AUDI

AUDI Q7 DIESEL ESTATE 45 TDI Quattro Black Edition 5dr Tiptronic

Fuel

FuelDiesel

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph7.3s

WLTP - CO2 (g/km)

WLTP - CO2208 g/km

Audi's Q7 seven-seat luxury SUV has always made a big impact, but the improved version of this second generation model aims to be a little smarter than its predecessors - in more ways than one. The Ingolstadt brand has not only sharpened the styling but also introduced efficient mild hybrid technology that features in the 50 TDI diesel variant we're going to test here. Plus the Ingolstadt maker has installed one of the classiest cabins in the segment. As a result, if you really want a car of this kind, you may well find yourself really wanting this one.

50 NOT OUT

Audi's rejuvenated Q7 is arguably at its best in 50 TDI diesel form. Jonathan Crouch drives it.

Ten Second Review

Audi's Q7 seven-seat luxury SUV has always made a big impact, but the improved version of this second generation model aims to be a little smarter than its predecessors - in more ways than one. The Ingolstadt brand has not only sharpened the styling but also introduced efficient mild hybrid technology that features in the 50 TDI diesel variant we're going to test here. Plus the Ingolstadt maker has installed one of the classiest cabins in the segment. As a result, if you really want a car of this kind, you may well find yourself really wanting this one.

Background

This improved version of the 'Type-4M'-series MK2 Q7 model is dynamically very different from the large, lumbering original Q7 design introduced back in 2005. Which is just as well given that since the second generation Q7 was first launched in 2015, we've seen all-new versions of rivals like BMW's X5, the Mercedes GLE and the Land Rover Discovery, with nearly every competing brand in the sector copying this Audi's provision of seven seats to suit larger families. Upper-spec Q7s now also have BMW's all-new X7 and a fresh generation version of the Mercedes GLS to deal with too. Audi's taken the opportunity here for a quick stylistic nip and tuck and there's a classier cabin, along with extra safety and autonomous driving tech. Plus air suspension's now standard across the range. But will it all be enough to allow the Q7 to keep pace in this rapidly evolving segment? Let's find out at the wheel of the volume 50 TDI diesel version.

Driving Experience

Audi is offering its latest 48-volt mild hybrid engine technology with the revised version of this second generation Q7. That sees an integrated 'BAS' belt alternator starter-generator powering a 48-volt main electrical set-up in which a compact lithium-ion battery in the boot stores energy harvested via a 'KERS' kinetic energy recovery system. That additional electricity might be used either to boost the engine while accelerating, or to restart it when the stop/start system kicks in at low speeds. The technology's seamless and now features right across the range, which kicks off with two 3.0-litre V6 TDI options, either the base 45 TDI variant (which has 231PS) or the 50 TDI powerplant we tried (which offers 286PS). This engine is one of Audi's best, creamy smooth, superbly refined and generally torquey, equipped with 600Nm of pulling power. As before, this isn't a large SUV that particularly likes being hurried, but there's plenty of cornering traction, courtesy of torque vectoring and quattro 4WD, plus a 4-Wheel Steering set-up adds extra manoeuvrability to top 'Vorsprung'-spec models. Adaptive air suspension is now standard across the range, which helps you cruise over tarmac tears and speed humps, plus it lowers the car at highway speeds and can be raised for the greater degrees of off road prowess you'll probably never need.

Design and Build

This second generation Q7 has always been less showy about its size than its predecessor, with sharp shoulder lines and sculpted lower side blades attempting to subtly disguise its still prodigious bulk. With this improved model, there's still more to distract your attention, thanks to a package of stylistic Q model hallmark features mainly borrowed from this car's sportier showroom stablemate, the Q8. Primarily, that means the adoption of a large octagon-shaped Singleframe grille with six upright slats. Inside, it's all very different to anything a Q7 driver will have experienced before, thanks to Audi's so-called 'luxury lounge' cabin architecture. You're going to need to like screens because this gloss black-panelled layout incorporates no fewer than three of them, the two you'll notice first powering up as soon as the door is opened and dominating the upper and lower parts of the shiny centre stack. The gently curved upper 10.1-inch display deals with the most important radio, media and telephone functions while the lower 8.6-inch monitor is reserved for more comfort-orientated mainly climate-related features. Both screens interact with the optional 12.3-inch 'Audi Virtual Cockpit' instrument binnacle screen you view through the three-spoke wheel. Out back, the middle seats slide and recline - which is just as well because you'll need to push them forward a bit if you're to get adults into the third row. Depending on the position of the rear seat backs, the luggage compartment offers between 865 and 2,050-litres of capacity across a flat load area.

Market and Model

Audi reckons that around 90% of buyers of this improved second generation Q7 will be buying a 3.0-litre diesel 45 TDI or 50 TDI variant with either of the two main trim levels - 'Sport' or 'S line'. From the launch of this revised 'Type 4M'-series design, that meant asking prices in the £56,000 to £63,000 range - plumb in the sweet spot of what you'd expect to have to pay for a luxury SUV of this kind. If you want a Q7, it's best to think of the need to pay at the upper end of that bracket, because it's probable that you'll want add on a couple of £3,000 premiums. One for the 'S line' trim package that lifts the look and feel of this Audi quite a lot. And the other to trade up from the 231PS diesel of the base 45 TDI variant to the torquier 286PS unit fitted to the 50 TDI derivative that we tried. When it comes to alternatives to this Audi, potential buyers will most commonly be looking at either a Land Rover Discovery, a Mercedes GLE or a Volvo XC90 (all versions of which come with seven seats as standard - or virtually all, in the case of the Mercedes). Perhaps a Q7 buyer might also possibly be considering either a BMW X5 or a Range Rover Sport (where a couple of occasional extra chairs in the boot can be added in as an optional extra).

Cost of Ownership

All the 'hybrid' headlines surrounding this revised post-2019-era Q7 model might lead you to expect greater efficiency gains than are actually delivered. Audi's claim for the difference its 'MHEV' or mild hybrid system makes is actually quite modest - a saving of 0.7-litres of fuel every 100kms or 62 miles. All of which sounds good, but in fuel consumption terms still leaves the volume diesel versions of this car adrift of BMW and Mercedes rivals that don't yet feature mild hybrid tech, so something's not quite right somewhere. To be specific, a Q7 50 TDI S line variant like the one we're trying here manages up to 33.2mpg on the WLTP combined cycle and 180g/km of NEDC-rated CO2. To give you some class perspective, a directly comparable but more conventionally-engined BMW xDrive30d M Sport manages up to 37.7mpg and 165g/km. But if you want a more specific comparison, take a look at how effective a mild hybrid set-up can be by checking out the fuel and CO2 figures of the Volvo XC90 B5 diesel, which at the time of this test was the only other model in this segment featuring such an electrified set-up. That Swedish contender manages up to 44.1mpg and 154g/km of CO2.

Summary

In summary, a significant package of updates has enabled this Q7 to continue to compete on equal terms with much newer designs in this segment - and that's no mean achievement. Are there issues? A few. We're a little disappointed that the much-trumpeted mild hybrid tech hasn't delivered more in terms of efficiency gains. And there are elements of the signature twin-touchscreen cabin that that in our view slightly prioritise style over function. It all looks pretty smart though. And very high-end. Potential buyers though, will be attracted not only by this SUV's cool, classy feel but also by strong residuals that deliver overall running costs which remain very competitive, especially with this 50 TDI variant. Other competitors might be glitzier, but this Ingolstadt contender remains an all-round proposition that's very difficult to beat.

  • Privacy glass - dark tinted rear and rear side windows from B-pillar backwards
  • Heat insulating glass in windshield

  • Electronic Stabilisation Control (ESC) including ABS, ASR and EDL
  • Electromechanical parking brake
  • Hill hold assist

  • Front/rear floor mats

  • Adaptive air sports suspension

  • Audi phone box with wireless charging
  • Audi connect safety and service (e-call)
  • Natural voice recognition
  • Audi smartphone interface includes wireless Apple carplay/Android Auto

  • Audi drive select (Auto, Comfort, Dynamic, Individual, Off-road and All road)
  • Camera based traffic sign recognition
  • Electromechanical steering
  • Rear view camera
  • Parking system plus - front + rear sensors

  • Power operated tailgate
  • Start/stop system

  • MMI navigation plus with MMI touch screens includes 10.1" and 8.6" screens with haptic feedback

  • Integrated LED indications in door mirrors
  • Auto dimming frameless rear view mirror
  • Electrically adj heated/folding + automatically dimming exterior mirrors with memory + automatic kerb side function for passenger side exterior mirror

  • Polished oak trim with grey finished

  • 48V Mild hybrid technology

  • Audi music interface - 2 USB-C ports with charger and data functions
  • Audi sound system with 6 channel amplifier, 180 watt amplifying capacity and 10 loudspeakers including subwoofer
  • DAB digital radio module

  • Black roof rails
  • Bumpers in contrast paint finish includes door trim and wheel arch trim strips, inlays in door strip contain quattro embossing

  • Audi matrix LED headlights with dynamic front and rear indicators
  • LED rear tail lights
  • LED daytime running lights

  • 4 zone deluxe automatic climate control

  • Luggage compartment sill protection in stainless steel
  • Comfort front centre armrest
  • Tool kit
  • Luggage compartment cover
  • Stainless steel pedals

  • LED interior ambient lighting

  • Titanium black styling pack - Q7 Black Edition/Vorsprung

  • Driver and front passenger, front side and curtain airbags
  • Audi pre sense front
  • 3 point seatbelts on all rear seats
  • Tyre pressure loss indicator
  • Warning triangle and first aid kit
  • Seatbelt monitoring
  • Extended pedestrian protection measures

  • Front head restraints
  • Heated front seats
  • Rear head restraints
  • Folding rear seats
  • 7 seat layout with ISOFIX points for the front passenger seat and rear passenger seat

  • Keyless go with remote central locking
  • Anti theft alarm
  • Anti-theft wheel bolts and wheel loosening detection

  • Quattro all wheel drive with self locking centre differential

  • Tyre repair kit

  • CO2 (g/km): 184
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • HC: N
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 209
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max: 220
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min: 208

  • Engine Code: 4MGCB2WC3
  • CC: 2967
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Fuel Delivery: COMMON RAIL
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: NORTH SOUTH
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • Gears: 8 SPEED

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • EC Combined (mpg): 40.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 35.3
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min: 35.3
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max: 33.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 8.4

  • Generation Mark: 2
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 43E
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: 92
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: 86
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: 71
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: 72
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 5
  • Badge Power: 231
  • Badge Engine CC: 3.0
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • AdBlue: True
  • Coin Series: Black Edition
  • Coin Description: TDI Quattro
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False

  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 7.3
  • Top Speed: 142
  • Engine Power - BHP: 231
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • Engine Power - KW: 170
  • Engine Power - RPM: 3250
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 369
  • Engine Torque - NM: 500
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1750
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 51

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2

  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False
  • Wheel Style: 10 SPOKE STAR DESIGN
  • Tyre Size Rear: 285/40 R21
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 21" ALLOY
  • Tyre Size Front: 285/40 R21

  • Length: 5063
  • Width (including mirrors): 2212
  • Height: N
  • Height (including roof rails): 1740
  • Wheelbase: 2994

  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 2050
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 12.5
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 865
  • No. of Seats: 7
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 2165
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 3015
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 3500
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Max. Loading Weight: 850
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 75

  • Lane departure warning system: Included
  • Cruise control with speed limiter: Included

  • Audi Virtual Cockpit - 12.3" LCD instrument cluster: Included
  • Audi virtual cockpit plus: £175

  • Body coloured door mirrors: £0
  • Titanium black door mirror housings: Included

  • 75 litre fuel tank: Included
  • 85 litre fuel tank: £125

  • Electric panoramic glass sunroof: £1,850
  • Metallic paint: £750
  • Pearlescent paint: £750
  • Solid paint: Included
  • Audi exclusive paint: £3,600
  • Exclusive paint identifier: £0

  • Black alcantara headlining includes double sun visors with extendable driver and front passenger side illuminated vanity mirrors: £1,750
  • Alcantara/leather upholstery with front sports seat + S embossed logo, electric adj front seat with 4 way lumbar support, driver memory functionality: £0
  • Valcona leather upholstery with front sports seat + S embossed logo, electric adj front seat with 4 way lumbar support, driver memory functionality: Included
  • 3 spoke heated leather multi-function steering wheel including paddle shift: £0
  • Black cloth headlining: Included
  • 3 spoke flat bottomed leather multifunction sport steering wheel with gear shift paddles: Included

  • Extended leather pack - Q7: £3,850
  • City assist pack - Q7: £1,450
  • Tour pack with Adaptive cruise assist - Q7: £1,750

  • Metallic - Matador red: £750
  • Metallic - Navarra blue: £750
  • Metallic - Barrique brown: £750
  • Metallic - Orca black: £750
  • Metallic - Floret silver: £750
  • Metallic - Glacier white: £750

  • Pearl - Daytona grey: £750

  • Solid - Night Black: £0

  • Audi Exclusive - Custom: £3,600

  • Trailer hitch: £1,100

  • Valcona leather - Black with grey stitching with front sports seats+S embossed logo, electric adj front seat with 4 way lumbar, driver memory function: £0

  • Alcantara/leather - Black with grey stitching with front sports seats+S embossed logo,electric adj front seat with 4 way lumbar,driver memory function: £0

  • Sunvisors with illuminated vanity mirrors: Included

  • 22" 5 arm trapezoid design audi sport alloy wheels in anthracite black with gloss turned finish: £750
  • 21" 10 spoke Audi sport star style design black with gloss turned finshed alloy wheels: Included
  • 21" 5 spoke blade design alloy wheels in anthracite black with gloss turned finish: £0

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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