AUDI Q7

FIRST AUSSIE DRIVE

CAMERON KIRBY

RIDING ON AIR IS NOW STANDARD FARE

FIRST AUSSIE DRIVE

Audi has treated its big family hauler to a midlife update, adding new standard equipment, fresh styling cues, greater ride refinement, and increased price tags across the range. Three non  Audi Sport models remain, but the diesel-hybrid e-tron has been replaced by a new S-line variant.

Prices are up by between $4000 and $6000, with the cheapest Q7 45 TDI now costing $101,900. The mid-spec 50 TDI is $112,900, while the new 50 TDI quattro S Line is $119,900.

Audi says it has offset the taller ask by including between $15,000 and $20,000 of additional standard equipment, depending on the variant.

Every Q7 now scores adaptive cruise, multi-zone climate control, matrix LED headlights, wireless Apple CarPlay, a 360 degree parking camera and Audi connect plus. Stepping up to the 50 TDI brings a panoramic roof, head-up display, and four-zone climate.

Audi’s strong 3.0-litre turbocharged diesel V6 engine carries over from prefacelift in two states of tune. Outputs are up slightly to 170kW/500Nm in the 45 TDI, and 210kW/600Nm for the 50 TDI. Mated to an eight-speed auto, power is sent to all four corners.

This powertrain is a major reason to pick the Q7 over its competitors. Both tunes are grunty, smooth, refined, and drink fuel at such a rate that you can easily add 1000km to the odo without stopping for fuel. Truly a delight.

Adaptive air suspension is now standard across the entire Q7 range. This is a boon as it was previously a $4950 option and was a ‘must tick’ box to deliver a plush and cosseting ride.

Stylistically, the updated Q7 can be picked from a line-up at your local farmer’s market by its new head- and tail-light designs, its single frame grille, and revised bumpers.

Inside the updated Q7 is richly trimmed and has been injected with the screen-heavy design you get in the flagship Q8. Haptic feedback means the screens are easy to use when mobile and the dual screen set-up elevates the luxe feel of the cabin. Pity the screens are fingerprint magnets.

The Q7 has space to comfortably carry seven passengers, thanks to its electric folding third row of seats, but adults are best suited to the fore pews. The boot is spacious at 865 litres.

Audi hasn’t completely eliminated its expensive options list. Need to haul your boat to the holiday home? That’ll be $1500 for a tow bar and wiring (that doesn’t include the tongue and ball) to make use of the 3500kg towing capacity.

While there’s no denying this is still an expensive luxury SUV, the Q7’s space and refinement offers strong value, compared to slightly larger rivals like the BMW X7 and Mercedes GLS.

CAMERON KIRBY

PLUS

Powerhouse engine & gearbox combo; plush ride and refinement

MINUS

Third row tighter than rivals; expensive options

Model Audi Q7 50 TDI

Engine 2967cc V6, dohc, 24v, turbo diesel

Max power 210kW @ 3500-4000rpm

Max torque 600Nm @ 2250-3250rpm

Transmission 8-speed automatic

Weight 2240kg

0-100km/h 6.5sec (claimed)

Economy 6.8L/100km

Price $112,900

On sale Now