REVIEW | Audi Q7 blends style and class in a bid to outshine its rivals in SA

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• Audi's Q7 received a comprehensive facelift in late 2020.

• One engine powers the two models in the revised line-up.

• Our test model, the Q7 45 TDI S Line, is priced from R1.4 million.

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Audi's new and updated Q7 has been given a comprehensive facelift, with several enhancements brought about to make the SUV as fresh as ever. The updates include alterations to both the exterior and interior, as well as improvements to the drivetrain.

The Q7 has been around since late 2005 and has gone onto become one of Audi's top-selling SUVs. It goes without saying that the Q7 is an important vehicle for the German automaker, and keeping it fresh and relevant can't be taken for granted.

The local Q7 line-up consists of two models in its latest iteration: the Q7 45 TDI and Q7 45 TDI S Line. Both models are powered by the same engine and rides on the same architecture, but the S Line boasts exterior accents, 20-inch wheels, and aluminium roof rails for extra differentiation.

Audi Q7
2021 Audi Q7 45 TDI

Spacious cabin

Once inside, occupants are immediately confronted with the vastness of the cabin. All-around, head- leg- and shoulder room come in droves, and it is clear that Audi not skimp on making sure its biggest family SUV continues with that trajectory. The two seats in the boot are, obviously, more suited to smaller passengers. However, these are optionally available. In standard trim, the Q7 can seat five passengers.

READ: Improved tech, beautiful design, more space - Audi gives its Q7 a major overhaul

Continuing the spacious theme is a luggage area that offers more space than you could ever need. With the second row of seats erected, boot space is a more than generous 865 litres, but expands to 2 050L when said seats are folded flat. In either specification, the Q7 can easily absorb one's luggage on long family vacations. It is definitely a boon for those June and December holidays to the beach. In creating the spacious cabin, Audi made sure that its Q7 is the right size. As such, the SUV is almost 2.0 meters (1 970mm) wide, 1 741mm high, and 5 063mm long. These measurements are crucial to the SUV's positioning in the market as it aims to convince buyers of its prowess.

In terms of technologies, the Q7 is equipped with Audi's MMI Navigation Plus system - the latest iteration of Audi's multimedia system. The display in front of the driver is entirely digital, and users can choose from an array of display settings. The head-up display is optionally available, however.

Audi Q7
2021 Audi Q7 45 TDI

Sweet engine, smooth drive

The Q7 range is powered by one engine, that being the turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine. Dubbed the 45 TDI, the engine is good for 183kW and 600Nm, allowing for a 0-100km/h sprint time of 6.9 seconds. This is, of course, aided by Audi's famed Quattro system. Surprisingly, the Q7 does not feel lethargic. Despite its hefty weight of 2 100kg (2 175kg in seven-seat configuration), the SUV moves with ease. Plant the throttle and it hurries towards the horizon.

Of course, the Q7 is no performance SUV - for that, there's the SQ7 - but this is an SUV that will shorten any journey. The eight-speed automatic gearbox is as smooth as they come and contributes to making the Q7 a must-consider vehicle in its segment. And when fitted with the optional air suspension, ride quality is definitely something worth writing home about.

At R1 435 000, the Q7 45 TDI Quattro S Line is competitively priced. It boasts the necessary technological, drivetrain, and ride quality traits to make it a reckoned vehicle in its highly competitive segment. The Q7 comes standard with Audi's five-year or 100 000km Audi Freeway plan.

Audi Q7
2021 Audi Q7 45 TDI
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