- Hugely practical, seating up to seven
- Packs huge amount of power and torque
- Comes with plenty of standard equipment
- Small boot with third row seating upright
- Pricier than rivals
When you see the letter ‘S’ added to a model from Audi you know it’s going to be something powerful and adding it to the large Q7 SUV it continues to build their extensive model range.
So does this new SQ7 live up to Audi claiming it’s the UK’s most powerful, fastest accelerating diesel SUV? We took it for a drive on the UK launch around the stunning villages of the Cotswolds.
On The Road
How does 435PS, a whopping 900Nm of torque and 0-62mph in just 4.9 seconds sound? Yes, I’m still talking about the super duper SUV. Powered from a new 4.0 TDI V8 Audi have developed a world first adding an electric powered compressor which works with the turbochargers to give you plenty of that powerful oopmh from the get go with none of that familiar turbo lag.
Mated with an 8-speed tiptronic transmission, gear changes are swift and seamless to push it right through that rev range while there are shift paddles on the steering wheel if you really want to hit the limiter. Just be aware that at times you might be going faster than you realise, there was a reason we described the SQ5 as the ‘licence loser’...
Suprisingly for an SUV it’s quite nimble and it’s agile too thanks to its lightweight construction and although there is that tendency to really want to throw it into corners, which it can do as it comes with quattro permanent all-wheel drive as standard offering plenty of grip, there is still some body roll.
The ride is comfortable, adaptive S sport suspension is also standard and the handling gives you plenty of feedback with the option to set up the car for your driving needs with Audi’s drive select system, which has seven different modes to choose from, while you can even adjust the exhaust sound.
The 4.0 TDI V8 might be a diesel but Audi have developed it to make a lovely burbling sound, you spend most of your time leaning out the window so you can listen to it as you pull away. An actuator transforms the exhaust note giving it that sonorous roar; heaven for petrolheads.
The cabin of the SQ7 is well insulated from road and wind noise and makes motorway driving such a pleasant, chilled experience.
In The Car
Behind the Wheel
It looks the business on the outside and stepping inside the cabin it’s just as good with S lettering embossed on the front sport seats, steering wheel and at the base of the gear selector just to give you a reminder of what you’re driving.
We love it that the virtual cockpit comes as standard on the SQ7, the revolutionary 12.3-inch LCD display really is a great bit of technology and it’s joined by an 8.3-inch folding colour display screen in the centre console which is operated by their MMI touch - another bit of clever tech from Audi.
Extras include ambient interior lighting, the smartphone, wireless charging Audi phone box and a head up display.
Space & Practicality
It’s an SUV so expect plenty of space for all passengers, there are three rows of seats as standard so seven people can be transported in the SQ7. The two very rear seats can be electrically folded which avoids the usual struggle of trying to flatten them manually and although the boot space is only 235-litres, enough for a couple of holdalls, it can be increased to 1890-litres with all seats flat. And to be honest, what is the likelihood of ferrying seven people around all the time?
The Audi SQ7 is priced from £70,970, but even though rivals such as the Porsche Cayenne S and the BMW X5 M50D are £5,000 cheaper, it packs a hell of a lot more power and torque. Plus, it’s the only car in its class with a sub 5 second time from 0-62mph. But is that enough for the extra cost?
With a combined 39.2mpg predicted by Audi and emitting 190g/km of CO2 then it will fall into VED band J and cost £500 for the first year, then £200 annually.
CAP Monitor also predict the SQ7 will have strong residual values in its class at 48% over 3 years/60,000 miles.
Quality & Reliability
Have we ever come across an Audi that is let down by its quality? The answer to that would be no as it’s an area the manufacturer excels at and the new SQ7 is no exception. It is premium in all areas, aluminium effect trim feels solid to the touch and the steering wheel features nice, soft touch leather. The exterior with its additional styling to give it that sporty look is incredibly stylish and well designed.
The Q7 model hasn’t suffered any major issues and complaints from owners are problems with tyre wear, but unfortunately Audi currently don’t fare well with reliability and it’s an area they really need to improve upon to keep up with their rivals.
Safety & Security
The Q7 took the maxmium five stars in the Euro NCAP tests scoring 94% for adult protection and 88% for children.
It comes with airbags and features a lot of safety systems as standard including their Audi Pre-sense City which warns the driver of a possible collision up to speeds of 50mph and can even intervene and apply the brakes, a parking aid with a reversing camera, electronic stabilisation and hill descent control and hill hold assist. Optional extras include active lane assist, rear cross traffic assist and adaptive cruise control.
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