Audi Q7

Audi Q7

 

       Audi’s Q7 couldn’t have arrived at better time. The weathermen delivered ever more panicky forecasts whilst turning their yellow weather warnings to red; tabloid newspapers covered their front pages with pictures of snow-covered motorways; primary schools shut for the day. Britain was once again gripped by winter. Oh, what were we to do?

      Personally I did little more than zip my coat a little higher. Then, I scraped what little snow there was from off the Q7’s ever-so wide windscreen, jumped in, turned the key, and waited a second or two for the V6 twin-turbo diesel engine to fire. I turned the heated seat on too. Well, wouldn’t you?

   When I originally told a few friends that I was getting a Q7 some of them looked more than a little envious; especially those who had children – or more specifically, lots of children. How many other cars are there, that can seat seven and yet still manage to remain quite so desirable? An S-Max simply can’t muster the same levels of desire. The Q7 has Kudos. Nevertheless it’s hardly what you’d call a looker. Some of those green eyes must’ve been a result of that four-ringed badge?

    Other friends however deemed it ridiculous, and if I’m brutally honest it’s easy to see why. It’s huge for start. And, as a “proper” 4x4 it’s never really been able to cut the mustard.

    Because of its long overhangs its approach and departure angles (don’t worry if you don’t know what those are, the off-roading types will) are far too shallow. Point it at a steep slope and you’ll be scraping the paint off those pricey, bumpers before you can say “which way is the gymkhana Jemima?” Our car even had side steps fitted. They’re great when it comes to loading the more vertically challenged passengers but, I’m guessing even if you crank the air-suspension right up to its highest setting, they do little to improve the Q7’s cross country abilities.

     Perhaps though, I’m missing the point. On that snowy morning commute I didn’t feel ridiculous at all. In fact I felt rather smug -before you say it, that wasn’t anything to do with the four-ringed badge! Audi had fitted winter tyres too.

    I looked down from my lofty leather seat as Peugeots pirouetted and Citroens spun. The Q7 carried me over both snow and ice as if they weren’t there. As other drivers gripped their steering wheels ever harder, I listened to the digital radio, set the air-con to toasty, and glided serenely and imperiously past. There’s nothing quite like a 2.3 tonne SUV to help make you feel invincible.

    There’s nothing like 2.3 tonne SUV’s fuel consumption to help wipe a silly grin off your face either. Plant your foot hard down in a Q7 and not only will it charge forward like a rhino with a grudge it’ll easily drop its fuel consumption into the teens. While we’re on the subject of niggles it’s also worth pointing out that the Q7’s interior is also beginning to feel its age. In a world where Audi now offer their TT with a completely digital TFT dashboard the small screened sat-nav and multi-buttoned centre console of their flag ship 4x4 feels all the more last-century.

     There’s a reason for that. An all new Q7 will be out later this year. It’s lighter, more economical, and you can bet it’ll be far better equipped tech-wise. Audi, and indeed other manufacturers too, won’t make cars quite like this Q7’s ilk for much longer. My friends who thought the Q7 ridiculous say that’s a good thing. After a particularly snowy week in it’s company, I think that’s a bit of a shame.

 

 

 

 

Audi Q7 3.0 TDi Quattro tiptronic

 

Engine: 2967cc V6 twin-turbo diesel

Transmission: 8 speed automatic, with permanent Quattro four wheel drive.

Power:  245 bhp @ 3800 - 4400 rpm

Torque: 406 lbft @ 1750 - 2750 rpm

0-62MPH: 7.8 Sec

Max Speed: 135 mph

CO2: 195g/km

MPG: 38.2 combined

Price: From £50,355

 

Many thanks to Louise and Katie at Audi’s UK press office for the loan of the Q7

 

www.liam-bird.com

 

@bird_liam

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Liam Bird Liam Bird

I'm Liam Bird, a freelance Motoring Writer based in the South Shropshire Marches. I currently write car reviews and road tests for a number of regional lifestyle magazines and newspapers which are distributed throughout Cheshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, most of Wales and beyond.

As a member of the Welsh Group of Motoring Writers I'm as happy behind the wheel of a super-mini as I am in the latest super-car. I have press accreditation with most of the major motor manufacturers, meaning that as well as always being on the look out for further commissions, I always have a number of cars arriving each month ready to review.

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