SEVENTH HEAVEN? (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
Audi claims to have rejuvenated its large 7-seat luxury SUV, the Q7. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 60
Just as the dinosaurs evolved to suit a changing planet, so have large luxury SUVs - Audi's enormous Q7 more than most. Here's a vastly improved version of the second generation model, complete with the brand's latest mild hybrid engine tech. It's a large luxury 7-seat SUV that now works smarter rather than harder and is right back into contention.
Backgroundword count: 153
Ever since the original version of this Q7 was first launched in 2007, it's been a vehicle that middle-England families have always rather liked but, if truth were told, felt a bit awkward about owning, the MK1 Q7's sheer size, power and weight hardly in keeping with these eco-conscious times. The MK2 model, launched in 2015, improved things, thanks to a lighter platform shared with premium brands like Bentley and Porsche. But this car was still a huge thing. Now though, with Mild Hybrid engines and the option of Plug-in power, it claims to have a better eco-footprint, enabling you to consider one with a clearer conscience. Which is nice because for many - ourselves included - there remains something tantalisingly tempting about this big Audi. The way it dominates the road as it'll dominate your driveway. You'll want to justify buying one - but will you be able to? Let's find out.
Driving Experienceword count: 235
Audi is offering its latest 48-volt mild hybrid engine technology with the revised version of this second generation Q7. There are two diesel options; there's a 231PS '45 TDI' variant but most buyers will choose the '50 TDI' 286PS diesel powerplant. It's one of Audi's best, creamy smooth, superbly refined and generally torquey, equipped with 600Nm of pulling power. At the top of the range, there's the 435PS SQ7 TDI. Alternatively, there's a 340PS 3.0-litre petrol engine, badged '55 TFSI'. You can also ask your dealer about two petrol Plug-in hybrid models too, the 55 TFSIe, with 375hp and the 60 TFSIe Competition, with 449hp. Across the range, Audi's worked on the drive dynamics and reckons this improved car is more manoeuvrable, precise and agile in urban traffic and on hairpin bends, particularly in top 'Vorsprung' specification which includes all-wheel-steering as standard. That allows the car to turn into corners quicker and be more manoeuvrable at parking speeds. Adaptive air suspension is now standard across the range. This provides variable ground clearance and better prepares the Audi Q7 with its standard quattro drive for terrain off the beaten track. The relevant offroad mode can be selected via the standard 'Audi drive select' dynamic handling system with its seven profiles. 'Black Edition' and 'Vorsprung' versions are equipped with the slightly tauter adaptive air suspension sport with a lower ride height than the standard air suspension system.
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Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s
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