Audi: 2015 Q7 V6 TDI Quattro S-Line

Audi: 2015 Q7 V6 TDI Quattro S-Line

Audi has pulled off a master stoke with the new Q7 because here is an all-new model that is some 300kg lighter in weight than its predecessor, and yet it boasts more features and more technology as standard equipment than many others in the segment.

It’s one reason the Q7 made the list of top ten finalists for the New Zealand Car of the Year Award to be announced in December. The list of standard driver assistance features is quite impressive.

2015 Audi Q7Not only does the Q7 have adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assistant, it also has active lane assist, Audi front and rear pre-sense, and a collision avoidance system, with both collision avoidance assist and turn assist, in addition there is also side assist and high beam assist.

Does this mean the car drives itself, well sometimes, yes it does, and in a heavy crawling motoray snarl up the traffic jam assistant was a god send.

2015 Audi Q7 rear 3:4 offroad

It took me 90 minutes to get from Auckland City to Manukau one Friday night, had it not been for the Q7s ability to do its own thing, I think I might have imploded from impatient rage.

While the new Q7 might have been to weight watchers and the gastric surgeon, it’s still a fairly imposing piece of kit, and you are always grateful for the standard fitting of a reversing camera with front and rear parking sensors, especially when negotiating your way around an older parking 2015 Audi Q7 side profile offroad heightbuilding.

The other nice touch is the new Audi design is very restrained and tasteful even with that chrome grille, and unlike its predecessor the new Q7 is not styled to make it look bigger than it actually is.

Our test car was fitted with the S Line package that adds $10,000 to the $129,990 retail price but you get a lot of value for that.

The Q7 S-Line is distinguished by its sports 2015 Audi Q7 S-Line off road height F1bumpers and roof spoiler, in addition to S-Line logos on the flanks, and the door sill trim with the S Line logo, and headlight washers.

As part of the package the Q7 S-Line rolls around on 20-inch alloy wheels in a parallel spoke design, and the occupants are shielded from the worse of the road conditions thanks to the sports air suspension.

Inside there are sports front seats upholstered in Valcona leather, with a memory function and an S ago in the backrest. The S-Line is distinguished as well by the dashboard inlays, the upper being of brushed aluminium and the lower in slate grey. The headlining is a complementary black cloth.

Standard Q7 features include keyless entry and start, electrically adjustable front seats and steering column, the Audi virtual cockpit, Bluetooth, Audi Phone Box (for wireless charging and wireless connection to aerial), twin zone climate air-conditioning, interior LED lighting, automatic tailgate opening, tow bar preparation, LED daytime running lights and xenon plus headlamps.

Again, still a lot of value for the price tag. If there was anything lacking in the Q7, I couldn’t pinpoint it, and theres a huge amount of options available, but the standard car happily ticks all of my boxes.

The most remarkable feature of the Q7 is that it’s handling belies its size. That weight reduction of 300kg coupled with the intelligent S-Line air suspension allows you to throw an SUV (with a near three tonne gross vehicle weight) around in the same fashion as an Audi RS3 hot hatch.

You don’t normally equate a 7 seat family wagon as being a fun vehicle to drive hard around a winding rural road, but this one certainly is.

Thanks to the air suspension the ride also remains relatively flat when pressing on, so passengers in the second and third row of seats don’t become the victims of motion sickness.

The other benefit of the air-suspension is that it can lower or raise the car as necessary depending on application. For the attached pictures we used the off-road function to raise the Q7 S-Line to its full height which allowed us to explore the back blocks of a South Auckland farm in comfort and style.

Audi claims that the 3-litre supercharged V6 diesel engine is all-new and is 23% more fuel efficient that the previous engine. According to the manufacturer the engine has 200kW of power and 600Nm of torque but thanks to the eight speed transmission, fuel consumption of 5.9L/100km is achievable. C02 emissions are rated at 153g/km. For the record, I managed an average of 8L/100km.

A lower power 160kW/500Nm version of the V6 diesel will also join the line up and the distributor says a plug-in hybrid and a performance SQ7 will appear in 2016.

So the Q7 retains its family friendly ability, but in a lighter and leaner package thats offers a much nicer car to drive. It certainly has earned its place on the shopping list of a large SUV buyer.

Price as tested: $139,900

Pros:

  • Lighter and more fuel efficient
  • Jam packed with latest technology
  • A large SUV that is fun to drive

Cons:

  • Will still be too big for some
  • Not affordable for many


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