comparison and the middle row doesn’t have the same level of functionality, but on the whole, it does a good enough job. 

Up front, the driving environment is tremendous: clearly and logically laid out, great materials, good interfaces. 

The new Virtual Cockpit, taken from the TT, is superb.

Engine and mileage: The Audi Q7 can be had with a 2.0-litre TFSI 4-cylinder petrol engine (252PS/370Nm) and a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine (249PS/600Nm). Both the engines are mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission and come standard with Audi’s Quattro AWD system. The Audi Q7 has a claimed mileage of 14.75kmpl and 11.68kmpl for diesel and petrol variants, respectively.
Power: 160kW at 3200-4750rpm
Torque: 500Nm at 1250-3000rpm
Fuel use: 5.8L/100km combined
Transmission: Eight-speed tiptronic, all-wheel drive
Price and variants: The Audi Q7 comes in two variants: Premium Plus and Technology. Both the variants can be had with either petrol or diesel engine options. Prices for the Q7 start at Rs 73.73 lakh and goes up to Rs 85.18 lakh (ex-showroom India).

- The Q7 is available in both petrol and diesel engine options, unlike some of its rivals, which are diesel-or petrol-only offerings.
- It is a 7-seater, while the majority of its rivals can seat only five.
- It gets a 12.3-inch all-digital instrument cluster, a feature that is missing in many of its rivals.

- The third-row seats have limited legroom, making them fit only for children.
- The Q7’s steering is precise, but is light and lacks feedback
- With all three rows of seats up, the Q7 has luggage carrying capacity of only 295 litres. For perspective, the Baleno has a boot capacity of 339 litres.

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