2016 Audi Q7 Test Drive Review – Polished Maestro


What is it?

This is the latest iteration of the Audi Q7 – the ride of choice of the rich and the famous around the world. A fairly common sight in the garages of businessmen, film stars, footballers, cricketers, etc. Unveiled in 2005, the Q7 was Audi’s first attempt at making an SUV, which went on to become one of the most popular luxury SUVs worldwide. Its launch was followed by a facelift in 2009 that stayed in the market till 2015. After 10 years of service Audi announced an all new generation and the world was eager to find out what form the new Q7 would take and this is it – the all new 2016 Audi Q7. The SUV went on sale in India in December last year priced at INR 72 lacs and INR 77.5 lacs for the Premium Plus and Technology trims respectively. We took it for a spin and you can read all about it here in our 2016 Audi Q7 Test Drive Review.

2016 audi q7 test drive review

2016 Audi Q7 Test Drive Review Video

Looks Slimmer. . .

The first thing that strikes you when you lay your eyes on the new Q7 is that it has lost the bulky appearance of the old model. The beefy, bloated lines of the previous generation model have given way to a sharper, cleaner exterior. The new Q7 looks more mature than the previous model. Styling is in line with AUDI’s current design language, which we have already seen on the new TT and the R8. It gets a very bold single-frame front grille flanked by full LED headlamps with daytime running lights, which is easily the best bit about the design. At the back, you get sharper full LED tailamps. The side profile is now more estate like than before thanks to a more upright tailgate. And if the new Q7 appears smaller than its predecessor that’s because it actually is. The 2016 Q7 has shrunk by 37 mm in length and is narrower by 15 mm. Overalll, the Q7 doesn’t look as aggressive as before, but the elegant body still offers an immense presence on the road.

What’s it Like on the Inside?

The new Q7 is now, without a doubt, a much nicer place to be in. The all-digital instrument console called the Audi ‘Virtual Cockpit’ and the vents that extend throughout the dashboard are the standout features of the new design. The display has been tucked neatly into the dash and pops out once the vehicle is turned on. Quality wise, every single button and knob in the cabin feels top notch and the levels of fit and finish are exactly what one would expect from a car that costs 70 lacs plus. We have already mentioned the Virtual Cockpit and apart from that it gets Audi’s MMI, 4 zone climate control, a bose sound system, one touch tumble for the last row of seats a panoramic sunroof and quite a lot more. Sensors all around ensure manoeuvring through jam-packed roads becomes a little more stress-free and the Park Assist feature is of great help to those unsure of their parking skills. However, we do have a few qualms about the Q7’s cabin. Firstly, while the overall quality is top-notch, there a few bits such as the bonnet release lever that feel flimsy. Secondly, the spare wheel placement is a bit silly as you either get to carry a 7th passenger or the spare.

2016 Audi Q7 test Drive review dashboard

What’s it Like to Drive?

Powering the Audi Q7 45 TDI is an updated version of the 3.0 L V6 Diesel that now puts out 245 bhp of max power and a peak torque of 600 Nm. All this power is transmitted to all four wheels via the Quattro AWD system and an 8-speed automatic gearbox.  It gets off the line very eagerly and there is never an instance when you feel a lack of power. A lot of it is down to the 8-speed ZF transmission, which shifts very smoothly and reacts precisely to throttle responses. For an SUV this size, the performance is definitely praiseworthy.

2016 Audi Q7 test Drive Review Action Shot front 2

Ride comfort is another department in which the Q7 excels as it just glides over whatever the roads throw at it. In comfort mode, the suspension setup, as expected, is on the softer side which makes it perfect  for city driving or cruising along out on the highways. However, it does tend to wallow a little over undulations, but not enough for the SUV to lose it composure. If you’re looking for some cornering action, then we suggest you opt for the Dynamic mode through Audi’s Drive select. It firms up the suspension and alters the throttle response to give you the urgency and stiffness you need for a spot of spirited driving. Piloting the Q7 is easier than its size might suggest thanks to the light steering and the lot set dashboard offering great visibility from the driver’s seat.

2016 Audi Q7 test Drive review Action Shot rear

Although most SUVs these days are restricted to the confines of the city, in case you decide to take your Q7 off the beaten track, Audi has you covered. In addition to Audi’s Quattro AWD system, which splits power between the front and the rear wheels depending on the requirement, there is the ‘Off-Road’ setting that raises the up by 60 mm increasing the ground clearance to 235 mm. And there are other driver aids like hill-start assist and hill descent control that can come in handy when required. If you’re looking for negatives here then you’d be disappointed as there really aren’t any worth mentioning, except for, maybe, the fact that the Audi Q7 isn’t as engaging to drive.

2016 Audi Q7 test drive review mud action

Final Word

It may not be as flamboyant as before. It may not be as engaging to drive. But that can be overlooked by the fact that it has gotten better in so many ways. The engine and transmission go about their job so well, all the while delivering impressive mileage figures of around 10-11 kpl. There’s a properly luxurious cabin, loaded to the brim with enough features and tech to keep everyone happy. Superb levels of refinement, strong performance and the highly luxurious cabin top our list of reasons for recommending the Audi Q7. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The new Q7 might lack the flair of the original one, it might have ditched the beefy proportions in favour of a more grown up look, but the 2016 Audi Q7 works so much better in so many ways that it is hard not to like this SUV.

2016 Audi Q7 test drive review front tilt (3)


Length x Width x Height 5052x1968x1740 mm
Kerb Weight 2060 kg
Wheel Type and Size 19” Alloys
Boot Space 295 L (Third Row Up)
Engine Type/ Displacement 3.0 L V6 Turbocharged Diesel
Power 245 bhp
Torque 600 Nm
Top Speed 234 kph
Acceleration (0-100 km/h) 7.1 sec
Transmission (Gearbox) 8-speed automatic with paddle shift
Mileage 14.75 kpl (claimed)
Air Conditioner Type 4-zone Automatic Climate Control
Price INR 72-77.5 lacs (ex-showroom, New Delhi)

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