Audi Q7 SUV (2006-2015)
"The Audi Q7 is a vast SUV with seven seats and plenty of kerb appeal, but it feels dated and its four-star safety score isn't on par with more modern rivals."
- Spacious seven-seat interior
- Strong performance
- Huge boot space
- High running costs
- Cumbersome size
- BMW X5 feels more up-to-date
The sheer size of the Audi Q7 makes it hard work to drive in town, but its seven-seat interior and imposing looks have made it a popular choice and sales have been impressive. However, the Q7 first hit the road in 2006 and its small colour infotainment screen and plastic air vents now look rather dated. A new Audi Q7 is arriving in 2015.
Its running costs are also a bit old-school: the Q7 returns less than 40mpg and your annual road tax bill will be between £265 and £490. By comparison, the latest BMW X5 can crack 50mpg and has a £145 tax bill thanks to the addition of a frugal two-wheel-drive model.
The Q7 comes with a choice of three diesel engines – two versions of a 3.0-litre TDI engine and a more powerful 4.2-litre engine. They’re quiet and smooth, and coupled with the quattro four-wheel-drive system, you can be confident that the Q7 will give you amazing grip in the corners and on slippery surfaces. But the ride is on the firm side, even in comfort mode.
Having recently dropped the only version that came in under £45,000, the Q7 range now starts at more than £46,000 with the S line trim. It offers plenty of kit as standard, but rather annoyingly doesn't come with sat nav. For that, along with bigger wheels and a reversing camera, you need to go for the S line Plus. There are also a couple of other trims – Style and Sport – that can make your Q7 look more rugged or more sporty.
So, while the Audi Q7 is still hugely practical and has definite kerb appeal, its newer competitors are cheaper to run. It might be sensible to wait for news of its successor or try to bag a big discount on the current Q7 before production ends. Our top pick is the Audi Q7 3.0-litre TDI S line, because it has virtually all the kit you need (sat nav aside) and strong performance.