Audi - Q7 (2008)By admin • Oct 26th, 2008 • Category: Car Reviews
The Q7 may be Audi’s first full size 4×4 but like rivals such as the BMW X5 and Mercedes M-Class it’s firmly designed for staying on tarmac rather than tackling harsh terrain. Audi is famous for its quattro four-wheel drive system and has put its expertise to use with the Q7, however it lacks clever off road systems like the Land Rover Discovery. It’s a big vehicle though and this translates into superb passenger space and seven-seats as standard while the air suspension ensures supreme comfort. It makes great family transport and it’s stylish too - but it’s not cheap to buy or run.
Two engines were available from launch, both of which come with a six-speed automatic gearbox. The 4.2-litre V8 petrol engine pumps out 345bhp and gives the Q7 strong performance despite its bulk with a 0-62mph time of 7.4 seconds but this is only for those with deep pockets as it has a thirst to match, returning a woeful 21mpg. The 3.0-litre V6 diesel is a far more cost effective option and the most popular engine. It averages 27mpg and it doesn’t feel much slower on the road thanks to its strong pulling power. In early 2008 this was replaced by a more powerful but cleaner and more economical 3.0 TDI which covers a further 2mpg. In 2007 two other engines were introduced, a 280bhp 3.6 FSI which is smooth and refined and an excellent 4.2 TDI. With huge reserves of in-gear punch and a refined nature, the V8 TDI diesel is easily the best engine available while economy is an acceptable 25mpg. In January 2009 a new 6.0-litre twin-turbo V12 TDI engine was launched and with 500bhp and immense torque it propels the Q7 from 0-62mph in an astonishing 5.5 seconds. It’s not as hugely thirsty as you’d expect, averaging 25mpg, but the engine is very noisy and not particularly smooth, while the £95,000-plus list price is ludicrously high.
The air-sprung suspension gives passengers a well-cushioned ride, especially in Comfort mode. The interior offers generous levels of space, with the standard set-up offering seven seats. The third row of seats, as with most seven-seaters, is intended for children and teenagers rather than adults but alternative five- and six-seat options can be ordered, the six-seater option making more shoulder room available for those in the second row. The interior exudes a very classy feel and there’s scope to add optional extras to boost interior comfort levels including full-length glass roof, four-zone climate control and double-glazed windows.
With all seven seats in place, the Q7 still offers 330 litres of luggage space. Fold the third row (into the floor) and there’s a 775-litre load area which is 150 litres more than its next closest rival the Volvo XC90. The second row of seats also folds flat (with a 60/40 split) and level with the rear boot floor. There are cargo nets on the side of the passenger footwell, the backs of the front seats and a waterproof storage area beneath the boot floor for storing items like dirty boots. An optional remote tailgate release powers the boot open and closed at the touch of a button.
Safety & Reliability
The Q7 performed adequately in the Euro NCAP crash tests receiving a four star rating - although a maximum five stars is now the norm. The front occupants are protected by front, side and head airbags while the head airbag system extends back to protect all three rows. Additional side airbags can be specified for the second row too. The standard electronic stability control has additional features including a rollover stabilisation program that intervenes if it detects the Q7 is in danger of toppling over.
The Q7 is very sophisticated, but Audi has been making four-wheel drive systems for over a quarter of a century and standards of reliability are generally good, so problems are unlikely.
Buying & Selling
Buying new - The Q7 has a lot of appeal for those who need a people carrying, go-anywhere vehicle but as with most Audi models you’re unlikely to get much of a discount, especially on diesel models. It’s worth haggling to try and get some options thrown in for free but you’ll be lucky to get much.
Buying used - The Q7 isn’t a huge selling off roader so the best place to find one is through an Audi dealer. You can searched the used stock through the manufacturer’s website where it lists all its Approved Used cars. The programme gives peace of mind too in the form a 30-day exchange plan and a 12-month warranty that includes roadside assistance. There are only a handful of the V12 TDI models around, which is little surprise given their immense price tag.
Selling - A seven-seat diesel model will be the most sought after and will sell in no time. The thirstier petrols - especially the 4.2-litre FSI may take a little longer to move while the more sporty-looking S Line models are prized for their sharper looks.
Owning a car like this is never going to be a cheap experience, but the Q7 doesn’t disgrace itself. It’s predicted to keep a respectable hold of its value and is priced fairly in comparison with its rivals. The diesel option is obviously the most affordable in terms of running costs and will hold a bigger percentage of its value over time. The V12 TDI is only for those with deep pockets.