Go Back   Sports Car Forum - MotorWorld.net > Automotive Brands Forum > Car Chat > MotorWorld Car Reviews



Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-09-2006, 11:18 AM   #1
Skaala
Regular User
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bergen, Norway
Posts: 1,835
Default Audi Q7 3.0TDi Quattro

an article I wrote, briefly translated to english....
It was in the "what you saw today", but I thought it would fit better here

For 25 years Audi have built Quattro for their cars. This time “we’ve made a car for Quattro” they claim. Audi dominated the world of rally from the second they entered with their Audi Quattro rally car. They even let the women have a go. And they won too. This system was to be evolved into what we today know as Audi’s four wheel drive system on production cars. On road as off road the permanent 4x4 system distributes the power asymmetric-dynamic to the front and rear-axle.

Audi markets their new Q7 with: “The one on the top does not need a compromise, but a solution. Do you need a vehicle which can transport you on the mountain as comfortable as on your way to work? A car that represents your elegance, strength and taste? Do you want a vehicle with large and flexible space? And ultimate drivers enjoyment? Discover the new Q7”

If this is true is yet to be confirmed. While visiting our local dealer in Norway he asked us if we wanted to test-drive it. It was a nice and sunny “snow-free” Easter-day with about 10°C. Far from what this car is meant to handle. After a few minutes of only looking at it from different angles, and actually believing its size we were ready to give it a go. Our first encounter with this enormous beast was its gadgets. The air suspension was set in “low-rider” mode, as the car rested on the fabulous ’20 with winter tires. The MMI is very easy to understand if you haven’t used it before. Even though our dealer saw us coming in an A8 he still wanted to explain the MMI and button-handbrake to us…..maybe he was a bit stressed out? Or just exited? Next on the list was the reverse camera. Even with it’s close to 5 metres long and 2 metres wide, you have to be pretty reckless to scratch or dent it. With the excellent digital guidelines known first in the new S8, combined with the acoustic parking system you are pretty well sorted for.

I only had the chance to drive it on normal roads and highway, but with Audi’s adaptive air suspension (extra on the 3.0TDi) the car feels tight and doesn’t wobble when you twitch the steering wheel from side to side at speed, as you might expect in as tall SUV. But tall as it is, compared to other European SUV’s its about 8cm lower. Its 174cm, compared to Mercedes ML and Range Rover Sport which are 182. It looks more like an estate, or Avant in Audi language. The diesel engine is in my opinion the best alternative in my opinion, at least in Norway with all the taxes and fuel prises. The 3.0TDi starts at $137.741 without the adaptive air suspension (a must) and without any extras. The 4.2FSI version starts at $199.951, this one with the air suspension included. The diesel with its 233hp and 500nM pulls really strong, and gives a pretty sweet sound for a diesel. This was the best surprise of the day, and overtaking was a piece of cake.

We clocked a 0-100km/h time of 9.6 seconds. Unfortunately the Norwegian highway is limited in this part of Norway to 80km/h, but the engine gives you so much power that I imagine it will pull pretty well up to twice the speed limit. After a couple of hours we had an average of 1.15litres pr. 100km (24mpg UK) which is pretty good in my book for a car this size, weight (2300kgs) and with our frequent acceleration.

Anyone who has driven a newer Audi knows that the interior quality is superb, and if you have driven a newer A6 you will feel immediately at home. The only difference I noticed was the placement of the air vents, and the door panels. But all in all it looks and feels like top of the class Audi.

One of the reasons the Volvo XC90 was so popular in Europe was that it could be delivered with 7 seats. The prices given here are both with 7 seats. The third row though is only for small children or for very short rides. Actually with the 300cm wheel base I was slightly disappointed with the space. The bonnet kind of is half the car. The second row holds two full seats and a smaller middle seat. Leg room is pretty good for adults, but yet again I was a bit disappointed. It holds about the same legroom as the new VW Passat, but for tall persons the height could be an issue.

The 6-speed automatic gearbox is smooth and quick and sooths the 3.0TDi very good. Apart from other SUV’s the Q7 handles acceleration from standstill well. A lot of transmissions have problems handling this amount of torque, and the torque-converter often gives a delay of up to 2 seconds, but in the Q7 it is instant. A matter of tenths from throttle to acceleration.

The biggest advantage of air suspension is that you van vary the ground clearance as you go. From the Autobahn-low-rider-mode of 14.5cm to the off-road-mode 24.0cm. Combined with the well known Audi ESP system with an own off-road-mode, you won’t get stuck in the snow heading for your cabin. Unlike Land Rovers which have a variety of settings you have to choose manually, the ESP in the Q7 handles decent-control and all the other tricky off-road settings automatic.

The Q7 is delivered with 8 airbags standard. This includes side-impact airbags in the middle and head-airbags on all three rows of seats. Other standard safety equipment is the ESP and adjustable seatbelts in the second row. The Q7 is safe, no doubt, but what about other equipment? Basically you get dual-zone air-condition, leather steering wheel with radio operation, acoustic parking system, rain sensor, cruise control, alloy wheels, and a driving computer. In a car this expensive you would expect a bit more. For instance a $55.000 Passat includes automatic mirrors, alarm system, xenon lights, electric driver’s seat and navigation.
Basically, if you have the money, you can have a feast in the extras list. At the Audi webpage Norway I “made” myself one costing $270.000. Over $70.000 in extras. Last time I checked, $270k will buy you fully equipped 2006 Lamborghini Murceilago in the US.
But don’t worry. Only if you live in Norway you have to fear this. The rest of the world will get by a lot cheaper.
My final conclusion of the Q7, even though I have yet to test it off-road is that Audi have made an SUV that holds well up to its competitors. VW Touareg and Range Rover Sport are much tougher off-road, but they don’t have near the loading capacity as the Q7, neither the quality feel. Cayenne S, Range Rover Sport or ML500 are priced over the Q7 even though they are less powerful than the 4.2FSI. The X5 4.4 and the XC90 V8 are both cheaper, but none of them are as powerful. For pure off-road use it can’t be compared, but for every day use, and the occasional rough and snowy roads it is perfect. Some may be intimidated by its size, and you probably won’t take it to a parking garage at first. For others the size is the ace up its sleeve. I sure wouldn’t mind having one, but even if I wanted to, the Norwegian cars are sold out until October. Maybe then I can get one in S-line? (Will come back to this one later) The Q7 is a great car, no matter what you use it for. School run, loading furniture, logs, dogs or people. If you have your deposits down you really have something to look forward to. Enjoy.







__________________
"Driving the R8 is like smearing honey into Keira Knightly!" - Jeremy Clarkson
"In principle, this car is too fast for my thoughts!" (Walter Röhrl about the 600+hp Audi S1 Sport)
Skaala is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2006, 12:14 PM   #2
davide
Regular User
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 1,418
Default

Nice writeup!

And, as an Audi fan, I agree, it looks brilliant1 Wouldn't mind owning one myself, after all your good words about it. Although, you being an Audi-fan and all, this 'article' have an audi-angle

Thanks for the read, a pleasent one!
__________________
davide is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2006, 12:36 PM   #3
Skaala
Regular User
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bergen, Norway
Posts: 1,835
Default

Originally Posted by davide
Nice writeup!

Although, you being an Audi-fan and all, this 'article' have an audi-angle

Thanks for the read, a pleasent one!
you're completely right.... that's why there is a Q7 s-line on the way to join the family
__________________
"Driving the R8 is like smearing honey into Keira Knightly!" - Jeremy Clarkson
"In principle, this car is too fast for my thoughts!" (Walter Röhrl about the 600+hp Audi S1 Sport)
Skaala is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2006, 10:24 AM   #4
abbor
Regular User
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Posts: 1,068
Default

Originally Posted by Skaala
Originally Posted by davide
Nice writeup!

Although, you being an Audi-fan and all, this 'article' have an audi-angle

Thanks for the read, a pleasent one!
you're completely right.... that's why there is a Q7 s-line on the way to join the family
The same friend that once asked me if I would like a ride in a Gallardo, took me for a spin in the same car yesterday.. That one had the S-line package included, and it was an awesome ride.. .. I don't know if you know of him, but it was a man named Staddeland who owned them...
abbor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2006, 12:15 PM   #5
davide
Regular User
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 1,418
Default

Remember to take some pic of the s-line Q7
__________________
davide is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2006, 09:09 PM   #6
Dubai
Regular User
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Dubai - Emirates
Posts: 311
Default

I'm thinking of Q7. or VW Tourge
Dubai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2006, 08:47 AM   #7
Skaala
Regular User
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bergen, Norway
Posts: 1,835
Default

Originally Posted by Dubai
I'm thinking of Q7. or VW Tourge
We're getting ours in a couple off weeks, I'll do a real thourough review.
But seriously, go Audi.
__________________
"Driving the R8 is like smearing honey into Keira Knightly!" - Jeremy Clarkson
"In principle, this car is too fast for my thoughts!" (Walter Röhrl about the 600+hp Audi S1 Sport)
Skaala is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump