2010 Audi Q7 | road test

Posted on Dec 30, 2009 by

The Q7 has been around for a couple of years now and is very popular in the Middle East.

It’s a huge, comfortable four-wheel drive SUVs very much geared towards on-road use – no low-range gearboxes or rock crawl modes to be found here. This is no Range Rover – it’s a large designed for cruising around town and on the freeways.

We drove the new 4.2-litre V8 S-Line edition and it’s very good. One expects a certain level of quality from Audi and the Q7 doesn’t disappoint. There’s leather seats, soft touch materials everywhere and everything feels as solid as a rock. All the touch points all carry a sense of quality.

The engine is fired by a tasty aluminium start button and although the other buttons are plastic, they still feel really good to the touch. Even the wood trim splashed along the doors and dashboard – something this reviewer normally hates – looks rather classy.

All the headlining and pillars are upholstered in suede-like Alcantara and are all nicely stitched. The steering wheel feels meaty to the touch with some nice perforated leather upholstery.

2010 Audi Q7

The layout of the instruments and systems is intuitive, making it very easy to get comfortable with the operation of everything in the Q7 straight away. The MMI (Multimedia Interface) is similarly easy to use, but as with other Audis, the zoom in and zoom in functions, controlled by the main dial on the centre console, is the wrong way around. It should be turn right to zoom in, left to zoom out, but Audi has it the other way around for no discernible reason.

There’s plenty of room for five passengers as standard and there are two more optional, stowable seats in a third row, although these are best left for kids and take up a great deal of boot space.

Assuming you stick with five occupants, they’ll all have loads of head and leg room and each of the middle row seats move independently of each other, which is a nice touch. The rear also gets two air conditioning zones to itself – making four in the whole car – which should solve any arguments about who’s hot and who’s chilly.

2010 Audi Q7For 2010 the Q7 has received a few cosmetic tweaks to its grille and bumpers, as well as new LED running lamps in the headlights, while the rear has a similar treatment. Inside, there’s a new instrument cluster, some door-mounted lighting and lashings of chrome. It’s all very stylish, yet understated.

 

 

One of my favourite touches was with the sunroof – it’s massive and extends most of the way along the car’s roof letting in plenty of light.

The new 350bhp V8 engine is impressive. Although it’s a big V8, banish all thoughts of a big, boomy number – with 440Nm of torque, it’s very smooth and very refined and sits in a car that’s surprisingly good to drive. A 3.6-litre V6 engine is also available, as are two diesel engines.

Gears are shifted by a very capable six-speed automatic. It’s not a super-fast dual clutch transmission of the kind we’re increasingly seeing in sportier cars, but the Q7 doesn’t really need such tech. This ‘box works fine.

2010 Audi Q7Although we drove the S-Line variant, that refers to the trim rather than any kind of sporty pretensions, so don’t expect a dynamic experience like a BMW X6. Although the Q7 handles nicely if you want to push it, you probably won’t feel the need, but for a car that weighs three tonnes it goes around corners nicely and there’s good weight and feel through the wheel. If you really want to push the dynamics, there are powerful carbon ceramic brake discs available as an option.

Our test car had a rear-view camera, which is useful in a car of this size, and parking sensors front and rear if you need more help.

There’s not much I didn’t like about the Q7. If I had to be picky, then I’d mention that iPod connectivity isn’t included as standard, but that would be about it. The Q7 does an excellent job of ferrying passengers and/or goods in comfort and style and in the large, on-road SUV market, it’s right up with the best.

2010 4.2 V8

Price (AED): 260,000 (Range starts from 205,000)

Engine: 4.2-litre V8

Max power (bhp/rpm): 350/6,800

Max torque (Nm/rpm): 440/3,500

Transmission: Six-speed tiptronic automatic

Driven wheels: Four-wheel drive

Weight (kg): 3,095

Standard safety features: ABS, ESP, traction control, dual front airbags, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, ISOFIX child seat preparation

 

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