What's the used Audi Q7 4x4 like?
However, this second-generation 2015-onwards Audi Q7 is a far better car that's much nicer to drive, more comfortable and noticeably more spacious. Since its launch it's been one of our favourite luxury SUVs both new and used.
Engines: Over the years, the Q7 has offered several engine options, mostly powered by diesel. The most common is the 3.0 TDI diesel in 218bhp and 272bhp forms. There’s also a plug-in hybrid e-tron version with 34 miles of electric range. All of these models feel slow in comparison to the mighty SQ7, however, with its 429bhp 4.0-litre V8 diesel engine.
Later models from 2019 onwards featured the same 3.0-litre diesel with 228bhp and 282bhp, now known as the 45 TDI and the 50 TDI, plus a 335bhp 55 TFSI petrol version or a 376bhp 55 TFSIe plug-in hybrid. The SQ7 continued on with the same power output.
Trims and equipment: There are two trim levels on the earlier cars: SE and S line. Both are handsomely equipped. SE comes with sat-nav, Bluetooth, dual-zone climate control and xenon headlights, while S line brings more aggressive styling and larger, 20in alloy wheels. The e-tron and SQ7 come in their own, bespoke trims.
Post-facelift 2019-onwards models became Sport and S line; both got Matrix LED headlights as standard, as well as air suspension. Black Edition models have four-zone climate and 21in alloys, while Vorsprung has every option thrown at it.
Ride and handling: The standard suspension is a touch firm around town, but at high speeds the ride only jars if you hit a particularly sharp bump. We'd still recommend you seek out a car equipped with the air suspension, though, because this transforms the Q7 into not just the best-riding car in its class but one of the best in any class or budget. Black Edition and Vorsprung trims get a sportier air suspension set-up, and it shouldn't come as a surprise that this doesn't smother bumps quite as well.
All engines offer plenty of oomph, and the e-tron and 55 TFSIe, despite each car's eco-focus and the additional weight of their batteries, feel even quicker when their batteries are fully charged, thanks to the instant grunt the electric motors provide. The SQ7 is particularly rapid – although we’d argue that its sheer power is a bit excessive for family duties.
All Q7s come as standard with four-wheel drive, so there’s plenty of traction. Regular versions allow a little bit more body lean through corners, but they're still far more agile and better tied down than the likes of the Land Rover Discovery. The SQ7 has a trick anti-roll system that makes it handle like a hot hatch – albeit one that weighs two tonnes. The additional weight of the batteries in the e-tron can make it feel a bit ponderous and unwieldy, though.
Interior and practicality: There's a healthy dose of luxury to the interior, making it a really comfortable place to spend time, and it's supremely well made. There's a smorgasbord of soft-touch materials and well-damped switches; any harder plastics are restricted to less noticeable locations. Real metal (or wood, if you prefer) inlays only add to the classy ambience.
There's a brilliant infotainment system, at least on the earlier cars; it's second only to BMW’s equivalent for ease of use, so pairing phones or programming the sat-nav is a doddle. With this system, a high-definition 8.3in screen rises from the top of the dashboard and is controlled using buttons and a simple rotary controller on the centre console. There's also a touchpad that allows you to handwrite instructions; this is handy when programming an address into the sat-nav.
However, post-facelift models switched to a fiddlier touchscreen arrangement that is still good but not as easy to use as the earlier system.
You'll enjoy an excellent driving position with a commanding view over the long bonnet. Even those well over six feet tall will find the Q7 roomy in the front; head room is very generous, the seat slides back a long way to deliver lots of leg room and there’s loads of elbow room.
Getting in and out of the second-row seats is easy, thanks to large door apertures and slim sills. The Q7 offers a few centimetres more leg room than the BMW X5 and Land Rover Discovery and virtually matches that of the Volvo XC90.
Really tall adults will only want to sit in the two rearmost seats for short trips, but anyone under six feet tall won’t feel too cramped. They’re certainly roomier than the third-row seats in the BMW X5 and Mercedes GLE. A Discovery is a better bet if you regularly need to carry seven adults, but at least the Q7 has more cargo space behind the third-row when the seats are up.
What used Audi Q7 4x4 will I get for my budget?
It's possible to pick up an early 2015-2016 Q7 with a high mileage from around £25,000. Move up to the £25,000 to £30,000 bracket and you’ll secure a 2017 car with average or below-average mileage from a franchised dealer, while those spending more than £30,000 can expect to pick up a 2018 or even a pre-facelift 2019 or 2020 car with a reasonable mileage. Post-facelift cars from 2020 and 2021 will set you back in excess of £32,000 and stretch up to around £50,000 for a 2023 model. An SQ7 of any vintage will cost you more than £30,000.
Check the value of a used Audi Q7 with What Car? Valuations
How much does it cost to run a Audi Q7 4x4?
The Q7 is available with either six or eight-cylinder diesel engines, and its claimed average figures range from 39.2mpg for the high-performance SQ7, according to the older NEDC tests, and 29.4mpg under the later and more realistic WLTP tests, 47.1mpg for the lower-powered 3.0 TDI and 48.7mpg for the higher-powered one, or 33.2mpg and 32.1mpg under the WLTP tests for the later 45 TDI and 50 TDI cars.
The plug-in hybrid e-tron returns an impressive 156.9mpg under the NEDC tests, but you’re unlikely to meet that figure in everyday use unless you charge it regularly and drive exclusively in town. The facelifted Q7 introduced petrol power to the Q7 in the form of the 55 TFSI, but it only manages 26.9mpg. The plug-in hybrid is a better bet, because the 55 TFSI e has a combined figure of 88.3mpg and an electric-only range of 25 miles.
Both the e-tron and 55 TFSIe will take two and a half hours to charge up from flat via a typical 7kW wallbox.
This section will only apply to earlier Q7s registered before 1 April 2017, due to switching over to the current VED system, so we'll focus on those. The best on CO2 emissions is the e-tron at a mere 50g/km. Of the two 3.0-litre diesels, the lower-powered version emits 150g/km, and the higher-output model coughs out a bit more at 153g/km. The SQ7 is the most costly to tax, putting out 190g/km.
Earlier models registered before 1 April 2017 will be charged annual car tax (VED) according to CO2 emissions. Cars registered after that date will be charged the flat rate (the plug-in hybrid 55 TFSIe will get a slight discount), plus a supplementary luxury car tax that is charged for five years between the second year and sixth years of the vehicle's age, then it goes back to the flat-rate fee.
Current charges, for cars registered after 1 April 2017, are £180 per year for petrol and diesel cars, while hybrid owners will be charged £170 per year – pure electric cars continue to be exempt from VED. First-year car tax rates, which depend on CO2 emissions, will be higher. The supplementary luxury tax is currently £390 per year.
To find out more about the current road tax costs, click here for further information.
Insurance and servicing
Insurance costs are a little higher than average for the class, but the Q7 is relatively affordable to service, thanks to its long service intervals and Audi’s fixed-price deals. Audis between three and five years old can join the Audi Service Plan; for a one-off payment of £450 or 18 monthly payments of £25, your next two services are covered. Spare parts are expensive, but there are a number of independent specialists who will look after your Q7 for prices that are generally cheaper than an Audi main dealer's.
The Audi Q7's reliability, according to our annual What Car? Reliability Survey, reveals a mixture of experiences from owners. Many have encountered electrical issues, like glitchy infotainment systems and faulty sensors. Mechanical problems aren't uncommon either, with air suspension and transmission faults noted in older models. Dealer services received mixed reviews as well; while staff professionalism and efficiency in handling warranty repairs were commended, the high costs for repairs outside of warranty and extended service times for complicated problems were points of contention. This feedback underscores the value of securing a comprehensive warranty for used purchases.
Discover more about the used Audi Q7's reliability on our dedicated reliability page.
Which used Audi Q7 4x4 should I buy?
Presuming you don't mind diesel, both versions of the standard 3.0 TDI engines are relatively smooth and powerful, yet manage reasonable official fuel economy. Our pick is the higher-powered of the two engine options, the 272, because it offers great performance whether you’re in town or on the motorway. It’s incredibly smooth and quiet, even when pushed hard, and it isn’t much pricier to buy and run than the lesser TDI 218. The same holds true of the later versions, from which we'd pick the 50 TDI quattro.
If you'd only consider petrol, the 335bhp 55 TFSI is smooth, quiet and refined, if a little more expensive to run.
The cheaper of the two trims, SE, is handsomely equipped, with sat-nav, Bluetooth, dual-zone climate control and xenon headlights. S line brings larger, 20in alloy wheels that do nothing for the ride comfort.
Later S line models came with the air suspension as standard, and ride so well that we'd plump for this trim on the post-facelift models.
Our favourite Audi Q7: 3.0 TDI 272 SE
What alternatives should I consider to a used Audi Q7 4x4?
The most obvious rival to the Q7 is the Volvo XC90. The doyen of the school run, the first-generation XC90 established itself as a bit of an SUV legend, while the second-generation version, launched in 2015, took up the baton and ran with it. Both make great used buys. For starters, they all have a classy, spacious seven-seat interior and can tackle any task from a shopping trip to motorway cruising. There's a range of relatively small petrol and diesel engines, as well as a pricey but potentially very frugal plug-in hybrid.
Another rival would be the Land Rover Discovery. Not many cars can match its blend of supreme on-road practicality and class-leading go-anywhere off-road capabilities. It’s relaxing on long motorway journeys, even when fully loaded, and yet can just as easily hare across a rutted field, with its permanent four-wheel drive ensuring good traction. Shop carefully, though, because it doesn’t have the best of reliability records.
You could also consider the BMW X5. The original X5 really paved the way for the upmarket SUV, and the second-generation model improved on it in nearly every department. It was more spacious and better to drive than the original, with a plusher interior, and there was the option of seven seats.