The Q7 was the first SUV in Audi’s portfolio, introducing the Q moniker in the family in 2005. The first generation Q7 made a big impact in the luxury SUV segment across the globe and specially in the Indian car market. However, the first generation Q7 was getting quite dated off late amongst the newly updated Europeans but now Audi has finally launched the second generation model in India. The new Audi Q7 gets drastic changes inside out and we explore the new German to see if it really has what it takes.
This stunner has the same body structure like its outgoing model. However, there are significant improvements on all the facets, especially on its front profile. Its hexagonal radiator grille now gets a thick surround. Also, it has a matte finish, that is rendering it a dynamic character. On either sides, it has a sleek headlight cluster with improved lighting design. This carries LED headlamps, indicators, static turning lights and headlight cleaning system as well. Also, there are double arrow shaped daytime running lights, which further adds to its style. Both the front and rear bumpers are redesigned for a more masculine look. On its sides, there are fenders with curvy detailing and fitted with new design alloy wheels. It is equipped with body colored ORVMs along with door handles and aluminum roof rails. As for the rear, the LED taillight cluster is reshaped and equipped with dynamic indicators. Apart from these, all the other cosmetics are retained from its outgoing model. Also, it has a rear spoiler that compliments its exclusivity.
The interiors of the new-gen Q7 are a big step forward and a major change in design from other Audis. The AC vents run across from the centre console to the left side end. The large AC vent has diffused air and it doesn’t focus into your face. The large Audi MMI screen pops up on press of a button. this doesn’t have a touchscreen but has a high definition display. After being so used to the similar Audi interior this is a welcome change. The brown leather wrapper steering wheel with even the dashboard gets this rich leather. The instrument binnacle is made of a LED screen with two small dials on both the sides for temperature and fuel gauge.
The gear lever is also wrapped in this leather. The lever is thick and it can shift modes with a glide from your palm. The MMI has a large touchpad as well. The rotor doesn’t get the four buttons, rather two that slide forth and back. With regards to space, this gen is a more spacious than the outgoing one. The second row of seats can slide back and forth to adjust the knee room for the third row. Our press demonstrator came with a spare tyre that was attached in the boot. This means only one seat in the third row. The all round visibility of the Q7 and the panoramic sunroof makes it great to drive in city.
The Q7 gets both diesel and petrol engine options under its hood. The most powerful engine that is available with the Q7 is a 3.0 Litre TDI unit which produces about 272 Hp of peak power and 600 Nm of torque. This engine unit helps the Q7 to accelerate from 0-100 Km/h mark in just 6.3 seconds while it has a top speed of 234 km/h mark. While the 3.0 Litre TFSI unit produces about 333 Hp of peak power and 440 Nm of torque. This engine unit helps Q7 to accelerate from 0-100 km/h mark in just 6.1 seconds while it has a top speed of 250 Km/h mark.There is also a second variant of the 3.0 Litre TDI also on offer which produces about 218 Bhp of peak power and 500 Nm of torque. While Audi will also offer a smaller 2.0 Litre TFSI engine which will produces about 252 Hp of peak power and 370 Nm of torque which has been specially designed for the Asian and the markets of USA.
What is even more interesting is the fact that the Q7 will also be available with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, the electric motor will be mated to a diesel unit. The diesel unit in particular will produce 258 Hp of peak power while the electric motor will separately develop about 94 Kw of power. Together the e-tron Q7 will deliver about 373 hp of peak power.Beside just the new powertrain option the Q7 also gets a newly developed, eight-speed tiptronic transmission which supplies power to all the 4 wheels.For the Indian market Audi has decided to launch the Q7 with the 3.0-liter TDI unit which is capable of producing about 272 Hp of peak power and 600 Nm of torque and like already mentioned above the engine is paired to an eight-speed tiptronic transmission which sends power to al the 4 wheels via the Audi Quattro all whel drive system.
RIDE AND HANDLING ;
Despite a curb weight of almost 5,000 pounds, the 2017 Audi Q7 is surprisingly maneuverable and nimble. Especially if the optional adaptive air suspension and four-wheel steering are specified, the Q7 drives as if it’s actually a size smaller, like Audi’s Q5. Even without the Adaptive Chassis option, though, the Q7 is sure-footed around turns and instills driver confidence thanks to strong, consistent brakes.This athleticism doesn’t come at the expense of ride quality, either. Rough pavement is effortlessly smoothed over, and the cabin remains blissfully quiet. When equipped with the V6, accelerating to highway speeds or passing is easy, and the responsive eight-speed transmission is a nice added touch. We haven’t had the opportunity to test the four-cylinder Q7 yet, but we will update the review with full details once we get behind the wheelJust as significant as what the driver can draw from the Q7 is what the car can do on its own. Combining existing technologies such as lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, forward-looking cameras and navigation information, the Q7 can help drivers considerably during congested freeway commutes or vast, unpopulated highway stretches by doing much of the driving on its own.
SAFETY AND SECURITY ;
There is a long list of protective facilities available in this model series, which gives maximum protection to the occupants sitting inside the cabin. All the seats have three point inertia seat belts with height adjustment, force limiter and pyrotechnic belt tensioners. There is also ISOFIX child seat mounting available for front passenger seat. This vehicle has full size driver and front passenger airbags with two stage deployment. It also has rear side airbags, while the head airbag system gives side impact protection to its occupants. The highly developed anti theft alarm system includes tow away protection and includes interior monitoring of doors, engine as well as luggage compartment. It includes reversing camera that shows the image on MMI display. The first aid kit is also available, which is quite useful in case of any untoward incident while driving. In addition to these, it includes a day and night anti glare internal rear view mirror, power door locks, tool kit and jack, tyre pressure monitoring display, crash sensor and an engine check warning. All these significant aspects makes it one of the safest vehicles in the country.
After driving the new Audi Q7 extensively, we have realised that the German carmaker is targeting a wider audience. That’s because the new Q7 has a multifaceted character that covers most of the important aspects. For instance, it is suitable for the station wagon loving European market offering great practicality and space but with the driving feel of a sedan. The Q7 also manages to conquer rough terrains very well with its hi-tech quattro system, so buyers looking for a capable off-roader can consider the Q7. It is an extremely comfortable SUV for your family specially on Indian road conditions. The new Q7 is quite big in size but once you get behind the wheel, it’s not an intimidating SUV to drive and instead quite fun with its sorted dynamics. Anyone from any age group be it young or old, male or female can easily adapt to the driving manners of the new Q7. However, we still miss the muscular and butch appearance of the outgoing Q7. Otherwise, the new Audi Q7 is a gem of an SUV in this price bracket.