Driving position and dashboard
All Q7s come with a fully electrically adjustable driver’s seat. The range of adjustment – which includes an extendable 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.
You’ll also find that the pedals, seat and steering wheel are neatly aligned for a natural driving posture, and there’s a well-positioned footrest to the left of the brake. In fact, our only gripe relates to the air conditioning, because adjusting it involves faffing around with a fiddly touchscreen behind the gearlever.
Audi's Virtual Cockpit is standard and swaps conventional analogue instrument dials for one giant 12.3in digital panel that sits behind the steering wheel. This can display speed, revs and other driving essentials as well as full colour sat-nav maps, phone and audio information.
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 its slim windscreen pillars do little to obstruct your vision.
Large heated door mirrors offer a clear view of what’s approaching from behind 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 you can even have cutting-edge laser units that project light roughly twice as far down the road at night.
Thick rear pillars and the rear headrests block much of your over-the-shoulder view, though. The standard front and rear parking sensors help, and all trim levels get a reversing camera. A 360deg camera is standard on the range-topping Vorsprung model.
Sat nav and infotainment
The infotainment system in the Q7 was overhauled during a facelift in 2019. Good news, you might be thinking – except the current system is actually a backwards step when it comes to usability.
You see, the Q7 now has a touchscreen rather than the separate rotary controller interface that it previously used, and has become rather distracting to use while driving. Some of the screen icons are small and tricky to touch with any degree of confidence when you’re on the move, although the display (which measures 10.1in) does at least respond quickly to presses and you're given haptic feedback so it feels as if you’re pressing an actual button.
All trim levels come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring and a natural speech voice recognition system that allows you to bypass the touchscreen for some functions. You also get wireless phone charging, and can upgrade to a 19-speaker Bose sound system if you love listening to tunes while driving.
The Q7’s dashboard and interior at large is a universe of soft-touch materials and well-damped switches; any harder plastics are confined places you won’t see or touch as a matter of course. Real metal (or wood, if you prefer) inlays only add to the wonderfully classy ambience.
In short, the Q7 feels incredibly well screwed together, with tight gaps between the exterior body panels and interior trims. If you're still not satisfied, various leather packages are available to lift the bar even higher. All things considered, it’s classier inside than all of its direct rivals – even the XC90.