2022 Audi Q7 Road Test Review – Premium Spirited Palace on Wheels

Q7 has been the flagship SUV model for Audi till the Q8 was launched. This full sized SUV has been known for its premium appeal and its go anywhere character. Some time back Audi discontinued the Q7 in India due to the BS-6 norms coming in place. Now the German car maker has got back the latest version of the Q7 into our markets. The SUV comes with a new heart and lots more which we find out all on in our review right here.

Food for Thought

Audi introduced the Q7 globally in 2005 at the Frankfurt auto show that went on sale in 2006. India saw the Q7 in 2007 as their initial models entering the country. Currently in its 2nd generation the Audi Q7 received a major facelift in 2020 that was delayed to come into India due to the pandemic situation. India will only get the petrol version of the Q7 for now. The Q7 is built on the Volkswagen groups MLB Evo platform that it shares with the Porsche Cayenne, Volkswagen Touareg, Audi Q8, Bentley Bentayga and the Lamborghini Urus. Apart from India the Q7 is built also in Slovakia and Russia. There also is the sportier version of the Q7 that is sold as the SQ7.

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Exteriors

Lot has changed on the outside of the updated 2022 Audi Q7. The face now is dominated with the new large sized Audi single frame grille that comes with six vertical chrome slats and chrome frame defining it. You also get front skid plate finished in metal on the new redesigned front bumper. The other major change on the face of the Q7 is the all new design Matrix headlamps that also get dynamic turn indicators placed in them along with new design LED DRL’s.

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Coming to the side profile it is here that you notice the sheer length of the Q7. Defining the sides are the large 19 inch 5-arm star design sporty looking alloys mounted with some meaty spec tyres. The soft flowing waist line kind off defines the premium appeal of the SUV along with the large glass area. You also get silver inserts with Quattro badging on the lower section of the doors along with practical step board finished in metal. Wing mirrors are XXL in size and the use of chrome around the glass area along with blacked out frames adds to the overall rich appeal. Flexed Wheel arches get the rounded styling along with body colored inserts around them. The roof comes with metal roof rails and an all glass panoramic roof top along with a neat little shark-fin antenna doing its job rather handsomely.

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The rear profile is largely highlighted with the stretched design all new design LED tail lights which have a progressive type of glow in them along with sweeping style LED turn lights. The rear bumper is also all new design and houses a pair of large slim stop reflectors. The lower section of the bumper gets loads of metal inserts defining it to appear like twin faux exhausts on either ends along with large sized skid plate finished in metal. The tail gate gets a thick chrome band that mates both the tail lights along with a large rear spoiler and wind diffusers that complete the styling at the rear.

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Interiors

The Q7 is an full sized SUV and to get into it you need to actually step on the stepboard and then climb in. Once inside you instantly notice the abundance of space in its cabin. Like the outside, the interiors of the New Q7 also gets lots of updates. The large sized dashboard made of soft premium rubbery material has a flat top while the front section has the unique single AC vent like styling that covers the entire width of it. The crash pad gets a premium looking glossy black paneling with metal inserts and Quattro badging on it. The key change on the dashboard is the inclusion of three color display screens – one is the 12.3 inch Virtual cockpit that is the highly informative digital instrument cluster that is highly customizable too reading out all the tell tale vitals of the SUV.

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The second display is the 10.1 inch touchscreen AVN system which is the latest generation MMI unit that comes with all the connectivity options like wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, Navigation, radio etc. The third screen is the 8.6 inch unit that works as the control unit for the 4 zone climate control.  The steering is a three spoke design unit with neat metal inlays, leather wrapping and mfd buttons placed on it. This steering can be manually adjusted for height and reach.  The centre console gets the transmission shifter that is finished in metal and leather and designed like an aircraft joystick. Loads of metal along with glossy black paneling make the centre console look classy and rich. You get the electro mechanical hand brake and the auto hold button again in metal finish placed here.  On the equipment list for the mobile devices is the wireless charging pad, USB C type charge ports and the 12V power outlets.

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The Audi Q7 comes powered with the B&O premium 3D sound system that pumps out 730W of rich sound that delivers music from 23 speakers inside the Q7s cabin. You also get adaptive windshield wipers, air quality package with air fragrance on the equipment list of the Technology variant that we drove.

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The upholstery on the Q7 is what Audi calls as Cricket Leather which is in beige color that looks and feels premium. Both the front seats get full electric adjust while the driver’s seat comes with memory function too. Middle row seats get three adjustable head rests , foldable armrest and rear AC vents with temperature and blower control. Two USB c type charge ports are also provided for the middle row passengers. Space on the front and middle row seats are in the XXL region with tons of head, shoulder and leg room available. You can slide the middle row seats and also adjust the back angle if needed. You also get manual sun curtain for the middle row glasses.

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The technology pack also gets two color touch screen displays placed behind the front seats for entertainment and infotainment.

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Getting into the third row is pretty easy due to the sheer size and space on the Q7’s cabin area. Seating here on the last row is a bit upright but space is decent with two head rests also made available to enhance comfort.

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The Audi Q7 comes with an intelligent power opening tailgate that also opens with the kick gesture. You get 295 litres of boot space with all the three rows up and can be further increased to 775 litres with the third row folded down. The seats can be folded down electrically and also the boot area can be lowered electrically thanks to the air suspension for easier loading using the control buttons placed in the boot.

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Engine – Transmission – Drive

The 2022 Audi Q7 is only available in the petrol form for now. Powering it is 3.0L V6 turbo petrol engine that makes 340hp of power and hits out 500Nm of torque. Audi claims an acceleration time of 5.9 seconds for this beast and we don’t doubt it.  This engine comes mated to the Torque converter automatic transmission. All wheel drive system that Audi calls as Quattro is standard along with Audi drive select which are the various preset drive modes.

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On the move this beast is highly refined at all speeds just giving out a soft meaty roar that is music to the ears. This isn’t a sports car but isn’t slow either, power builds up rather quickly and intensely. The 3.0L turbo petrol engine does its job very handsomely in getting this huge SUV flying in style. The steering response is very lively and as you shifts the drive modes using the Audi Drive Select controller comprising seven pre-sets: Auto, comfort, dynamic, off road, all road and user-chooser individual the transmission, power, steering, suspension and dampers settings change accordingly. You can also manually adjust the ride height of the SUV using the air suspension.

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Driving an SUV of this size is not at all difficult behind the wheels is the best place to be with the Q7 being very agile and maneuverable. Passenger comfort on the move is top class with the cabin being super silent and cozy with zero road or engine noise filtering into the cabin of the SUV. The huge Q7 feels always planted while on the move thanks to its dynamics and the meaty 19 inche tyres offering excellent ride quality and grip. Braking feels positive and the vehicle comes to a halt securely offering just the right amount of bite. It is a joy to drive and be driven in the Q7 at all times and road conditions.

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Driver aids & safety

The updated Audi Q7 comes with 360 degree camera with park plus, lane departure with steering assist, 8 airbags, ABS with EBD, adaptive air suspension, tyre pressure monitor, cruise control, ISOFIX seat mounts, Audi pre sense, Hill hold, auto hold, electronic hand brake to name a few.

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Competition

Audi Q7 competes with the BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE, Volvo XC 90, Land Rover Discovery in its Premium SUV class.

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Verdict

Q7 has been a very strong and well known model from Audi with a huge fan following and proud owners from celebrities to business tycoons to actors and politicians. Audi had to withdraw the Q7 for some time due to the BS-6 norms but now this the updated model is back and it comes loaded with all the goodies that one expects from the premium SUV in today’s time. The updated SUV is a true work horse that ticks all the right boxes and much more. We loved its V6 3.0L engine that is sheer pleasure to drive. The huge SUV this is now Made in India is a excellent option if you are looking out for a full sized premium SUV with tons of road presence, comfort, safety and tech goodies loaded to it.

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