Audi’s most celebrated model, ‘Q7’ has eventually shed its old skin to get into new attire. Embodying numerous overhauls, the premium SUV looks fresh, leaner and newer. The emphasis on newer clearly hints at the dissimilarity between current model and its predecessor. With almost all areas being revised, Audi has not left any parameter untouched. One of the most prominent changes made to the SUV is the trimmed dimensions that said, the length, width and height have been sliced considerably. Use of new components and a much lighter chassis courtesy MLB 2 platform has skimmed a substantial amount of weight from the new Q7. Styling changes on the exteriors blend with the leaner body. Most of the revamp job is done on front profile, with apt styling make over bestowed on side and rear. Tweaks made are extended to interiors too, implying Audi’s intent to endow Q7’s cabin with the best of what it can offer. Addition of new elements in the cabin lend an all new look, a couple of new features and an all new cockpit along with much spacious third row makes do for the chopped dimensions. Engine set up remains intact but there is a change in the state of power produced. The 3.0 litre, V6 diesel powerplant, eight-speed torque converter automatic gearbox and Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system continue fulfilling mechanical duties. The boost in power output on the other hand works in favour of Q7, pumping up performance. The new edition is not just a smarter version but it is tuned to offer better off-road driving experience.
DESIGN AND STYLE ;
Take a look at the new Q7 and you will instantly realize that it has shaded lots of weight and looks sharper and slimmer compared to the previous model and it is definitely is a leap ahead. The Q7 is not the prettiest SUV around in the market but the sharp lines and creases surely makes it an attention grabber.
The new Q7 not only has loosen some of its overall weight but also is 37 mm shorter and 15 mm narrower but that does not mean that it has less space inside infact the Q7 is actually more spacious now because there is 21 mm of additional room in between the first and the second row seats, while the headroom has also increased by 41 mm. Towards the front the single frame grille is deeply sculpted and also features thicker crossbar, while the headlamp unit too looks sharper and either features xenon, LED or Matrix LED technology. While the daytime running lamps in particular integrated inside the headlamps units are shaped like arrow. The air intakes towards the lower bumper are also bigger in size and helps adding the aggressive as well as the sporty feel to the SUV.
Towards the side as we already mentioned above that it has became shorter in length than its predecessor while you will also notice that it has not really lost the muscular appeal. The exterior mirrors are still placed on the front doors shoulder. While towards the rear the steeply angled D pillar which has been a signature styling of almost all the Q models can also be seen even in this new SUV, the top end Q7 features dynamic turn signals while the rest gets standard LED lamps.Audi is also offering four completely new exterior colors along with 11 other exterior color options.
CABIN AND COMFORT ;
Walk in to the cabin of the new Audi Q7 and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the simple yet classy styling. The four-spoke steering wheel feels great to hold, it gets integrated buttons for cruise control and infotainment system along with the paddle shifts for changing gears. The updated all-digital instrument cluster has some fancy tricks up its sleeves. It shows an array of information related to the car and has a huge display for the navigation as well, nifty feature. The central part of the dashboard gets a seamless layout of AC vents across the panel. There is a layer of brushed aluminium below it and then a gloss wood panel followed by beige colour tones. The quality, fit and finish is just supreme as the buttons feel tactile to use and the materials feel premium when you touch anything.
The best part about the styling is that it’s very minimal and uncluttered yet looks fancy. Push the button to start the engine and a 8.2-inch infotainment screen pops out of the dash neatly. If you find it intrusive while driving, you have the choice to fold it down with a touch of a button. The interiors are driver focussed and you have all the controls within reach. The updated MMI system also gets a touch pad along with the rotary knob, which is very convenient to use as you can scribble names/numbers while driving. The Bluetooth connectivity is quite extensive as you get to access your contacts as well as music library. The Bose audio system churns out excellent quality music that was expected from a car in this class.
The ergonomics are top notch as you get an electrically adjustable steering wheel for both reach and rake as well as seats with memory function. There are quite a lot of storage bins to keep the cabin neat and tidy. The steering to the seat angle is quite confident inspiring and there is a good view of the road ahead for comfortable long drives. However, the driving position is a tad lower than what we thought considering it is an SUV. The leather seats get fantastic cushioning and support at the front. The rear seats are very spacious and offer ample legroom with good headroom and also enough shoulder room to accommodate third passenger in the middle who gets individual support cushioning unlike many other cars. The sad part about this seven seater is that it’s not a seven seater in India since it gets a spare wheel mounted in the boot that takes the space of the rear right seat of the third row. Boot space is good though and you have flexible seating options as all the seats are individually foldable.
The Q7 gets both diesel and petrol engine options under its hood. The most powerful engine that is available with the Q7 is a 3.0 Litre TDI unit which produces about 272 Hp of peak power and 600 Nm of torque. This engine unit helps the Q7 to accelerate from 0-100 Km/h mark in just 6.3 seconds while it has a top speed of 234 km/h mark. While the 3.0 Litre TFSI unit produces about 333 Hp of peak power and 440 Nm of torque. This engine unit helps Q7 to accelerate from 0-100 km/h mark in just 6.1 seconds while it has a top speed of 250 Km/h mark.There is also a second variant of the 3.0 Litre TDI also on offer which produces about 218 Bhp of peak power and 500 Nm of torque. While Audi will also offer a smaller 2.0 Litre TFSI engine which will produces about 252 Hp of peak power and 370 Nm of torque which has been specially designed for the Asian and the markets of USA.
What is even more interesting is the fact that the Q7 will also be available with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, the electric motor will be mated to a diesel unit. The diesel unit in particular will produce 258 Hp of peak power while the electric motor will separately develop about 94 Kw of power. Together the e-tron Q7 will deliver about 373 hp of peak power.Beside just the new powertrain option the Q7 also gets a newly developed, eight-speed tiptronic transmission which supplies power to all the 4 wheels.For the Indian market Audi has decided to launch the Q7 with the 3.0-liter TDI unit which is capable of producing about 272 Hp of peak power and 600 Nm of torque and like already mentioned above the engine is paired to an eight-speed tiptronic transmission which sends power to al the 4 wheels via the Audi Quattro all whel drive system.
RIDE AND HANDLING ;
Despite a curb weight of almost 5,000 pounds, the 2017 Audi Q7 is surprisingly maneuverable and nimble. Especially if the optional adaptive air suspension and four-wheel steering are specified, the Q7 drives as if it’s actually a size smaller, like Audi’s Q5. Even without the Adaptive Chassis option, though, the Q7 is sure-footed around turns and instills driver confidence thanks to strong, consistent brakes.This athleticism doesn’t come at the expense of ride quality, either. Rough pavement is effortlessly smoothed over, and the cabin remains blissfully quiet. When equipped with the V6, accelerating to highway speeds or passing is easy, and the responsive eight-speed transmission is a nice added touch. We haven’t had the opportunity to test the four-cylinder Q7 yet, but we will update the review with full details once we get behind the wheelJust as significant as what the driver can draw from the Q7 is what the car can do on its own. Combining existing technologies such as lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, forward-looking cameras and navigation information, the Q7 can help drivers considerably during congested freeway commutes or vast, unpopulated highway stretches by doing much of the driving on its own.
SAFETY AND SECURITY ;
There is a long list of protective facilities available in this model series, which gives maximum protection to the occupants sitting inside the cabin. All the seats have three point inertia seat belts with height adjustment, force limiter and pyrotechnic belt tensioners. There is also ISOFIX child seat mounting available for front passenger seat. This vehicle has full size driver and front passenger airbags with two stage deployment. It also has rear side airbags, while the head airbag system gives side impact protection to its occupants. The highly developed anti theft alarm system includes tow away protection and includes interior monitoring of doors, engine as well as luggage compartment. It includes reversing camera that shows the image on MMI display. The first aid kit is also available, which is quite useful in case of any untoward incident while driving. In addition to these, it includes a day and night anti glare internal rear view mirror, power door locks, tool kit and jack, tyre pressure monitoring display, crash sensor and an engine check warning. All these significant aspects makes it one of the safest vehicles in the country.
So to wrap up everything the Q7 definitely now is at par with its other competitors, it has shed lot of weight and now even has become more fuel efficient. For those who hated the bulky looks should definitely love the new and improved sharp looks of the new Q7. Inside too you get a new center console with lesser buttons which not only has made handling the MMI interface easier but kept the center console as well the dashboard clean. Under the hood you even get new engine options and moreover Audi too will add the e-tron variant soon to the lineup.The Q7 definitely has improved a lot compared to its predecessor and you definitely can get your hands on one.