The Audi Q7 has been one of India’s favourite premium luxury SUVs. Ever since its introduction in the subcontinent, the Q7 has received patronage from the rich and famous for its bling and capabilities. In 2015, Audi had introduced the new generation of the Audi Q7 to the subcontinent after its global launch earlier in that year.
The flagship SUV from the Ingolstadt-based automaker retains the familiar shape but is now a whopping 325kgs lighter and roughly 26 per cent more efficient than the outgoing model. The SUV tips the scales at 1995-kgs and has managed to pull off this task thanks to an all-new aluminium-steel chassis and multi-material body composition.
The 2015 Q7’s fascia reflects the German automaker’s new design philosophy which now sees its cars moving away from the previous two generation’s rounded edges to much sharper features. The headlights can now be configured in the form of xenons, LEDs or matrix headlights. What appears to be standard across all three headlight setups are the arrow- shaped LED daytime running lights with the top-spec models getting the integrated turn signals.
The side profile appears to have been retained from the outgoing model but the roofline has a sharper rake at the rear end and it appears that the whole roof has also been lowered slightly. The bulging wheel arches add to the butch look of the vehicle while there is some contrast coloured moulding on the base of doors. The designs of the alloy wheels too are different now.
The rear, like the front fascia, gets sharper lines giving a square appearance to the overall design but thanks to the forward rake of the glass does not look out of place. The entire mid-section below the tail lamps has been reworked and there are two bulge- like design elements on which the badging has been placed. Finally, the exhaust tail pipes have been changed and thanks to the new design philosophy are now flatter and rectangular in shape.
Less is more seems to be the new philosophy for Audi as it has simplified the cabin design by decreasing the size and number of the elements on the dashboard. The steering, instrument panel and climate control system are new while the screen, moved from it being in the dashboard to the top of it, has become larger as well and gets a touchscreen unit. It now uses Audi’s latest MMI system while offering support for Android Auto as well as Apple Car Play. Adding to this package is either a Bose system or a 23-speaker B&O surround sound system.
In conformity with the reducing design, the gear lever is now a smaller unit. Like its predecessors, the 2015 Q7 boasts of three rows of seats and lots of storage spaces. It also continues to get all the creature comforts that include power adjustable seats, electrically operated panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, separate zone air conditioning for the rear passenger et al.
Engine and gearbox
The Q7 is being offered with the 3.0-litre TDI diesel mill which produces 272bhp and 600Nm of torque. It is offered with an 8-speed automatic gearbox that powers all four wheels through Audi’s famed Quattro all-wheel-drive system. It gets driver aids like the electronic stability program with different driving modes to suit different driver needs.
Competition and Price
The 2015 Audi Q7 competes with the Mercedes GL, the Volvo XC90, the seven-seater BMW X5 and the Land Rover Discovery.