Audi’s super size cruise missile Q7 is as big as it gets when you wish to buy a typical car of the SUV type from the Ingolstadt based. Having served for a decade all over, the Q7 is known for its sheer menacing road dominance. With a design which can make the valet make a special reservation and interiors that come straight from an exotic resort located on a snowy terrain, the Q7 has captured the imaginations of many.
Having lived its first generation life, Audi marked its success by launching a 35TDI Quattro Technology variant. It gets subtle highlights on the outside and a mild refresh on the inside as well. The heart is untouched as the need to fiddle with a motor that makes 550Nm is redundant.
There are some things that you should know or realise before getting the Q7 that it does not only occupy larger parking space but also inflates your ego to maximum.If it’s an Audi, it is all about the unmistakable large mouthed radiator grille and the Q7 too leaves no room of doubt but flaunts it with utter sheen. Wide and at the same time sleek headlights mark the front corners while twin gigantic air guide pockets occupy almost a major part of the bumper. The lower section gets a brushed aluminium finish scuff plate, just in case you take it adventure driving. Also, the upper lip of the air pockets have turn indicator LED strips.
Q7 always as a lighter shade highlights every possible contour but this gun metal shade of metallic grey just kept me hooked to it. This particular shade makes it look formal, parked in a plush ambience underneath a corporate vertical and at the same time makes it suit a rugged rocky martian background, exactly how I chose to shoot it. The Sports package has also added 20” 10 spoke alloys, which come in a contrasting bright shade and for once they don’t make me wish it to be black as the stock version looks nice.
The lines inside this mammoth looking SUV have matured neatly. They might not leave an appealing effect especially when you compare it with the latest its peers offer but then it feels plush and premium.Inside, the interior inlays are complimented in Olive Ash. Without much of a fussy contour on the front dashboard, it looks clean and tidy. The instrumental cluster features the essentials of the vehicle. The central screen which has an MMI Navigation can be operated via the rotary push central knob mounted on the console. The wooden finished bits on the dash and the central area add to the premium feel.
The amount of space inside the Q7 is amazing as you feel at ease seated on any of the first or the second row. The second row also get comfort seating whereas the third row is at its best provided you don’t make anyone sit but just keep shopping bags etc as the space here feels a bit squeezed. There are practicality bits like cup holders, file holders on the front and rear zones with equally spaced storage on door trims as well. To make it feel even more comfortable, it also gets 4-Zone air conditioning which chills the cabin in no time at all. The large panoramic sunroof lights up the cabin in addition to make it feel roomier.
Audi has always had the luck in its favour when it comes to making successful diesel engines. Their achievements go all the way to winning Le Mans in an R10 using the same technology. The Q7 sold in India is available in two options, the 45 TDI Quattro and the 35 TDI Quattro. The former gets a 4.2-litre V8 engine making 800Nm of torque while the latter gets a sane and more meaningful for daily travelling 3.0-litre V6 motor which makes 245hp and 550Nm.
This motor is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission with tiptronic function which comes as a standard on the Q7. The shifts quality is crisp. This electronically controlled unit paired with the drive train also helps in keeping the fuel efficiency in check. There aren’t any paddles but the stick shift does a great job in maintain the momentum.
The adaptive air suspension intervenes a sudden change of drive surface and instead stops the disturbance experienced at the wheel itself without letting it travel to the body. It also plays a crucial role in maintaining the vehicle’s position and also helps reduce rolling or pitching motions when cornering, braking or starting up. On rough roads, the ride quality feels neat and the same is felt on smooth sections as well except for a minor issue of body roll. The tall positioning of the Q7 makes it feel a bit rigid around corners making it sway on curvy sections.
One can personalise the damper settings and the handling in five different ways. Just work on the rotary knob and the MMI screen offers options such as automatic, comfort, dynamic, off-road and lift. The comfort and dynamic are the ones you would need on a daily basis as they ensure smooth ride quality. The adaptive suspension senses the speed and accordingly lowers the body and adjusts the dampers. This also helps in creating a lower centre of gravity. The purpose built off-road mode raises the body by 25mm while the core lift mode can raise the trims by 60mm.
The diesel engine feels as ease at above the initial range where the motor keeps revving with a strong will to go further. It is not a typical floor it to redline it motor as the weight of the Q7 doesn’t encourage hurried style of driving but saying that its potential to maintain triple digit speeds is impressive. It delivered an overall fuel efficiency of 9kmpl.