Audi revolutionised the premium SUV segment in India when they first launched the massive Q7, instantly becoming the vehicle of choice for industrialists and Bollywood stars. Owing to its immense road presence and a long list of features, the luxury SUV went on to become one of the largest selling full-sized SUVs in India. However, all good things come to an end and even the Q7 came to an end of its lifecycle. Audi being an aggressive player in the market, has launched the all-new Q7 which comes with more power, more features and more comfort.
On the exterior front, the new Audi Q7 continues to boast of the large Audi signature grille upfront which adds a whole lot of character to the car. The headlights are sleek and sharp and the LED elements look very striking when viewed closely. The side profile looks very clean and classy and also reveals the length of the car. The rear is again premium-looking and the tail-lamps too have a lot of detailing in them.
The older Q7 looked very tall and macho and the newer model that we sampled here looks a bit tamed down in comparison. While road presence is still good and the car is massive as ever, it doesn’t exude the rugged feel that the older car had. However, you do get a height-adjustable suspension which increases the height of the car, giving the car a go-anywhere feel.
Moving to the interiors, the new Audi Q7 has really won our hearts here. The cabin shouts of richness, and materials used everywhere look and feel really classy. Germans are known to have some of the best interiors and this SUV is no different. The steering wheel is all-new and feels very comfortable to hold. The equipment list is longer than your mom’s grocery list and there is hardly any feature that is missing in this car.
What we really loved was the sharp instrument cluster (known as Virtual Cockpit) which not only looks modern, but also packs in a whole lot of useful information that the driver can read. We also like how Audi has integrated navigation into the instrument cluster thus helping the driver drive the car without moving his eyes off the road. The centre console comes with very few buttons and there is a 7.0-inch screen at the top for the infotainment system. The seats are nice and comfortable and outward visibility is excellent too.
The second generation Audi Q7 is powered by a 3.0-litre TDI V6 diesel engine (there is also a 2.0-litre petrol on offer) that produces 245 HP of power and a massive 600 Nm of torque. The engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission and it goes from 0-100 km/hr in just 6.7 seconds which is pretty quick for an SUV of this size. The engine has a lot of punch which is evident from driving the car under varied road conditions. The Q7 responds very swiftly to throttle inputs and once the turbo kicks in, the car just flies.
Audi offers a bunch of driving modes like Auto, All-Road, Off-Road, Comfort, Dynamic and Individual to choose from. The comfort mode is best when you’re driving in the city or just cruising on the highway. If you’re in the mood to drive spiritedly, then the dynamic mode makes perfect sense. The 8-speed gearbox is a joy to use and is very smooth in its operations. It changes gears quickly and even offers a Sport mode along with a Manual mode. In Manual mode, you can shift gears using the gear knob or the steering-mounted paddle-shifters.
Attacking corners is fun in the Q7 inspite of it being an SUV (it has lost 325 kgs over its predecessor). It comes with fat rubber which offers a lot of grip but there is some amount of body roll which is hard to miss in an SUV. The soft suspension makes the car have a lot of vertical movement on bad roads while brakes have super sharp bite.
The Audi Q7 is priced between Rs. 96 lakhs to Rs. 1.03 crores (on-road, Mumbai) and it competes with cars like the Mercedes GLS, Volvo XC90, Range Rover Sport and BMW X5. If you are looking for a premium SUV that offers a lot of snob value, tons of features, great quality, more than enough power and sporty looks, then the second-generation Audi Q7 makes a lot of sense and turns out to be a very good contender in the premium luxury SUV space in India.