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Audi Q7 55 TFSI e Quattro Black Ed 5dr Tiptronic Tech

  • Automatic
  • Petrol Parallel PHEV
  • 5 door suv
  • 29 g/km CO2
  • 5.7 secs 0 to 62 mph
  • 394 bhp Engine power

Ten Second Review

Just as the dinosaurs evolved to suit a changing planet, so have large luxury SUVs - Audi's enormous Q7 more than most. Here's another lightly improved version of the second generation model, complete with a slightly smarter look. It's a large luxury 7-seat SUV that aims to work smarter rather than harder and is still a difficult option to ignore in its segment.

Background

Ever since the original version of this Q7 was first launched in 2007, it's been a vehicle that middle-England families have always rather liked but, if truth were told, felt a bit awkward about owning, the MK1 Q7's sheer size, power and weight hardly in keeping with these eco-conscious times. The MK2 model, launched in 2015, then revised in 2019, improved things, thanks to a lighter platform shared with premium brands like Bentley and Porsche. But this car was still a huge thing. And remains that way in the improved form we look at here, revised in early 2024. These days, with Mild Hybrid engines the Q7 claims to have a better eco-footprint, enabling you to consider one with a clearer conscience. Which is nice because for many - ourselves included - there remains something tantalisingly tempting about this big Audi. The way it dominates the road as it'll dominate your driveway. You'll want to justify buying one - but will you be able to? Let's find out.

Driving Experience

There are no changes to the conventional engines used by this revised Q7. As before, the range is built around 48-volt mild hybrid engine technology and offers a choice of five powerplants. There are still two diesel options; the 231PS 45 TDI variant or the more popular 50 TDI 286PS diesel powerplant. It's one of Audi's best, creamy smooth, superbly refined and generally torquey, equipped with 600Nm of pulling power. Alternatively, there's a 340PS 3.0-litre petrol engine, badged 55 TFSI. You've also the option of Audi's Plug-in Hybrid tech, a 55 TFSI e model now oimproved with 394PS and a larger 25.9kWh battery that stretches EV range to 52 miles. At the top of the range, the 507PS petrol-powered SQ7 V8 TFSI model is still available. Since his second generation Q7 was first launched, Audi's worked on the drive dynamics to make the car more manoeuvrable, precise and agile in urban traffic and on hairpin bends, particularly in top 'Vorsprung' specification which includes all-wheel-steering as standard. That allows the car to turn into corners quicker and be more manoeuvrable at parking speeds. Adaptive air suspension is standard across the range. This provides variable ground clearance and better prepares the Audi Q7 with its standard quattro drive for terrain off the beaten track. The relevant offroad mode can be selected via the standard 'Audi drive select' dynamic handling system with its seven profiles. 'Black Edition' and 'Vorsprung' versions are equipped with the slightly tauter adaptive air suspension sport with a lower ride height than the standard air suspension system.

Design and Build

This further revised version of the second generation Q7 features smarter bumpers front and rear and some lighting upgrades. The headlamps can now be specified with HD Matrix LED units featuring different lighting signatures and the brand's 'Laser' high-beam system. While at the rear, there are striking OLED tail lamp clusters. There are redesigned wheels too, with sizes between 20 and 22-inches. The large octagon Singleframe grille continues and as before, three seating rows are standard. Inside, there are fresh trim, leather and stitching options, plus the screen tech gets updated software and graphics. Otherwise, Audi's so-called 'luxury lounge' cabin architecture remains as before. You're going to need to like screens because the 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 12.3-inch 'Audi Virtual Cockpit' instrument binnacle screen you view through the three-spoke wheel. Provision for cabin storage isn't ideal, both the central bin between the seats and the door pockets being somewhat restricted in size, but the driving position is virtually faultless and the seats are supportive with heating and standard 4-way lumbar support. As before, versus its direct competitors, the Q7 has a greater interior length as well as more headroom and elbow room in the front and rear. 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. An electric tailgate is standard and when the optional 'Comfort and Sound pack' is specified it also brings foot-activated gesture control for even easier opening. Versatility is further increased by the standard 'rear bench seat plus', which adds individual fore/aft movement and backrest angle adjustment for the middle seating row.

Market and Model

Expect to be paying from just under £67,000 to around £111,000 for your Q7, depending on the variant you want. For that, you'd want a very high standard of specification - and this Q7 doesn't disappoint. There are three trim levels - 'S line', 'Black Edition' and 'Vorsprung'. Even base 'S line' variants get fully digitised instrumentation and the 'MMI navigation plus' infotainment package delivers top-of-the-line connectivity by incorporating LTE Advanced streaming, a Wi-Fi hotspot, natural voice control and the extensive Audi connect portfolio, opening up everything from online traffic information and navigation with Google Earth to hybrid radio. The cloud-based Amazon voice service Alexa, which is integrated into the MMI operating system, is also included. Top 'Vorsprung' variants include just about everything you could possibly want. With 22-inch wheels, S line detailing and a black styling pack, they show the remodelled Q7 body in its most impactful light and their powered soft-close doors set the tone for the exceptional comfort and luxury within. Occupants are treated to ultra-supportive front super sport seats with diamond-stitched Valcona leather upholstery, climate control and a massage function, plus an extended leather pack taking in the door pull handles, armrests and lower door trim, the front centre console trim and the underside of the instrument panel. Seat heating is also expanded to the second row, and attention is even lavished on the roof, which gains a soft-touch Alcantara headlining. The brand's 3D BOSE surround sound system is also installed to fill the interior with virtually cinematic sound quality.

Cost of Ownership

The mild hybrid technology plays a major part in the efficiency of the engines on offer here. It can reduce consumption by up to 0.7 litres per 100 kilometres. Its central component, the belt alternator starter (BAS), powers a 48-volt main electrical system in which a compact lithium-ion battery stores the energy. During braking, the BAS can recover up to 8kW of power and feed it back into the battery. If the driver eases off the accelerator at speeds of between 34mph and 99mph, the Audi Q7 recuperates energy, rolls at idle or coasts for up to 40 seconds with the engine switched off. The BAS restarts the engine the next time the accelerator is depressed, and does so faster and more gently than a conventional starter. The startstop range begins at 13mph. This works with a clever starter motor / generator system and allows the car to coast at both high and low speeds using 48V electrical assistance. All of this tech is important because there's a lot of weight to carry around here and this improved Q7 rides on larger wheels (20-inches rather than 19-inches), which is why its efficiency figures aren't actually quite as good as the previous model. You can expect a combined cycle reading of around 32-33mpg for the diesels (down from around 36mpg) and around 22-25mpg for the V6 and V8 petrol variants. If you want to do better, consider the 55 TFSI e Plug-in hybrid variant, which now has a 25.9kWh battery with a 51 mile EV range. As before, all models have an unremarkable 3 year 60,000 mile warranty.

Summary

Here's a big Audi SUV that, in an eco-conscious world, you could still own proudly, rather than slightly awkwardly. A statement of technology and innovation with electronic intuition anticipating needs you didn't know you had. As well as simply a very plush and practical way to transport your household just about anywhere. In this revised form, it certainly looks the part, the badge works for the boardroom, it's as capable off road as most will ever need and the seven-seat format is fine for families. True, there are rival large SUVs that are better to drive in this segment - but none of them are as practical. And yes, there are certainly others that are significantly cheaper - but none of them are as advanced. In summary, we're left with a car that's remains a key part of Ingolstadt's SUV line-up. Audi are certainly aware that a model of this kind can never be completely eco-centric, but as they've proved in this case, there's certainly plenty that can be done to reduce its environmental impact. In short, what we have here is simply this: a lesson in Vorsprung durch Technik.

  • Operating buttons in Matte black
  • Power operated tailgate
  • Start/stop system
  • Audi music interface - front 2 USB-C ports with charger and data functions
  • DAB digital radio module
  • Black exhausts
  • Black roof rails
  • Loading edge protection in stainless steel
  • Rear side wing doors
  • Black cloth headlining
  • Comfort front centre armrest
  • Illuminated door sill trims with S logo
  • Luggage compartment cover
  • Luggage compartment sill protection in stainless steel
  • Stainless steel pedals
  • Tool kit
  • Black styling pack plus - Q7
  • Tech Pack - Q7
  • 3 point seatbelts on all rear seats
  • Audi pre sense front
  • Child locks on rear doors
  • Convenience key with safelock and gesture tailgate
  • Driver and front passenger, front side and curtain airbags
  • Extended pedestrian protection measures
  • Seatbelt reminder
  • Tyre pressure loss indicator
  • Warning triangle and first aid kit
  • Anti theft alarm with tow away protection
  • Anti-theft wheel bolts and wheel loosening detection
  • Keyless Go
  • Remote central locking
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 22
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Charge Time (Mins): 745
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Percentage Change: 0-100
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Power Supply - kW: 2.3
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Charge Time (Mins): 225
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Percentage Change: 0-100
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Power Supply - kW: 7
  • Battery Leased: False
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • Charging Port Location: Left Side Rear
  • Coupler/Connector Type: Type 2
  • Maximum Charging Rate - kW: 11
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Mileage: 100000
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Years: 8
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb: 84
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb - TEH: 80
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb - TEL: 84
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb: 52
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb - TEH: 50
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb - TEL: 52
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb: 29
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb - TEH: 31
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb - TEL: 29
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • CC: 2995
  • Engine Code: 4MQC23
  • Engine Layout: NORTH SOUTH
  • Fuel Delivery: TURBO DIRECT INJECTION
  • Gears: 8 SPEED
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb: 1.3
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb - TEH: 1.4
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb - TEL: 1.3
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb: 217.3
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb - TEH: 201.8
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb - TEL: 217.3
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Badge Engine CC: 3.0
  • Badge Power: 394
  • Based On ID: N
  • Coin Description: TFSI e Quattro
  • Coin Series: Black Edition [Tech]
  • Generation Mark: 2
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 50E
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 5.7
  • Engine Power - BHP: 394
  • Engine Power - KW: 290
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Power - RPM: 5200
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 443
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 61.2
  • Engine Torque - NM: 600
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1370
  • Top Speed: 149
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 285/40 R21
  • Tyre Size Rear: 285/40 R21
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Style: 5 TWIN SPOKE MODULE
  • Wheel Type: 21" ALLOY
  • Height: 1690
  • Height (including roof rails): 1748
  • Length: 5072
  • Wheelbase: 2999
  • Width (including mirrors): 2212
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 75
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 3100
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1863
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 563
  • Max. Loading Weight: 715
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 3500
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 2385
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 12.5