Long-term test review: Audi SQ7

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10 Feb, 2017 1:00pm Graham Hope First report: Mighty 429bhp Audi SQ7 super-SUV is ready to make a big impression on our fleet
Mileage: 3,191
Economy: 28.1mpg
Audi chairman Rupert Stadler is on record as saying that within three years, he expects nearly half of his brand?s total volume to be made up of SUV sales. So what better way to test Audi?s SUV prowess than by running the one that is the daddy of them all ? the mighty SQ7 ? on our fleet?
It?s very big, and with a V8 twin-turbodiesel, very fast, too ? so to get an idea of what the SQ7 has in store for us, we headed down to Audi Coulsdon in Surrey, where sales manager Jason Stanger and sales executive *Erin Button talked us through the car.
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Audi?s dealers didn?t fare especially well in our Driver Power survey last year, finishing 26th out of 31, but we found staff at the upmarket Coulsdon operation both welcoming and keen to share their expertise.
?*Best 4x4s and SUVs on sale
And there was a lot for them to talk about, with our car featuring more than ?24,000 worth of optional equipment.
Erin gave me a guided tour of the car, starting off inside, where the build quality, as you?d expect of an Audi, is exemplary. The brushed metal gives it a really high-class feel, while sporty leather seats and SQ7 badging on the steering wheel remind you this model is a breed apart from regular versions.
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If you?ve never driven an Audi before, at first glance the infotainment system might cause a furrowed brow, but in reality it?s easy to use, with the MMI dial controlling functions such as the navigation and audio. Once you?ve mastered it, the rich sounds emanating from the ?1,100 Bose 3D system are worthy of such an expensive car.
All the relevant information is presented on a large pop-up screen which rises out of the centre of the dashboard, and as Audi?s Virtual Cockpit is standard, you can also choose to configure the digital display in front of the steering wheel accordingly.
We?ve specified the ?1,350 Head-up Display, so we also have the luxury of key info such as speed limits and directions being displayed on the windscreen in front of the driver. Move further back in the cabin, and the rear occupants are equally well catered for. My two young daughters can?t wait to use the 10.1-inch screens that come as part of the ?1,180 Audi Entertainment Mobile package, while the ?1,700 panoramic roof ensures the cabin feels light and airy at all times.
? Audi SQ7 review
The two rearmost seats ensure capacity for seven, plus folding them is as simple as pressing a button in the boot. And I?m going to need the maximum 1,890-litre capacity shortly, with a house move imminent.
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But what really matters with this car is its engine, a 429bhp powerhouse with a pioneering electric powered compressor (EPC) that promises to virtually eliminate turbo lag and provide instantaneous acceleration throughout the rev range.
Early impressions suggest the EPC is as good as its claims, and with the ?5,700 Driving Dynamics Sports Pack fitted, our SQ7 promises to drive with the sort of pace and agility you just don?t expect of a 2,405kg car. As SUVs take over the world, we?re looking forward to testing this technical tour de force thoroughly.
*Insurance quote from AA (0800 107 0680) for a 42-year-old in Banbury, Oxon, with three points.



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With a sub-five-second 0-62mph time, 2,405kg kerbweight and a near-?100,000 price as tested, the SQ7 is not for the faint-hearted. But what?s beyond dispute even at this early stage is how expertly crafted and engineered it is. It?s a masterful execution of a big, brawny, brash SUV.



  • Model: Audi SQ7
  • On fleet since: November 2016
  • Price new: ?72,020 (?96,210)
  • Engine: 4.0-litre V8 twin- turbodiesel, 429bhp
  • CO2/tax: 199g/km/?270
  • Selected options: Tofana white paint (?675), Leather S Sport seats Plus (?2,000), 21-inch alloys (?500), Tour Pack (?1,705), Parking Pack Advanced (?1,500), Advanced Key (?950), memory function for electric seats (?550), Driving Dynamics Sports Pack (?5,700)


  • Selected options cont: Matrix LED headlights (?950), Trailer Pack (?1,300), panoramic roof (?1,700), Bose 3D sound system (?1,100), Audi Entertainment Mobile (?1,180)
  • Insurance*: Group: 49/Quote: ?1,229
  • Mileage: 3,191
  • Economy: 28.1mpg
  • Any problems?: None so far






Text Source: Auto Express
 


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