The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
All Audi Q7s come with an electrically adjustable driver’s seat. The range of adjustment – which includes an extendable seat base and four-way lumbar adjustment – makes it easy to find your ideal driving position. The standard seats on entry-level Sport models are supportive enough, but pricier trim levels come with more heavily bolstered seats that hold you in place better through corners.
You’ll also find that the pedals, seat and steering wheel are aligned neatly for a natural driving posture, and there’s a well-positioned footrest to the left of the brake pedal. In fact, our only gripe relates to the climate controls. Adjusting these involves faffing around with a touchscreen, set low down under the main infotainment screen. Because you have to hit small icons, instead of physical buttons that you can find by feel, you have to look away from the road simply to change the temperature. The climate control buttons in the BMW X5 are mainly physical, so they're much less distracting to use.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
As is the case in most big SUVs, you sit up high in the Q7 for a commanding view of the road ahead, and the slim windscreen pillars do little to obstruct your vision at junctions.
Large, heated door mirrors offer a clear view of what’s approaching from the side, and the left-hand mirror tilts down automatically when you select reverse for a better view of the kerb when parking. Powerful LED headlights are standard on all Q7s, and they can stay on main beams without dazzling other drivers.
Thick rear pillars and the rear headrests block much of your over-the-shoulder view, especially when people are sitting in the third row of seats. Yet with a rear-view camera and front and rear parking sensors standard on all trims, you shouldn't find reversing too much of an issue. A 360-degree camera comes as standard if you go for range-topping Vorsprung trim.