Until the brand new Audi Q8 reaches our shores sometime in 2019, the Audi Q7 occupies the top slot of Audi’s luxury SUV range, and is a large roomy vehicle capable of comfortably sitting seven adults. We spent a couple of days in the vehicle’s natural urban environment including visiting the carparks of various malls, condominiums and even Terminal Three at Changi airport, and here’s our take.
Having driven a number of Audi and Volkswagen vehicles in the last couple of years, getting into the driver’s seat of the Q7 was quite familiar and there’s no peculiar quirk of note (my pet-peeve is foot pedal parking brakes), though it did take me about ten minutes to set up the car – not just seat and mirror adjustments, but getting re-familiarized with Audi’s virtual cockpit system, which uses a large LCD display where a traditional instrument panel resides to present information to the driver. It’s not just the usual speed, RPM and radio station, you can use simple steering mounted controls to configure the view and display options – I tend to like using a small central roadmap with virtual ‘gauges’ for RPM and speed.
Our test car was the 2.0 TFSI quattro tiptronic version with seven seats – and though I didn’t utilise the third row of seats I did check out how to lay them out and fold them, which takes just a few minutes as they’re powered. Overall driver and passenger comfort is excellent, with rear adjustable air conditioning and a spacious cabin that easily handled four large adults. The 2.0 litre TFSI engine develops 185kW (252 hp) and 370 NM maximum torque, which is quite decent in a luxury SUV that weighs in a around 2,000kg but I found the 8-speed automatic tiptronic transmission to shift a bit early, even in sports mode. One thing I found from driving the Q7 is that thanks to the quattro system and an excellent turning radius it drives very much like a sedan, and it doesn’t feel like a big vehicle to drive, especially when I found myself navigating through the narrow convoluted confines of a modern condominium at one stage. In particular the rear camera and proximity sensors made it very easy to reverse park accurately.
S$303,780 (as of test drive)
The Audi Q7 is an excellent luxury SUV, with an almost perfect combination of comfort, space and driveability, and you’ll find easy to live with while stuck in rush-hour traffic or finding an empty lot in an office carpark. It does lack a bit of zip, though you could always go for the more powerful 3.0 TFSI model.