Audi Q7 3.0 TDI Clean Diesel driven

* World's cleanest diesel technology * Green, but it will cost you...

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What Car? Staff
20 May 2009

Audi Q7 3.0 TDI Clean Diesel driven

Suggest an Audi Q7 to a buyer wanting green motoring, and they'll probably laugh in your face. They might not be chuckling for long, though Audi says this new Q7 uses the world's cleanest diesel technology.

Imaginatively, it's called the 'Clean Diesel' and it's powered by the same engine you get in the standard 3.0 TDI. However, the new version has a clever system that cleanses the exhaust gases of harmful nitrogen oxides by injecting a special additive. This, Audi says, cuts NOx emissions by up to 90%.

That's great if your reasons for choosing one are purely environmental, but the news isn't so great if your reasons are financial. Low carbon dioxide emissions are what you want for lower bills, and the Clean Diesel only emits 5g/km less than the 3.0TDI so you still pay company car tax at the maximum 35% rate. Fuel economy is a smidge better, returning 0.7mpg more than the 3.0 TDI, but that's not much of a return for the extra 1500 you pay.

Beyond the green

The Clean Diesel isn't the only new development for the Q7: the whole range has been spruced up. There's a new look courtesy of a new grille, some restyled body panels and new LED lights front and back, while equipment levels have also been enhanced.

Technical tweaks also mean that most versions a little greener than before. All V6- and V8-powered Q7s now have brake energy recovery, which recycles waste energy for use elsewhere. This means improved CO2s and fuel consumption, and the 4.2 TDI even has more power.

Otherwise, the Q7's oily bits haven't changed, so it's as-you-were on the drive. Expect strong, smooth performance from all the engines, good refinement and tidy handling, along with a choppy low-speed ride.

Our verdict:

Q7 is now a bit greener, but don't expect running costs to be cheap

Audi Q7
Engine size: 3.0-, 3.0- (Clean), 4.2-litre turbocharged diesel
Price: From £38,560, £40,060 and £50,575
Power: 237bhp, 237bhp, 335bhp
0-62mph: 8.5sec, 8.5sec, 6.4sec
Top speed: 134mph, 134mph, 149mph
Economy: 31.0mpg, 31.7mpg, 28.5mpg
CO2 g/km/tax: 239/35%, 234/35%, 262/35%
Insurance group: tbc
Airbags: 6 Doors: 5 Seats: 7 Colours: 8
Likely discount: You can expect about 10% off, and on a car that costs this much, thats quite a few quid
Or try a ... BMW X5 or Lexus RX450h