Review of 2010 Audi Q7



The Audi Q7 was first launched in US in 2007 with the 4.2 engine with Audi’s fabled quattro system. It looked more like a grown-up CRV then but now it’s a muscled hulk towering with garguantan proportions. It had most of the luxury features taken for granted from the Audi stable. It is also billed as a Cross-over and is built on the same platform as the Volkswagen Touraeg and Porsche Cayenne. This itself speaks of volumes for the superlative build quality of the Audi. Pressing refresh button over the years has put the Audi cash registers for the Q7 ringing.



Looks

Now this may be an entirely subjective topic but to us, the Q7 looked like a saloon on stilts. It looked more like a Japanese car than one from Volksburg. Viewed head on, the Q7 looks imposing and really scary. Children would cry in submission upon seeing it. The signature Audi goatee grille has been extended to the front bumper. A lower spoiler houses the split air dams and beneath it lies a skid plate. The split air dams hold the additional task of illuminating foggy roads by holding the fog lamps. The upper air dam looks very lively thanks to the LED day-time running lamps. Yes, Audi has given it the LED and clear lens treatment. The headlamps are new and also incorporate the LED lamps in them.Lest they get dirty, automatic head lamp washers are also standard.The four concentric rings look elegant on the goatee grille. The bonnet is quite plain with no creases or bulges in it. The side mirrors also have the turn indicators integrated into them.

Moving over to the side, the bulged wheel arch houses 21″ five-tri-spoke design wheels on the Prestige version. These do the job of filling in the wheel arches well and at the same time look elegant. A small crease running near the running board completes the look from the side profile alongwith the coupe like sillhouete at the rear.Towards the rear, the Audi Q7 looks like a hatchback and the hideous Q7 badge does little to show which car overtook yours. The tail lamps too have been given the LED makeover and are housed in the tailgate. The twin exhausts peeping out from the rear cladding is a neat feature. Rear fog lamps are incorporated just above the exhausts. A small rear wiper for the small hatch like rear window, completes the picture.

Interiors

Moving onto the interiors, you will appreciate the way the big doors open wide and welcome you to luxury at its finest. Its actually a combination of suede, leather and wood{sparingly used}. You have an option to fit in about 28 different interior combination according to your needs. The Q7 is one amongst the few SUVs that offer 7 seats. The rearmost and second row of seats fold completely to reveal about 88 cu.ft of load capacity. The standard dual zone climate control offers optimum cooling for all three rows of passengers. The optional warm leather package gives passengers to set their own individual climate zones. The thrones are quite comfortable than the competition and even so for the third row but marginally so. This is a disappointing aspect from Audi as they haven’t utilised the space optimally. The Q7 is over a foot longer than competition and it can only seat 2 adults at the rear in some sort of comfort. The panoramic sun roof adds to the space quotient.

The touch key from the Audi requires you to have the key in your pocket and the car would open on its own accord. The driver’s and co passengers throne is amply bolstered and the delightful steering column is adjustable for rake and reach. The stowage space for knip knacks in the cabin abounds. The four spoke steering wheel is light and lets you pilot the levithan with ease. The auto powered tailgate{is in brushed aluminium} opener is located near the driver and is a convenience par excellence. The meters are easy to read and the odometer and the rev counter are placed in different semi-ovoid counters. The digital gauge in between reads out temperature and the mpg that you can achieve. The Multi Media Interface{MMI} has been updated and now has a wider screen alongwith joystick controller. This is been billed as been more intutive to use than BMW’s fabled I-drive system.Unfortunately the MMI system does little to mask the clutter of buttons. Simle touches such as changing a CD or a track takes up time. The 1000 watt 14 speaker Bang and Olufsen all surround system though is a treat to the ears.



Interiors

Moving onto the interiors, you will appreciate the way the big doors open wide and welcome you to luxury at its finest. Its actually a combination of suede, leather and wood{sparingly used}. You have an option to fit in about 28 different interior combination according to your needs. The Q7 is one amongst the few SUVs that offer 7 seats. The rearmost and second row of seats fold completely to reveal about 88 cu.ft of load capacity. The standard dual zone climate control offers optimum cooling for all three rows of passengers. The optional warm leather package gives passengers to set their own individual climate zones. The thrones are quite comfortable than the competition and even so for the third row but marginally so. This is a disappointing aspect from Audi as they haven’t utilised the space optimally. The Q7 is over a foot longer than competition and it can only seat 2 adults at the rear in some sort of comfort. The panoramic sun roof adds to the space quotient.

The touch key from the Audi requires you to have the key in your pocket and the car would open on its own accord. The driver’s and co passengers throne is amply bolstered and the delightful steering column is adjustable for rake and reach. The stowage space for knip knacks in the cabin abounds. The four spoke steering wheel is light and lets you pilot the levithan with ease. The auto powered tailgate{is in brushed aluminium} opener is located near the driver and is a convenience par excellence. The meters are easy to read and the odometer and the rev counter are placed in different semi-ovoid counters. The digital gauge in between reads out temperature and the mpg that you can achieve. The Multi Media Interface{MMI} has been updated and now has a wider screen alongwith joystick controller. This is been billed as been more intutive to use than BMW’s fabled I-drive system.Unfortunately the MMI system does little to mask the clutter of buttons. Simle touches such as changing a CD or a track takes up time. The 1000 watt 14 speaker Bang and Olufsen all surround system though is a treat to the ears.

Handling and ride quality

This car can monitor blind spots above 20 mph. This is enabled by the system called as Audi side assist system. The LED lights shining in the outside rear view mirrors mean that there is a vehicle in your blind spot. Visibility all around is good falling short only towards the rear, the culprit been the narrow rear glass. The optional cruise control monitors the distance between vehicles ahead and at the rear. This enables for safe driving. Sensing an impeding collision, the car will halt by itself if no action is taken by the driver.

First the ride quality. It’s a whole lot better than the competition{X5}. Dare we say, it is similar to the ride in the Audi A6. The Adaptive Air suspension is controlled electronically and provides a carpet of air between the suspension and road. There are 5 modes on offer. Those are the Comfort, Dynamic, Cargo, Off-road and Lift modes. The car even lowers itself towards the rear in cargo mode to allow for easy loading capacity.

The double wishbone four link suspension set up in the rear gives an immense driving experience. Most of the Audi Q7’s body and suspension parts are made from highly tensile but lightweight aluminium parts. The ride never becomes uncomfortable or upsetting unless you are in the Sports mode carving corners.

Aligned to the Quattro all wheel drive system{fine tuned with years of experience in Le Mans races with the Audi R6 and R14}, the handling is spot on. The Quattro maximises traction by detecting which wheel is slipping. Mated with ESP, 4 channel ABS and all wheel disc brakes, the Q7 is a safe handler.



The Audi Q7 has been billed as safest SUV in its class. The 2010 Q7 has been given the 5 star on all safety counts including pedestrian safety. You get 6 airbags as standard alongwith Lane departure warning, ABS and ESP. Engine,Performance and fuel efficiency

Audi is offering a choice of 3 power trains for the 2010 Q7. These are mated to 6 speed automatics coupled with paddle shifters for manual override. All these power trains are good in their own right but lugging around a 5000 pound behemoth is no less feat. The Base 3.6 liter V6 offers a modest 280 hp and less 266 pound feet of torque. Still it manages a decent 9.6 seconds from 0-60. The robust 4.2 liter V8 displaces 350 hp and 325 pound feet of torque. This propels the Q7 from 0-60 in 8 seconds.

The third and most economical choice is the 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6. This displaces 225 horse power and a V10 rivalling 406 pound feet of torque. This launches the Q7 from 0-60 mph in a scant 8.1 seconds.

The SUV, be in whichever engine trims, feel lively to drive and only the V6 petrol gives up the ghost when fully loaded and climbing up an incline.

Braking is handled by all around discs,ESP and ABS. If you attempt a complete braking maneuver, then the Brake Assist{BA} will detect it and apply braking power early on thus reducing distances and chances of potential accidents.

If at all a crash is impending, the seat belt pretensioners work overtime and put the occupants in a safe cocoon so as to minimize the effect of the crash. The 6 airbags alongwith roll over cushions help in minimizing the loss of life and risk to limbs. The supplementary head restraints cradle your head in an event of rear collision.

The all important fuel efficiency figures are as stated below.

The 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 ranks in high in the charts at 20/25 for the city/highway cycle. The 3.6 liter V6 comes in at 14/19 for the city/highway cycle and lastly the 4.2 liter V8 runs for 13/18 mpg at the city/highway runs.

Verdict

The Audi Q7 is a welcome change from the current slew of SUVs and luxury sedans. It is luxo-barge which is a trade-off between ride and handling. Coupled with the cutting edge TDI engine and V8 engines, it is a performance SUV which though fast is also very frugal. Couple that to an amazingly easy to drive experience and looks that would care weaker mortals, you cannnot go wrong with it. It has its flaws as well. The XXL size may be cumbersome in city conditions as also while parking. The rear seats are not to accomodating and ingress-egress to them can become tedious. If you overlook these minor niggles, you have a Hunk of an Suv at your disposal.

Prices

The new 2010 Audi Q7 would be in the US market in the : 3.6 quattro, TDI quattro and 4.2 quattro guise.

2010 Audi Q7 price range for the US starts at $46,900 and rises to $61,000 for the top of the spec 4.2 quattro Prestige model.