Designing a car is so easy! First you need to make a design, then modify it to make it appealing like your boss wants. Then redesign some elements to make it flexible to meet the crash norms. Then decide the materials that need to be used on it. Then there will be issues for performance, fuel-efficiency, ride quality, handling. If that is not enough, different governments will only hound you to lower the fuel emissions. Thats very simple. Now, its time to
get a bit serious. One such vehicle is the new-generation Audi Q7. After tasting success for the first generation,Audi got the second-gen Q7 that is a lot more sporty, stylish and contemporary. Now before the governments of the world could step in and ask about the CO2 emissions, for India now it seems engine size only matters not what it emits.
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.
INTERIOR AND COMFORT ;
This 2016 version of Q7 has an improved cockpit design that is quite arresting. Its dashboard is refurbished and is housed with various new equipments. One of the most significant improvements is the new infotainment system featuring a high resolution touchscreen display. Meanwhile, it is incorporated with ergonomically designed seats, which are well cushioned and covered with Cricket leather upholstery. These are integrated with adjustable head restraints and individual arm rests as well. The front seats have electrically adjusting facility along with memory function that adds to the convenience level. It also comes with a large boot space, which can be increased by folding its rear seat and it comes with rear parcel shelf and trunk room light for easy access. The luggage compartment lid comes with electric opening and closing function. Then it has a 4-spoke, leather wrapped steering wheel with 14 multifunction keys mounted on it. There are also bottle holders present on front and rear doors. It has sun visors with both side illuminated vanity mirrors, which has folding function as well. The cruise control function maintains a steady speed on the highways as set by the driver. There are a couple of drink holders in front center console, while two in rear center arm rest and side panels. Apart from these, it is bestowed with all four power windows with driver side auto down function, automatically dimmed internal rear view mirror, speed limiter, velour floor mats, smoke package, ambient lighting, easy pack tailgate, temperature controlled cup holders and many other such aspects.
This model series has several advanced comfort features to ensure a fatigue-free traveling experience. It includes the advanced parking system plus for simplified parking and has an auto hold function that adds to the convenience factor. The advanced four zone deluxe automatic air conditioning unit with rear vents cools the cabin in no time and creates a pleasant ambiance. It electronically regulates the air temperature, rate of air flow and distribution to keep the ambiance pleasant. It also has separate temperature control for driver and front co-passenger and its controls are given on digital display. One of its most important feature is the Drive Select function that aids in adjusting the driving characteristics. Its pre-sense basic helps in networking the different vehicle systems that enables driving situations to be categorized and actions to be implemented for preventing occupants. The MMI radio plus featuring Bluetooth interface, Audi sound system and a 7-inch color display are other highlights. This SUV is also integrated with an advanced cruise control with brake intervention system that maintains the set speed constant, while dealing with obstructions ahead. Another interesting element is the panoramic glass sunroof that can be electrically operated. Besides these, it also has electrical sun blind for rear windscreen, driver information system, front center arm rest, electric luggage compartment cover, Audi phone box, and various storage compartments. All these features put together make it one of the most comfortable vehicle in its segment.
ENGINE AND GEARBOX ;
The new Q7 comes powered by an updated version of the older model’s 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine and also carries forward its eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission. And of course, there’s Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system too. The engine’s been made more efficient, quieter and more powerful. Peak power sees a jump to 245bhp from 241bhp and max torque is now a stronger 61kgm versus the older Q7’s 56kgm. All things being equal, the power and torque increments would have typically resulted in slightly better performance. But here, you get the additional benefit of the weight saving. Performance, as a result, is shockingly good. On a mildly damp surface, we managed a 0-100kph time of just 6.95 seconds and a sub-10 second time to 120kph. For the ‘standard’ version of a 5-metre-long, seven-seat luxury SUV, the numbers are just incredible. Just to put things in perspective, if you wanted such performance in the past, you’d need to opt for the 335bhp, 4.2-litre V8 diesel-powered Q7. See the performance table to know how close they are.
But it’s not only when you are driving at full throttle that the new Q7 and its powertrain feel special. Right from the time you prod the accelerator the first time, you’ll notice the big Audi feels more energetic, moves with more vigour and generally feels lighter on its feet than its predecessor did. There’s even greater urgency with the Drive Select system (it adjusts engine-gearbox responsiveness in addition to steering feedback and suspension settings) set to Dynamic. What’s more, the engine doesn’t make a song and dance about its newfound abilities. Refinement is superb and there’s rarely ever more than a cultured hum from the engine bay.
The gearbox that strives to keep engine revs as low as possible also deserves a mention here. What’s more, the gearbox also goes about its business with great fluidity, adjusts admirably well to sudden changes in throttle position and is responsive enough to tugs at the paddles. To really nitpick, I wish the gearbox didn’t shift up automatically at the mere sight of 4,600rpm, at least in ‘S’ mode. I also hope the gear lever that seems straight out of a luxury yacht is an option – it looks better than it is to use.
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.
After driving the new Audi Q7 extensively, we have realised that the German carmaker is targeting a wider audience. That’s because the new Q7 has a multifaceted character that covers most of the important aspects. For instance, it is suitable for the station wagon loving European market offering great practicality and space but with the driving feel of a sedan. The Q7 also manages to conquer rough terrains very well with its hi-tech quattro system, so buyers looking for a capable off-roader can consider the Q7. It is an extremely comfortable SUV for your family specially on Indian road conditions. The new Q7 is quite big in size but once you get behind the wheel, it’s not an intimidating SUV to drive and instead quite fun with its sorted dynamics. Anyone from any age group be it young or old, male or female can easily adapt to the driving manners of the new Q7. However, we still miss the muscular and butch appearance of the outgoing Q7. Otherwise, the new Audi Q7 is a gem of an SUV in this price bracket.