Audi Q7 SUV (2015 -) Comfort

Review by Graeme Lambert on
Last Updated: 08 Oct 2015
4
Since it was introduced in 2006 the Audi Q7 has found over 500,000 homes, and finally, nine years later, an all-new model has arrived on UK shores. To most – beauty is in the eye of the beholder after all – this Q7 is anything but a ‘looker’ yet this new car promises to be the best to drive and most technically advanced SUV from the firm yet.

4.5 out of 5

Comfort

If there’s something it does well, then Audi Q7 comfort is definitely it – it’s a resolutely easy car to drive, and with the air suspension it’s supple and softly sprung, even with larger wheels. Combined with a distinct lack of wind or road noise, it means the Q7 is perfectly refined at speed and an ideal vehicle for covering long distances in.

The engines, while not the most exhilarating units, are quiet too with a linear spread of their power and hushed engine note – most likely thanks to the sound deadening employed in the car’s structure. A smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic gearbox, both at docile speeds and more committed velocities, further increases the sensation of comfort.

Choose the electrically adjustable seats, which also offer a heating and ventilating function, and it won’t take long for front-seat passengers to find their ideal driving position either. And those suffering from any aches and pains will delight in the massage function, with various choices of treatment on the move.

Those in the middle row of seats will find themselves flooded with space too, and only the broadest of adults will feel pinched sat three-abreast in the middle row. Of course the rearmost pair of chairs, are only meant for children. They will accommodate full-grown adults, but a long journey would likely prove cramp-inducing.

4 out of 5

Practicality

In the UK Audi Q7 practicality is bolstered by the standard-fit seven-seat option which along with ISOFIX mounting points across all chairs allows a driver to carry up to six children in safety and comfort. Of course the rearmost seats are more suited for children than adults, especially on long journeys, but those of a six-foot tall disposition will still physically fit.

It’s when sitting in rows one or two that you’ll enjoy the most space though, headroom and shoulder room having increased over previous with generous amounts of legroom on offer too. Sliding the middle bench fore and aft can alter this to tip the balance in the favour of those in the rearmost pair if needs be. The rear row can be electrically-lowered from buttons placed in the boot.

Loading large items into the boot is made easier by a sill that is 48mm lower than before. Use all the seats available and boot space suffers accordingly, but dropping the third row means there is 770 litres of space on offer. Fold all seats flat into the floor and load the Q7 up to the roof and that already impressive number climbs to 1,955 litres, which makes the Audi Q7 something of a well-trimmed van in carrying capacity terms.

If customers take advantage of the Audi Connect system and online services they can stay in touch with the world on the move, plus a mobile wifi hotspot means passengers can surf the web wherever they are in the world from within the Q7’s luxury confines.

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How does the boot space compare?

500 litres
480 litres
316 litres
Audi Q7 SUV (15 on)
235 litres
4.5 out of 5

Behind the wheel

Typically Audi in its formation, the dashboard layout and structure is clean, simple and features a flowing surface - dominated by the full-length air vent - that suggests it’s been hewn from a solid element rather than constructed from various components. And while it doesn’t look as exciting, as vibrant or as intricate as some found in rival SUVs, the feeling of quality is clear.

And there’s no lack of technology or gadgetry on board, when you settle behind the wheel the first thing you’re likely to notice is the optional Virtual Cockpit system. This full width TFT display replaces ‘standard’ instrument dials with a fully customisable digital representation that can alter from audio, navigation, trip computer to simple real-time speed and engine information. Unlike the TT, which does without a traditional central screen atop the dashboard, the Q7’s Virtual Cockpit is merely augmented by this system.

There’s a new development of the firm’s MMI system too, with an extra-large touchpad controller sat forward of the automatic gear lever with traditional rotary controller nestled neatly into its trailing edge. It’s as simple to use as before, with an added degree of haptic feedback when using it, and anyone familiar with Audi’s products will find it entirely intuitive.

Material quality is impeccable, as we’ve come to expect from Audi, with finely detailed information screens, neatly formed switchgear and plush plastics and seat materials. And regardless of which seat option you choose, it’s easy to get comfortable behind the wheel of the Q7 thanks to masses of adjustment in both the steering wheel and seat.