Audi’s second-generation Q7 is now available for sale in South Africa. The bigger SUV – measuring just over five metres long and 1,97 metres wide – is now actually up to 325kg lighter than its predecessor, thanks to the extensive use of aluminium.
Mzansi may not be one of the top 10 sales destinations for Audi, but it certainly features in the top 20 – at 19 in fact. This new Q7 aims to improve that position and take sales away from its two chief German competitors. Over 4 800 units have been sold locally since 2006.
The exterior is characterised by the distinctive single-frame Audi grille, a long body frame, chiselled side profile and a wrap-around tailgate. Taillights are of LED origin and feature a double arrow design, while the front end can be specified with full LED or Matrix LED headlights.
The Q7 has always been the largest in its class and this one is no exception. A wheelbase of almost 3 metres is quite impressive, while a 7-seat option can be ordered. Boot capacity ranges from 825 litres with all seats up to 2 075 litres when the rear seats are folded.
Yes, quattro all-wheel-drive is standard across the range, but this is not a serious off-roader. It can handle minor trips off the beaten track, but ask of it nothing hectic. The body can be electronically raised or lowered to suit the prevailing driving conditions.
Our drive in the car, mainly at the Hayward Camp Site within the Dinokeng Game Reserve outside Pretoria, demonstrated great road manners, a quiet cabin, high levels of interior comfort and a powerful engine.
Audi is only selling the Q7 with two engines at the moment. We drove the new 3.0-litre TDI producing 183kW and 600Nm of torque, averaging a claimed 5,7 litres per 100km and a 0-100km/h sprint time of 6,3 seconds. The second engine is the 2.0-litre TFSI worth 185kW and 370Nm. It’s only expected to arrive in January 2016. Both come standard with an 8-speed automatic gearbox.
The spacious interior is of top-drawer quality, decked out in leather, brushed aluminium and other materials. It offers quite an airy feeling of openness, especially when fitted with the optional panoramic sunroof.
The MMI infotainment system comes with a new 21cm touch screen interface for all your needs, such as satellite navigation, music, climate control and other functions. Bose and Bang & Olufsen provide the sound systems.
Audi’s all-new Q7 is certainly a desirable, large SUV with a classy interior and impressive features and it will no doubt do well in our market. We don’t yet know if there will be a negative impact on sales due to the very limited model menu though.
Q7 3.0 TDI quattro – R924 000