The good: The interior is up to Audi's usual high standards, everything feels very solid, the DVD SatNav is superb and the MMI system works well. The air suspension is very good at soaking up the bumps in comfort mode, and pretty good in automatic. Driving a steady set of journeys at 40-70mph I averaged 27.2mpg over 200 miles, better than the book says it should do but I was trying to drive economically. Taking less care saw this drop to 25mpg, still pretty good for a vehicle this size. It doesn't feel as big as it is, in that its responsive to the steering, if not endowed with handling like an X5.
The bad: It feels heavy, the X5 feels altogether like a much smaller vehicle (which it is) and this reflects in the way the car handles in automatic mode - with the suspension in dynamic the bumps become more obvious but the car becomes much more capable of corners. With 7 adults on board the brakes aren't really strong enough, I felt that I was having to apply undue extra braking power to get the car to halt. It never felt unsafe, just significantly more concentration was needed. I'm not convinced the vehicle is a true 7 seater either as you can't comfortably fit 7 adults in, the two in the rear will have their heads banging on the roof while their legs will be uncomfortably rubbing against the rears of the seats in front - the leg room is almost non existent.
The typical Vorsprung durch Technik engineering and styling are to the fore in this finely crafted 4x4. The overall body lines and curves are a fine aesthetic feature of Audi, coupled with the ride and performance - and the automatic lift up the gears was zippy to say the least. The overall driver height gives a sense of driving up in the clouds and the cabin makes you feel safe and protected.
The boot space (one of my many decision-making factors for lugging AV kit) was generous, but only when the back rear seats are folded. That said, the internal leg room in middle seating is good, but in back row it's a little more tight, so you wouldn't want to be in the rear on a long journey.
I'm deliberating whether to go for the Q7 (I would prefer the Q7 3.0 TDI S-Line Quattro version - I'm awaiting one coming into local Audi dealership) as it's got the Sport design that appeals and the Tiptronic 'paddle shift' gear on steering wheel - for the manual gearstick driver.
I would recommend the Q7 overall as a 4/5 in driving, ownership, styling, performance, reliability, etc (with the caveat of fuel consumption, not to mention 20" tyre change costs as the only downsides). Hope this review is of some help to you. When I test drive the Q7 S-Line version I'll write an updated review.
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