Vans endure from perennial ugly duckling syndrome. Whereas they’ve developed, the possibilities of a Kia Carnival, Honda Odyssey or perhaps a Mercedes-Benz V-Class morphing right into a swan are nil within the eyes of many.
That’s why luxurious choices just like the Q7 have discovered a spot in lots of well-heeled hearts.
Up to date final 12 months, the massive seven-seater has exterior design tweaks and a significant overhaul of the cabin.
Costs begin from simply above $100,000 for the 45 TDI that generates 170kW from its diesel engine, though we frolicked within the 50 TDI which required an additional funding of $11,000 over the bottom mannequin but comes with 40 extra kilowatts of energy.
Hulking traces and a physique which measures longer than 5m, there isn’t a hiding the refreshed mannequin which differentiates itself from earlier iterations with matrix LED headlights, octagonal entrance bumper and 19-inch alloys.
Making essentially the most impression is a totally revised inside which follows the muse set by the not too long ago launched Q8.
It’s a spectacular design with two separate sprint touchscreens — the highest 10.1-inch show controls infotainment whereas the bottom 8.6-inch is for car capabilities. Haptic suggestions from the display screen supplies “button like” click on responses.
The driving force has a 12.3-inch digital cockpit that has varied configurations for satnav, digital speedo, tachometer and different very important gauges. Collectively it feels ultra-modern and appears uber cool.
Different commonplace gear contains four-zone aircon (together with separate controls for these driving within the again), panoramic sunroof, keyless entry and begin, electrical tailgate, leather-based trim and heated entrance seats.
Black is the one no-cost exterior paint choice, with two shades of white, gray, silver, metallic black and blue costing additional.
The service plan masking 5 years is $3190, whereas “top-up” protection for an extra two years is $1950.
One stinging inclusion is the close to $10k that’s necessary to service to the federal government for luxurious automobile tax. No fault of Audi there, that’s a authorities rort.
Carrying over a five-star crash score awarded again in 2015, the factors has since turn into dramatically stricter.
Audi has nonetheless maintained impressively excessive ranges of kit on this realm and the Q7 has a raft of know-how to assist preserve the occupants protected throughout all variants.
Primary expectations are met with emergency braking that may assist keep away from or cut back the impression of frontal accidents by mechanically leaping on the brakes if the driving force fails to behave. The Audi system scans for pedestrians when travelling at as much as 85km/h, and autos as much as 250km/h.
Blind spot screens additionally look ahead to cyclists to warn of an impending “dooring” incident when occupants get out of the SUV.
Adaptive cruise management is commonplace and makes use of radars to keep up a protected distance away from different autos, whereas different inclusions are a 360-degree digital camera view to make parking simpler, energetic lane help that may gently steer the Q7 again between the traces if the driving force wanders, in addition to rear cross site visitors warning and intersection help which screens in entrance, aspect and behind when at a junction or reversing.
There’s a futuristic really feel throughout the lavish cabin confines. Aluminium and black shiny finishes mix with the screens for a contemporary minimalism at its greatest.
Readability from the three screens is among the many greatest you’ll discover within the automotive business. Performance is generally easy and easy, like altering the temperature which will be performed by way of the plus or minus buttons or by sliding you finger up or down for speedy local weather alterations.
As soon as accustomed to the varied menu areas the person can swipe and choose via a variety of choices. A charging pad and wi-fi Apple CarPlay (there isn’t a Android Auto), allow quick connection each time you get within the automobile.
Audi’s infotainment system additionally options some helpful data at your fingertips, like site visitors and hazard alerts, climate forecasts, parking particulars and close by gas costs.
This new mannequin can also be greater than its predecessor, delivering additional headroom entrance and rear.
4 adults can journey in luxurious with ample leg room, and whereas the third row has lowered capability smaller adults and teenagers will be accommodated for shorter journeys.
Among the many fascinating inclusions are the ashtrays featured within the doorways … often one thing omitted as of late.
Whereas pushing at the least 2240kg, the Q7 not often feels its girth. The three.0-litre V6 turbo diesel is robust and strong, and it’s pleased to flex its muscle when required.
Boasting a 0-100km/h time of 6.5 seconds it shames some sports activities vehicles.
When the going will get twisty the dimensions and bulk involves the fore and the Q7 loses a few of its dexterity. But it’s a household seven-seater, and barely will it’s thrown round tackling chicanes and looking quarter mile information.
The place it excels is straightforward freeway journeys. Air suspension delivers a clean and compliant journey.
Numerous drive modes alter the suspension traits of every nook whereas gear modifications push greater into the rev vary or faster relying on whether or not you’re chasing efficiency or economic system.
Enhancing the gas consumption is Audi’s 48-volt delicate hybrid know-how which might present coasting phases on the freeway the place the engine doesn’t run. Our general check that mixed rural, freeway and round city actions delivered common consumption of seven.7L/100km, though one freeway journey noticed the determine drop to five.8L.
AdBlue is used within the Q7, which helps cut back diesel admissions, and it must be taken care of throughout routine servicing.
Whereas I may go for a less expensive VW Touareg or a dearer Porsche Cayenne, which each have the identical platform, little will get close to the Q7 when it comes to luxurious for the coin.
I’ve obtained costly tastes. 4 rings on the grille and an inside which seems prefer it’s come direct from Silicon Valley with cool performance.
BMW X5 xDrive30D $122,900 D/A
A luxurious SUV trailblazer, the X5 is a perennial excessive performer with spectacular dynamics and luxurious inclusions. This variant is powered by a 3.0-litre 6cyl, good for 195kW/620Nm. Has the identical acceleration skills because the Q7 and related gas consumption.
MERCEDES-BENZ GLE 400D $138,047 D/A
Costly however makes up for it with an aesthetic cabin and punchy, frugal diesel 3.0-litre engine good for 243kW/700Nm. Does 0-100km/h in 5.7 seconds and gas consumption of seven.7/100km.
Fantastically refined chariot that delivers high-end luxurious at an affordable value for the prolonged household.
AT A GLANCE
AUDI Q7 50 TDI QUATTRO DIESEL
PRICE $127,483 drive-away (good worth for options)
WARRANTY/SERVICING 3yr unlim km w’ty (OK); $3190 5 yrs (costly)
ENGINE 3.0-litre 6-cyl delicate hybrid 210kW/600Nm (meaty)
SAFETY 5 stars, 8 airbags, AEB, site visitors help, 360 diploma cameras, intersection help, rear cross site visitors help (wonderful)
THIRST 6.8L/100km (7.7L on check)
SPARE None, restore package (not nice)
BOOT 295L/740L/2050L (good)