Set in an 18th-century manor house, Tankardstown House Hotel provided an opulent backdrop for Audi to officially launch the new Q7 to the Irish motoring press. On arrival, brief pleasantries were exchanged and we got the chance to get up close to Audi’s new flagship sports utility vehicle for the first time. The all-new Q7 now comes with three equipment lines: SE, SE Business and the S-Line. With a striking new design incorporating the 3D grille and Tornado profile line they all look amazing in the metal. The entry pricing for the Q7 starts at €72,975 with the SE Business starting at €77,375 featuring additional luxury features such as the virtual cockpit.
Our test vehicle was to be the S-Line variant with additional equipment such as LED headlights, with pricing starting from €79,875. Our particular test model was priced at €119,074 and loaded with spec including the 21-inch 5 Arm Turbine Style Alloys, Panoramic sunroof and Tour Assist Pack. Inside the Q7 it is, as expected nothing short of sublime with rich premium leather draped over almost every touchable detail. The cockpit is vast too with seven seats as standard, 770 litres of luggage room and when you drop the front seats the Q7 provides a massive 1,955 litres of storage space. Adjusting the seats isn’t a chore either with powered folding mechanism for the third row and a simple tilt-and-fold function on the second row.
On start up, the new Q7 is super silent. The lower 218hp quattro variant consumes on average just 5.7 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres, and 149 grams of CO2 per kilometer but our S-Line features the 272 quattro 8-speed Tiptronic which sips just 5.9 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres and 163 grams of CO2 with the larger wheels. To drive, it feels more car like with the 100km/h sprint coming up in just 6.5 seconds. Riding on adaptive air suspension the chassis offers lots of feedback and you immediately forget just how big it is on the road. Our test route was short with a 5.7 km twisty backroad spin to Slane Castle followed by a smoother 20 km of County Meath’s finest before returning to Tankardstown.
Although brief it gave us enough time to know we were driving something really special and ready to compete for top honours in the premium SUV sector. Competition is tough with the Range Rover Vogue, BMW X5 and the all-new Volvo XC90 but the Audi Q7 is ready to compete. Right now Audi dealers nationwide are offering finance from €759 per month with a 4.9% APR rate. In the not too distant future we plan on spending seven days with the new Q7 and we look forward to bringing you our more detailed opinion. For now, our initial test drive experience has led us to conclude that you could do far worse things than take a test-drive this weekend. We assure you won’t be disappointed.
|Acceleration (0-100km/h)||6.5 seconds|
|Road Tax||Band D €570 (Band C on smaller wheels)|
|Price as tested||€119,074|