2016 Audi Q7 | First Drive
* The 300 KG saving over the previous model, helps it feel more agile and capable.
* The styling has taken a giant leap in the right direction.
* Maximum height (controlled through the drive modes) is only held until 25 km/h, something that is easily surpassed when off the beaten path.
The Q7 is no ordinary offering in the German marque’s line-up. It holds a lot of sentimental value, for it is the model that hauled the brand into the SUV realm and cemented its reputation as a technological innovator. Rivalling the BMW X5 and the Volvo XC90, the Q7 is targeted at the urbanites that possess off-road aspirations and wish to explore the roads less travelled in the lap of luxury.
Marching on into its second generation of production, the 2016 Audi Q7 replaces the dull, bulbous exterior of its predecessor with a significantly sharper arrangement that helps connote the vehicle’s progressive outlook. LED headlamps and tail lamps, a pronounced hexagonal grille and numerous linear contours, all come together to embellish the 5,052mm long all-aluminium outer shell.
Swathed in Valcona leather and wood trim, the cabin is a treat for more than just the eyes. The opulent aura is a by-product of the exquisite craftsmanship and overall design – both of which surpass expectations. Bidding farewell to the bulky and dated layout of its predecessor, the all-new Q7 is smarter, fresher, and a lot more welcoming.
Amongst a plethora of features, the German luxury crossover is home to ventilated seats, a phenomenal 23 speaker, 1,920 watt Bang & Olufsen sound system, adaptive cruise control and a night vision assist. With Audi’s Virtual Cockpit on board, it also allows for drivers to fully customise what they see in their 12.3 inch LCD instrument binnacle, whether it be information pertaining to the infotainment system, the navigation system, or the telephone system.
Walking down memory lane and revisiting the Audi 80 Quattro, the 2016 Q7 is the first and only model in its segment to be equipped with an All Wheel Steering set-up. By allowing the rear wheels to turn up to 5°, it offers improved steering response and vehicle stability at high speeds, while simultaneously reducing the turning circle at lower speeds – something we were extremely grateful for when treading the narrow mountain trails in Qantab, Oman.
Directing 333 horsepower and 440 Nm of torque to all four corners, the 3.0 litre Supercharged V6 packs in enough punch to get the Q7 to 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds and to a top speed of 250 km/h. Having shed roughly 300 kilograms of heft compared to the previous model, the all-new Q7 feels agile, peppy, and even returns a claimed 27% better consumption average – thanks to a disconnectable supercharger and a free-wheel mode that decouples the transmission from the engine.
With three Drive Modes (All-Road, Dynamic, and Off-Road) altering the engine mapping, steering, suspension, and transmission, the Q7 is able to adapt to varying situations quickly and effortlessly. Off the beaten path, the Quattro system and Variable Hill Descent Control take great pleasure in proving that a low-range gearbox isn’t always a necessity.
Wearing a price tag of AED 275,000, the Audi Q7 falls along the spectrum that is flanked by the Volvo XC90 at AED 265,000 and the BMW X5 at AED 345,000. Putting out the most amount of power, the Audi Q7 has a definitive edge over its rivals; it is, after all, the best it has ever been…