New Audi Q7 Test Drive Review


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Akash1886

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New Audi Q7 has been recently launched by Audi at a price tag of Rs. 72 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi).​


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Friends,

Since it’s 2016, let’s begin it in an extravagant way. Amidst all bans and regulations for traffic the only thing that keeps me connected with my passion is the never ending hunger for driving the cars no matter whether it’s a hatchback, Sedan, or a full grown tank like SUV. Today, being a Saturday, I thought let me begin this New Year passionately. As it’s my 1st Drive Review of 2016, I made sure that it should be a good one so with that thought I ventured onto the roads of Delhi which were not so congested and stopped at Audi Delhi for driving the new Audi Q7 which has been recently launched by Audi for the Indian Automobile Sector at a price tag of Rs. 72 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi). From the out-going model, the new Q7 by Audi looks more linear, lot less curvy, much slimmer and a lot sharper. Since Audi has been a part of VW Group, you’ll certainly find a lot of design cues from the VW body language for the SUV. The most apparent changes to the external profile that you’ll notice in the new Q7 are the front quarter glass on the windows, Front Grill, Front Bumper, Headlamps and Tail lamps with new rear bumper among many other new features.

Some Competitors of the New Audi Q7

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Also, I had begun a thread on their comparison some time back here.
 
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Akash1886

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External Looks of the new Audi Q7 SUV.​


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Audi’s Q7 has so far enjoyed a good response from the buyers in India ever since it was launched and now with the all new Q7 in the market, it may certainly attract the respective buyers but only after 31st of March in regards to Delhi. In every other state of India where this new model has been put up for sales, it has garnered a very good response and why not, it has lost quite a lot of body weight i.e approx 90-100 kgs from the out-going model and this has attracted more and more queries for it. Slimmer figures attract more attention isn’t it! Lol! If I compare it’s external profile to the outgoing Q7 then certainly this one looks more vibrant and attractive and as I have already seen it in darker shade, the darker color looks more aggressive on this SUV and the new design of headlamps complement the new design very well. From the out-going Q7 this one looks much more attractive to me over all. The major difference comes in the form of revised Front and Rear Profile of the new Q7. From the older Q7, the rear profile of this new Q7 looks more symmetrical and less waves and curves are there. But I do agree also that looks are subjective. There will certainly be a good number of enthusiasts and buyers who’ll feel that this Q7 is not upto the mark in terms of looks in comparison to the older Q7 mainly in terms of the imposing front profile. The older Q7 looked more gigantic from the front and this one looks more toned down and that’s ok but from the prospective of the OEM, after manufacturing the same looking design for so many years it was right time to venture into a design that would feel more in-line with the present generation design language of cars in general and SUV’s in particular. Talking of the side profile, the 2 things which you’ll notice easily are the rear quarter glass which is slightly sharper in looks than the older one in design and the provision of quarter glass for driver and front passenger window to eliminate the blind spot created due to the placement of the chunky ORVMs on both sides. The quarter glass provision has significantly improved the visibility specially when turning the SUV on tricky corners and it surely helps in metro cities where you never know from which side a cycle rickshaw or a 2-wheeler may venture. Coming to the rear visibility, due to the re-designed rear profile, the size and shape of the rear wind-shield has changed too and the visibility from inside is quite good now and added to that the rear visibility is further enhanced by the rear view camera being provided. If I have to summarize my views in terms of the looks of the new Q7 then I’ll frankly say that for many of you it may remind of the extended Q3 from side looks. Now as I have spoken enough on the looks, let’s see if this new Q7 SUV has more to offer in terms of performance or it’s a mere design change!
 
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Akash1886

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Interiors of the new Q7 Audi SUV.

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It is certainly evident that Audi has re-worked the external profile of the Q7 SUV externally but it is equally important to check whether the new Q7 has something new to offer from inside or not. Let’s get in!

As I mentioned, Looks are subjective but if I speak of the interiors of the new Q7, then, it is altogether a different ball game and speaks volumes about the hard work Audi has put in to design the interiors of the new Q7. The interiors for me personally, did not have anything to complain about and even for other enthusiasts who’ll see it and those who have already seen it will also agree that the interiors of the new Q7 are extremely well finished and immaculately designed and provide the plush feel altogether to the in-cabin experience of the passengers and driver alike. Now, first thing first, for many of you, it would certainly be surprise to note, that the dashboard of the new Q7 is much sleeker and longer with premium quality materials being used extensively. From the center console to the seating every aspect of the cabin in new Q7 has been given serious attention and the detailing done is fabulous. From touch feel 4 Zone climate control unit to the 7” folding screen with touch pad, every gadget and button has a feel of richness to it. Another interesting thing which actually made my eyes go wide (like Pokemon) was the virtual cockpit feature in the fully digital instrument cluster as the same instrument cluster which initially shows the dials and MID, can turn into a virtual map which shall enable you to select routes for fuss-free driving and avoiding jams which are an inherent part of the metro cities. Among small but yet very important facts about the cabin of new Q7, I would like to state, the reflection of the dashboard on the front windshield is minimal and the sleek design also helps a lot in improving the visibility for both tall and short height drivers.

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Seating and Ergonomic Comfort of new Q7 SUV.


Effectively it is a 7 seater with 3 row seating and foldable rear rows for extending the boot size. As you all know, I am a relatively bulky fellow with 6 Ft height so for me seating comfort and legroom hold utmost priority. So, if I speak of these 2 features first, then I can assure you that the new Q7 did not disappoint me in terms of seating comfort both in front and rear and the driver’s seat being electrically adjustable provided ample legroom. Talking about under-thigh support, on this too, the new Q7 for me gets brownie points. Now talking of the back row seats, in the 2nd where the seats were comfortable in seating, on the other hand, those same seats to be precise cannot seat 3 Pax. If a person of my built sits in it then only one more person can sit beside me but a positive fact which I’ll share here is the ease of egress and ingress in the new Q7. It is a known fact that for getting inside big SUV one needs the help of footsteps but not in new Q7 because when I sat in the 2nd row, I could easily get inside without any side steps and the floor hump i.e transmission tunnel is also not very high which enables better legroom for the rear passengers. Another thing, is the well cushioned seats; the seats certainly have to be comfortable as these SUV’s are used for highway trips as well so in my span of TD, I could certainly feel the comfort of the rear seat and assure you all of utmost comfort for your backs. Being a 7 seater, I like to speak a few words on the last-row seats. As I have seen some other premium SUVs with 7 seater option, I’ll say, the 3rd row seat in the Q7 is slightly more spacious but again the basic flaw, i.e only 1 adult at max can sit for only short trips with knees up. This one flaw defeats the essence of being a comfortable 7 seater. As I have always said, if a feature is being provided, then, it should be usable and not ornamental. Though 3rd row has bit more space but seating isn’t upto the mark as one would expect after spending a good 75% of a Crore. In my opinion as stated above too, the 3rd row works well for increasing the boot space.

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Akash1886

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Engine Performance, Ride & Handling, Braking and Steering Performance.

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Audi’s this new Q7 has been powered by a new version of old Q7’s 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine which, is now capable of producing more power i.e 183 Kw at 2910 to 4500 rpm and 600 Nm of torque at 1500 to 3000 rpm. As for the 1st time I drove the Audi Q7 and luckily got my hands on this new one so as per my observation the new Q7’s engine is evidently more powerful and was extremely silent. You won’t be able to listen to the noise of the engine inside the cabin and even may think that the car hasn’t been started if you are idling it. The superb in-cabin insulation and under-hood insulation provide negligible noise levels and enhance drive experience. Talking about the low-end torque i.e the pulling power, with lesser weight the new Q7 pulls well enough without much effort and at legal speed limits i.e 60-70 km/h as a driver, I did not feel much turbo lag. Coming to the AT Box, new Q7 is powered by the 8-speed tiptronic AT Box. If I compare it with the 9 Speed AT of JLR then I feel, this 8 Speed AT is relatively agile but again where in Delhi or even otherwise in city drive do we get to see all the 8 gears in operation? The power is transmitted to all four wheels through Audi’s permanent Quattro all-wheel drive system. So, being a 1st for me, with reduced weight, improved V6 Diesel mill, the overall engine performance was sleek, fast, and silent. Mr. Javed, the TD coordinator, told me that with the new Q7 one can go from 0-100 in flat 7 seconds. However, I am of those lazy sorts who never drive beyond 70-80 km/h and to enhance the drive experience especially for the driver, let me tell you, there is a whole bunch of assisting aids to ensure a safe drive. For eg. The new Q7 SUV gets a Park Assist feature that ensures to automatically steer the giant SUV into a proper parking space.

Ride and Handling of New Q7 Audi: Indian roads at large baring a few (Mumbai’s Sea Link, NICE Road and the DND Flyway New Delhi) always ensure that no matter how well tuned car/suv one may drive, the ride and handling eventually at some point certainly goes for a royal toss so even this Hulk of an SUV was no different and after going ga-ga over the beauty of interiors and silence of the engine et al my perceptions changed. Talking of the ride, the Q7 comes with following drive modes; Lift/off-road, Comfort, Dynamic, All-road, Individual and Auto. The ride of this big SUV is highly unstable on rough roads and the jerks are truly evident. I get pissed off by the fact that I always get to drive such cars on pot-holed roads. At some smoother stretches on which I drove it today it appeared quite smooth but rough roads are its biggest enemies. As I mainly drove on comfort and dynamic modes so in particular the Dynamic mode suited the best as it provides lot less body roll, improves the suspension performance to a good extent but still as an enthusiast, you’ll certainly be left asking for more. So, in its class, this for many might not be the most exciting SUV but yes manages to give a reasonable performance.

It will be injustice I know if I do not speak of the off-roading capabilities of the Q7 Audi but in Delhi the only way you go off-road is by taking your car over a ½ Feet divider. Atleast for me that marks my territory for off-roading. See I am not an off-road enthusiast so be it any car I simply like to drive it on the road itself. Moreover, a expensive SUV like Q7 going off-road give me chills. So, as mentioned, it is a reasonable performer and not a pure enthusiast oriented premium SUV in terms of adventurous driving. The most evident short-fall of the new Q7 in my view was unstable ride of the SUV.

Steering and Braking: The Steering was equipped with multi function buttons including paddle shifters and is electrically adjustable. The steering while driving at 50-70 km/h range did not feel light and held on nicely. Talking of the brakes, the SUV had precise and responsive brakes and the halting time of this SUV was quite nice. The accuracy of the steering and brakes instilled my faith in the fact that it is not as difficult as I thought to control and maneuver such big SUVs.
 
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Akash1886

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The Futuristic Lighting of the new Audi Q7.​

The New Q7 Audi’s striking new headlamps and tail lights further multiply elegance quotient manifolds. The matrix LED are an optional feature and when illuminated the brightness enhances safety and ease of driving during night time and bad weather with individually controlled high precision diodes. Speaking of the rear lights, the tail lamps are LED and come with an option of dynamic indicators. Talking of the optional matrix LED in headlamps, each of the same is controlled via camera to ascertain the position of the on-coming traffic without hindering the driving and they can be configured and dimmed as and when needed.

Chrome Grill in Front: The new Q7 unlike the older one gets a new design front grill which has horizontal slats and made of aluminum with the Audi Rings in center. The new grill provides a much wider look to the front profile and gives a bold look to the new SUV.

Tyre/Alloys: The Tyres of the new Q7 are 255/60 R18 with 5-spoke shaped alloys and can be upsized to R19 spec with star alloys. Talking of the grip, my test car had Pirelli Scorpion Tyre(s) and their performance on the rough patches was satisfactory. The air pressure in all tyres is monitored and visual/audio warnings are timely provided to the driver via the multi media interface.

Chrome Rear Exhausts: The chrome exhausts are neatly tucked in the rear bumper on each side of the rear skid plates. They further enhance the aesthetic appeal of the rear profile of the new Q7.

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What I liked in the new Q7

• Sharper Front and Rear Profile.

• Symmetrical design

• Excellent NVH.

• Elegantly designed cabin with superb fit and finish.

• Big Sunroof to enjoy the beautiful sunlight.

• Agile Engine and Smooth Transmission.

• Good choice of external body shades. 6 Colors available.

What can be better in new Q7

• The ride is first thing that needs a re-work

• 3rd row seat only for 1 pax

• Alloy design is not that good.

• The diesel engine regulation till 31st March-2016 in Delhi.

• Space Saver Tyre is one annoying thing. Why can’t a proper tyre as spare be provided?

Some closing shots of the new Audi Q7.

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All pics of this Test drive review are only for The Automotive India. Any Re-use needs full credit to TAI.

Regards

Akash
 
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Akash1886

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dear akash, what bhp is the engine?.I couldn't understand kw figures.
Buddy, the engine in terms of bhp comes to 268 bhp. It is indeed a well spec-ed engine however, the only fault is the ride quality of this SUV. On rough patches you get a feel of harshness and after spending so much money, one won't expect this sort of ride. Though drive modes enhance/improvise the ride quality to some extent but at large the ride on rough roads remains disappointing. On smoother roads though it is a well-behaved SUV.

Regards

Akash
 
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Nice review Akash [clap]

Is the roof height of the new Audi Q7 lesser than the old model or is it the same? Saw the Car's picture side view and i think it is my own perception.

The old Audi Q7's front view was much more muscular but the present car has only simple lines like the other Audi sedans. In short it has lost its much butch looking character than before (personal opinion)

Can you specify the shades of colours provided by Audi?

Sad of the diesel engine regulation till 31st March-2016 in Delhi, i think many would have been waiting for this beast to be launched.
 
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Akash1886

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Is the roof height of the new Audi Q7 lesser than the old model or is it the same? Saw the Car's picture side view and i think it is my own perception.
The slant/design of the rear quarter has been slightly re-worked which in turn makes the rear roof line in the new one look lot more straight and the roof height is apparently not really different.

The old Audi Q7's front view was much more muscular but the present car has only simple lines like the other Audi sedans. In short it has lost its much butch looking character than before
Actually this Audi Q7's design might not go down well with those who are accustomed to seeing/owning the old Q7. This design has lot of cues from VW. I am sure many would also consider it as an Estate version rather than a SUV.[:)]

Sad of the diesel engine regulation till 31st March-2016 in Delhi, i think many would have been waiting for this beast to be launched.
That is one big dent man. Not just this Q7 but even Ford's Endeavor too won't land on Delhi's road till 31st March.

The 6 External Colors Available for new Audi Q7 are; Carrara White, Floret Silver, Argus Brown, Orca Black, Ink Blue, Graphite Grey. I have seen the ink Blue in the showroom during daytime without much lighting and mind you up-close you won't be able to make out the difference between Black and Ink-Blue.

Regards

Akash
 
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Why not. Care for customer is before love for maginificent cars - this is Audi's philosophy. Hence don’t hesitate to walk into any nearest showroom. If you are from Delhi then you must visit the 'Delhi Central' or 'Delhi South' showroom. Each of these have most cars on display and also test drive can be arranged. Alternatively you can also book Audi test drive online. The customer care executive would take up the request on priority.
 
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