The implementation of BS-VI emission norms not only killed diesel engines from a lot of car manufacturers in India, some popular models too had to be taken off the market. The Q7 was one such product. However, Audi wants to start this year with a bang and what better way to do so than with the 2022 Q7. I drove this for a day in around Delhi to put down my review of what was a best seller at one point of time. Should you be putting down your cheque for this one? Click on the video below or continue to scroll down to my read my review..
Yes, this is how I wish to start the 2022 Audi Q7 review. But the bad news first - Audi, and infact the entire group including Skoda and VW will not be offering diesel engines anymore in India. However, the good part here is that the new Q7 comes with a 3.0-litre V6 petrol motor that is good for 340 bhp of power and 500 Nm of torque - the latter comes from as low as 1370 rpm. Audi's AWD or Quattro comes standard and so does an 8-speed torque converter automatic transmission. Numbers aside, how good is this engine?
In one word, its intoxicating! Flat out, Audi claims this hits the ton mark in 5.9 seconds and though our test car managed 6.7 (this could be down to a lower octane fuel being used), the Q7 is still a very quick car for its size. And its not just the outright acceleration that keeps your jaw muscles busy, the sheer amount of torque that is on offer from engine speeds is thrilling, much like a diesel. There isn't a dual clutch on offer but the torque converter should be (more) reliable in the long run. It does the job well and for your 'enthusiastic' side, you do have the convenience of paddle shifters.
Performance aside, one thing that disappoints me is the lack of drama in terms of vocals. No matter how hard you go down on the right pedal, there isn't any roar from the V6 motor filtering into the cabin. So while you will be chewing up miles rapidly, everything will happen in a calm manner.
While I do agree that most owners are chauffeur driven when it comes to luxury cars, an increasing number of Indians are getting behind the wheel, especially on weekends and while driving to a weekend destination. And hence this aspect. I do have good news for owners because the 2022 Audi Q7 does seem to shed its weight and size easily. If you are upgrading from a smaller vehicle (sedan or SUV), you will not feel intimidating or nervous at all. The controls are light, visibility terrific and a long list of driver aids that come in handy. These include the 360 camera, auto park assist, driving modes (adjustable suspension too), Lane Departure Warning to name a few.
I love the way the Q7 rides. Inspite of large 19 inch wheels, ride isn't firm or harsh at all. Driven over potholes, speed breakers or sharp undulations, the Q7 remains unfazed and offers a very comfortable ride. And then you have the option to lift her up further via the 'Allrode' mode or keep her down via the 'Dynamic' mode. Party tricks, eh?
Ergonomics are top notch from the driver's seat and though both the front seats have power function, the same has not filtered down to the steering adjustment - this remains a manual task. On the good side, both front seats offer high levels of comfort and there is more than ample headroom even for tall adults.
Another highlight in this 2022 Audi Q7 review is how rich the interiors look and feel like. As compared to the older version, the cabin has been a complete transformation. This includes the three screens - Audi's virtual cockpit (instrumentation cluster) and one screen each for the MMI interface and the climate control system. The horizontal layout for the vents looks sporty and the glossy black finish on the fascia adds to the luxury touch. I do agree it will be a dirt magnet but certain elements go a long way in making the cabin look great.
As I said above, the front seats are spacious and the same trend continues at the back. With the front two seats positioned for 5"10' tall occupants, the second row has about 4-5 inches of knee room in place even for a person who is as tall as me - 6 feet. This is impressive and further, head room remain excellent. However, the central transmission tunnel is high and intrudes into the privacy of the center passenger. That said, we love how Audi has placed the air vents on both the pillars and behind the driver arm-rest. Will surely come in handy during summer months.
Last row is best for kids or adults who are under 5"6. You can adjust the 2nd row (slide and recline) and we did manage to get our cameraperson Julian in there. However, as much as we appreciate the front two rows for the space on offer, the last row indeed is tight on space. On the good side, boot space, with all three rows up, is surprisingly very generous. The updated Q7 also offers hands free tail gate access - swing your leg under the rear bumper to open and/or close the boot lid. Simple and easy.
One of the reasons that made the original Q7 extremely popular was the way it looked - big, bulky and imposing. However, over the years, the Q7 has toned down a lot. It is still huge by any standards and has a large foot print. But, it seems to have visited the gym several times - its more athlete now, sharper and modern and won't be scaring motorists in their review view mirrors anymore.
This is a facelift model (over the pre BS6 variant) and gets tweaks all around. The front mimics the Q8 with matrix LED lights, a new grille and revised bumper. Similar tweaks are visible at the back too and the Indian model rides on 19-inch alloy wheels. I am not a big fan of the design and Audi could have offered a sportier design.
And this brings us to the summary of my 2022 Audi Q7 review. The single biggest shortcoming here seems to be the lack of a diesel motor. This is something rivals offer. The last row is also not the most spacious around but judge the new Q7 across other parameters and it will be hard to find a fault. It indeed is that good and a good improvement over its predecessor. So is the new Q7 recommended? Highly! And I hope prices, when they come out, shall keep the entire package tempting too.
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