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Test Drive: Audi Q7's got the power to fuel sales

The Audi Q7 has been revised with new features inside and out.

Audi Q7
Audi Q7

It’s surprising just how frugal big cars can be when developed by the right manufacturer.

Take Audi’s Q7 – revised last year with new features inside and out and now available with a lower powered engine to cut fuel consumption.

At launch last August the car was only available with a 3.0-litre, 272bhp V6 diesel but now there’s an alternative 3.0-litre with just 218bhp, so the price tag is cheaper.

And the newcomer is capable of averaging almost 50 miles per gallon despite its hefty dimensions.

The impressive economy is helped by the fact that the second generation Q7 has not only been restyled but also slimmed down, loosing around 326kg in weight compared to its predecessor and a little bit of length and width too.

That weight loss means that even if you opt for the lower powered engine you will not be disappointed by the car’s performance, with it having the ability to race to 62 miles per hour from standstill in a very brisk 7.3 seconds before topping out at 134mph.

More: Test Drive: Latest Audi A4 has got more road presence

The latest model has retained some of the basic shape of the earlier Q7, despite being totally new from the tyres up, while at the same time achieving a sharper, more toned body.

Inside there are still seven seats but now the two rear seats can be raised into position electronically from a flat position in the luggage floor simply by pushing a switch beneath the powered tailgate.

They are really designed more for children but a not-too-tall adult could certainly use them for a short distance. To the pub, for example, if there’s a group of you going.

Audi Q7
Audi Q7

And the three seats in the middle row can be moved forwards or backwards to create more leg room or more luggage space depending upon the occasion.

Either way passengers can enjoy limousine-like space to stretch out on the move.

As the flagship of Audi’s Q range the Q7 offers plenty of luxury as standard and enough hi-tech wizardry to keep most petrol heads happy.

Features include luxury leather upholstery, heated front seats which are electronically adjustable in every direction, tasteful ambient lighting, a hill descent system and a fighter pilot-style head-up display. The list is almost endless.

For those who want more there is a long line up of optional extras, and my quattro test car came with everything from Matrix LED headlights – which give superb light while keeping the driver ahead of you in shadow – for a cool £2,450 to a rear view camera at £500.

More: Test Drive: 999cc Audi punches well above its weight

On the road the big V6, which is mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, responds instantly and with power in abundance despite the two tonnes it is lugging around.

What you don’t expect from such a large car is the agility which makes the Q7 more car-like than SUV-like to drive.

It’s a car you can’t help but like because it has so much space inside for people and luggage yet drives and handles like a high performance coupe. And that’s without mentioning the tenacious grip it has on the road thanks to Audi’s four-wheel-drive quattro system.

When it comes to getting your luggage in there’s some 770 litres of space with all the seats in use rising to a massive 1,955 litres with the second and third rows folded down. And that has to be enough for anyone – even if you are packing for a cruise.

Fast Facts

Model: Audi Q7 Quattro SE

Price: £46,925

Mechanical: 2,967cc, 218 bhp diesel engine driving all wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox.

Max speed: 134 mph

0-62mph: 7.4 secs

Combined mpg: 48.7

CO2 emissions: 150 g/km

Insurance: 40

BiK: 28 %

Warranty: 3 years/ 60,000miles


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