Only on cold start-up is there some distant background clatter from the diesels, but this quickly fades once they're up to temperature. Aside from that, you only really hear the engines under hard acceleration; even then they’re smoother and more pleasant-sounding than the engines in any of the Q7’s rivals, but particularly the four-cylinder only Volvo XC90. The Q7 also does a great job of isolating occupants from engine vibration.
Naturally, the E-tron is even more hushed when running in electric mode. When the engine does kick in, it starts in a refined manner with little vibration entering the car. The SQ7 hides the fact it’s a diesel very well, emitting a muscular woofle especially in dynamic mode.
There’s no manual gearbox option, just an eight-speed automatic that changes smoothly up and down through the ratios. At speed, if you back off the accelerator, the gearbox disengages the engine and allows the Q7 to freewheel. It’s designed to benefit fuel consumption, but reduces noise, too.
On standard 19in alloys there’s not much road noise or suspension noise, and even on the larger 21in wheels it remains within acceptable limits. Wind noise is very well suppressed, even at motorway speeds.
Page 2 of 5