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Audi Q7 review: supersize me!

By Roger St Pierre with Hazel Kempster

Back in World War I days, Q ships posed as defenceless merchantmen but actually bristled with formidable armaments with which to catch surface raiders unawares.

No such subterfuge is involved where Audi’s formidable range of top quality Q series 4x4 SUV cars is concerned.

Make no mistake about it: the top dog Q7 is an imposingly big, almost intimidating vehicle, drastically overhanging most supermarket parking bays in terms of both its length and its very generous width.

It’s supremely spacious inside too, with room between the front seat occupants to almost require an intercom system for communication.

Yet once ensconced behind the steering wheel, even the most timid of drivers will find it an easy drive, easy park vehicle.

There’s a choice of two three-litre V6 diesel engines, which mesh with super-smooth changing eight-speed automatic gearboxes to give effortless acceleration and ultra-smooth  cruising.

The standard suspension set-up errs on the firm side – a payback for responsive handling and impeccable road manners, even when pressing on. A large steering wheel needs just a light touch, which also helps. However, all that width means that you need to be careful when negotiating narrow and twisting country lanes.

Four Audi Q7 renditions are available, ranging in price from £47,610 for the entry-level SE to a not inconsiderable £53,655 for the full-package S Line version. All four feature  five wide opening doors, along with Audi’s well proven Quattro 4x4 all-wheel drive system.

Expensive it may be but it’s money well spent – equipment levels are high and it is all beautifully put together.

It’s a car for all the family, thanks to all those generous levels  of head, shoulder and leg room along with five seat in the front two rows and a third row of three occasional seats that both slide and recline and are fine for the kids if lacking enough leg room to keep grown-up occupants happy.

Whoever gets behind the steering wheel will surely wear a smile however – all versions featuring an electronically adjustable driver’s seat and lots of steering wheel position tuning too.

The Q7’s multimedia interface control system is well thought -out and more user friendly than some rival offerings. This useful driver aid has a large, clear screen set atop the dashboard.

Pride of ownership has always been a key component in the Audi formula and the Q7 certainly set our neighbours to talking admiringly – though the reaction wasn’t so appreciative when the car’s bulk led us to straddle two hard to find parking spaces.

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