If you’re searching for a luxury SUV, then the Audi Q7 is a good place to start. Not only does it have the smoothest and most powerful engine, but it also has the edge on interior quality and promises much greater reliability.
However, it isn’t the most practical of large SUVs when compared with the brilliant packaging of the Volvo XC90. Space in the rear isn’t a patch on the XC90 and overall boot volume with the seats up or down is also worse.
The XC90 is also the nicer vehicle to drive on typically windy British roads, and despite the less refined engine, it is more economical and therefore cheaper to run. The seats are particularly comfortable making the XC90 a very relaxing car to cover vast distances in.
The XC90 does have a more jittery ride than the Q7, though, and it simply isn’t as refined as its rival. Reliability is also a concern when you’re spending quite a lot of money on a used SUV, and the XC90 isn’t as likely as the Q7 to give you dependable service.
It is for this reason that we’d recommend the Q7 over the XC90. Both are really good buys, but, when you consider how buyers of this type of car are likely to use them, it’s the superior refinement, the high equipment levels and the strong diesel engine of the Q7 that really shine through to win this test.
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Also consider: BMW X5
1st – Audi Q7
For Well equipped; great ride; smooth and powerful engine
Against Expensive to run; poor body control in bends
Verdict One of the most refined used SUVs you can buy
2nd – Volvo XC90
For Good to drive; very spacious; classy interior; lower running costs
Against Jittery ride; road and suspension noise
Verdict Not quite as refined, but more fun to drive and still a great car
Specifications: Audi Q7 3.0 TDI 272 Quattro S Line
Engine size 3.0-litre diesel
List price when new £53,835
Price today £37,900*
Torque 443lb ft
Top speed 145mph
Fuel economy 47.9mpg (Official average)
CO2 emissions 153g/km
Specifications: Volvo XC90 D5 AWD Inscription
Engine size 2.0-litre diesel
List price when new £50,185
Price today £37,495*
Torque 347lb ft
Top speed 137mph
Fuel economy 49.6mpg (Official average)
CO2 emissions 149g/km
Price today is based on a 2015 model with average mileage and full service history, correct at time of writing
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