What's the used Audi Q7 4x4 like?
When the original seven-seat Audi Q7 was introduced in 2006, it immediately became a popular choice for those looking for a luxury SUV with a premium badge. However, this second-generation Q7 is a far better SUV that's nicer to drive, more comfortable and noticeably more spacious. It's one of our favourite luxury SUVs both new and used.
The Q7 offers 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.
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 a 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.
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.
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.