Review and test drive new Audi Q7August 21, 2019
Only in Ireland does an elderly woman who slowly eats her breakfast can smile approvingly and nod when you order a pint of Guinness at 11 a.m. And here is a very simple philosophy, which is followed by almost all residents: “There is only two things to worry about – are you healthy or sick.” This explains a little that in the first eight hours in the Irish city of Kerry and its environs, I saw exactly zero BMW cars and one Mercedes-Benz (I still can’t get dust in the eyes of the old premium girl: there is always a year of issue on license plates).
But there were a lot of Audi around. At least those ten Q7s intended for journalists who flew to the first test of the updated SUV. How are Ireland and the first SUV in the history of the brand from Ingolstadt connected? Most likely, directly in any way. Indeed, last year 234 of these cars were sold here – almost six times less than, say, the A4 Allroad.
Another thing is a very unusual beauty (for me now it is the most beautiful country in the world) of these places, which, perhaps, allows us to emphasize how much the car has changed. In recent years, even Audi fans have begun to complain that the company from Ingolstadt is not famous for the fact that during restyling it somehow changes the appearance of the car. Most often, the matter is limited to a cosmetic design change, but they can work more seriously with technology.
This is not about the updated Q7 at all. It seems that she hasn’t changed so seriously in all the 14 years since her debut in Frankfurt. It is easy to make a mistake and call this car new, but not updated, because it received new front and rear parts. Not for nothing and in Audi it is called just the new.
The number of my friends who asked about Ireland and Conor McGregor branded whiskey is huge, but less than those who have recently been interested in my price or opinion on Q8. So when I say that the updated Q7 has become very similar to my brother, I give her a huge compliment.
Here, for example, is the same octagonal grille. And get ready, now you will see it on all Audi SUVs – this is a kind of coat of arms of the brand’s SUVs and crossovers. By the way, people who accused Audi of all its cars being alike, like the Irish leprechauns of the same McGregor, got a powerful answer: at least the entire off-road range will now be very different from sedans, station wagons and coupes.
The grill is not everything, the car has new headlights. In the base they are diode, in more expensive configurations – matrix, capable of turning off a segment in a light beam so as not to blind the oncoming drivers, but in the top ones – laser. The dimensions of the SUV, by the way, have changed slightly: due to the new shape of the bumpers, the length has increased by 11 mm, to 5062 millimeters.
Even at the static presentation of the novelty, David Hakobyan talked with the exterior designer of the updated Q7, and he noted a new, more off-loaded rear part of the SUV and even named his favorite design element – a chrome strip coming from one lamp to another. Live looks incredibly stylish.
Ireland is a country whose hospitality is no less famous than Caucasian, but we were immediately warned: fines for excesses are evil, even though you can drive at 0.8 ppm, that is, in a state of easy shutdown. In addition, the road has to be shared with numerous cyclists, sheep, and sometimes cows. Do not be surprised, milk for Ireland is a very important product: 43% of all raw materials produced in the country are used to make Baileys liquor – yes, it is also Irish.
We managed to ride at once on two of the three possible modifications: on a 340-horsepower gasoline, which, by the way, will not be in Russia, because the overwhelming majority of sales fell on the version on “heavy” fuel, and the 286-horsepower diesel. Behind the scenes was only the most modest version with a three-liter diesel engine with a capacity of 231 horsepower. The engines at Q7 remained the same as on a dorestyled SUV, but now all the car’s options are the so-called soft hybrid. An automatic gearbox integrates an electric motor-generator, which runs on a 48-volt on-board network.
It is connected during accelerations, reducing the load on the internal combustion engine and saving fuel. He is also responsible for the quick start of the engine, since when coasting at speeds from 55 to 160 km / h, electronics can turn off the engine for up to 40 seconds. The battery of this entire system is in the trunk. It is because of him that it seems that the luggage compartment was reduced by 25 liters.
It seemed to me, let all the fans of the Bavarian automobile industry forgive me, that the Q7 is better than the X5, which I happened to drive not so long ago. It’s as unusual as the fact that you don’t see a snake on the territory of Ireland (another plus in the treasury of becoming my favorite country: according to legend, St. Patrick agreed with the reptiles so that they would not appear here), but, for me, Audi behaves almost perfectly for an SUV. That is, it does not roll, does not vibrate on rough roads, is very stable in corners and dynamic. A gasoline car accelerates to 100 km / h in 5.9 seconds, a diesel car in 6.3 seconds. My only complaint about driving – soft and not too informative brakes.
The absence of banks and vibration is the merit of the electromechanical active system for stabilizing lateral stability, which is first installed on a full-size SUV. Its adjustable stabilizers reduce roll angle and cornering. At low speeds, an angle of up to 5 degrees in the opposite direction to the front wheels can move the rear wheels. The system is not included in the basic equipment, but is installed in a package with active electromechanical anti-roll bars and a shorter steering gear – 2.4 turns from lock to lock against 2.9.
Do you know what is strange? For example, the fact that the Irish do not pull birthday people by the ears, but turn them upside down and hit the floor: how many years – so many blows. But on this trip there was something even more unusual – to drive a left-hand drive in a country with left-hand traffic.
I had to constantly adjust the movement of the car, pull myself, so as not to go into the oncoming lane. But thanks to this, and also because the lanes in Ireland are unrealistically narrow, I finally felt the benefit of the lane control system. You turn it on and forget about some of the problems: Q7 itself taxies, so as not to travel outside its ranks. However, you won’t be able to let your hands go: the electronics will arouse literally in a few seconds and will threaten to turn off if you stop taking part in the taxiing process.
Thanks to the huge number of electronic assistants, even in a situation where you are driving along the unusual side of the road, I had the opportunity to study the interior a bit. There are two traditional Audi displays with sizes of 10.1 and 8.6 inches. Everything works brilliantly, with the fashionable dual-feedback function: sound and tactile sensations, but the screens glare in the sun, and when the car is turned off, numerous fingerprints are immediately visible on them. Another 12.3 inches on the dashboard takes a virtual instrument cluster. In the database, however, they will remain analog.
The three things that I liked most about the Q7’s interior are very comfortable seats with the perfect combination of softness and stiffness of supports, a super audio system (I’m sure I will have to pay a lot of money for it) and … you can talk to the machine, moreover in Russian.
Yes, in the age of “Siri” a smart assistant will not surprise anyone, but still, when the car understands your commands, and not linearly, but twists them and leads you almost a real dialogue, it is still impressive. As well as the fact that the navigation system here tracks trips and remembers the usual places, it itself offers them convenient route options.
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