With more than a decade been around, Q7 has become a brand in itself. It has minted lot of fortunes for Audi and even though signs of age start surfacing on its big and brawny proportions, there is no abatement in its demand. Still leaving nothing to chance, Audi has launched second generation Q7 in India. The global debut of the new model has already been happened few months back though Indian arrival culminated just a couple of days back.
Audi has thrown its heart in making Q7 special and making it a machine that remains desirable on both value and aesthetic fronts. Lots of technology and intensive weight reduction steps are taken to carve out new Q7 which now sheds more than 325 kg of weight compared to its predecessor. Its exteriors have changed, interiors are reimagined, and with powerful yet efficient motor, it now pleases the environment crusaders too. So how new Audi stacks up against the rivals and more importantly to its predecessor; we get you all from behind its wheels.
Design, Style and Interiors
On the outside, new Q7 is nimbler and athletic in its turn-out. Unlike its predecessor which was heavy and bulky, new model is comparatively leaner. Audi states than new model is 325 kg lighter than outgoing which really amounts to huge weight saving. Use of aluminum in chassis construction along with weight cutting measures applied all over including on the suspension and cooling mechanism have led to such a drastic reduction in weight. Upfront, there is new single frame hexagonal grille which extends deep into bottom. Rectangular headlamps are slimmer and tightly tucked into the housings. Wheel arches are flattened too to make for more cohesive and leaner look. Profile is very much similar to older model, albeit the efforts to contain bulkiness are quite apparent. At the rear, cleaner tail lamps and large rear windscreen rounds off the look of Q7. Dimensionally, Q7 has grown though wheelbase got shrunk in the process. However, with wider and taller stance, there is much more room for the occupants. Boot space is good with all three rows upright though fold down the rear bench if you want to accommodate large cargos.
Inside the cabin, Audi has upped the game with the use of new textures, colors and appliques. Fit and finish is above asking and so is the overall ergonomics of the car. Compared to earlier version, driver sits lower in new Q7 though that doesn't hinder the front view. Large glass area and snug seats offer abundance of outside visibility. There us lot of gadgetry spilled around the cabin which includes Audi's drive select, pop up screen with virtually every control, allaround parking assist with 360 degree camera and Bose music system for uplifting the moods. Space-wise Q7 surprises with its sheer roominess, especially at front two rows. Driver and front passenger have loads of room and so are true for the second room occupants. The third row is a bit squeeze and with spare tire mounted in the third bench, squeezing seventh passengers inside is not possible. You need to unmount the spare wheel to hem in the extra passenger.
Engine, Transmission & Driving Dynamics
New Q7 is powered by both petrol and diesel engines globally though in India, only 3.0-litre diesel engine is available. The oil-burner is quite refined unit and a gutsy performer too. Power and torque output is rated at 270 PS and 61 kg-m of torque respectively. Both these figures have seen considerable jump from the previous figures. It's not just the ful throttle response that feel more energetic but even the pod on the throttle feels special. 8-speed tiptronic transmission deserves special mention here. Its very refined, fluid and gets its work done without any fuss.
Ride and handling compromise is the area where Q7 is miles ahead of its predecessor. It really feels like a sedan than a big SUV. It rides with quite a cushioning effect and absorbs all the road undulations with aplomb. Handling is specifically improved as weight reduction and taught chassis has done the trick for the Q7.
So, this sums up our review of new Audi Q7. The new SUV feels leaps ahead of its previous generation. The designing has evolved, cabin is crafted deftly, engine feels more fulfilling, and it really handles like a dream. Priced at Rs 72 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi & Mumbai), the Q7 sets new benchmarks in several areas. The only apprehension we have is whether we Indians, who are fan of big and bulky will like the dynamic and leaner look of new model. Except this, new Q7 is undoubtedly a dream machine to own.
Style & Substance 3/5 Ride & Handling 4/5
Interiors & Ergonomics: 3.5/5 Safety & Equipment 3.5/5
Power-Plant & Transmission 4/5 Fuel Efficiency 3/5
Value for Money 3.5/5