One of the most popular premium seven-seat SUVs was the original Audi Q7 (2005-2015), so the German company had a big job on its hands when it came to be time for an all-new model in 2015, as it had to continue the Q7’s impressive sales figures. Luckily, the Mk2 is an excellent, refined large SUV and here’s a rundown on the model’s history.
Most Mk2 Q7s are TDI models, as was the public demand four years ago; there are TFSI variants to be found, but they’re incredibly rare so we’re focusing on the diesels here. In the main, it’s a 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel that does the bulk of the work. It’s found in the pre-facelift Q7 Mk2s and also in the post-facelift (2019) models, in two power outputs. For pre-facelift cars, there was a 218hp entry point and then a more powerful 272hp variant; these continued post-facelift but, under Audi’s naming policy, they became the 231hp ‘45’ TDI and the 286hp ‘50’ TDI. This same V6 turbodiesel was mated to a 94kW electric motor and 17.3kWh lithium-ion battery pack, to create the plug-in hybrid model called the Q7 e-tron. This could officially return up to 124mpg (1.9 litres/100km) with CO2 emissions as low as 48g/km, although it had to sacrifice its rear-most two seats as a result, making it a five-seat Q7 only. Topping the lot off was the performance model, badged SQ7. This used a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 TDI engine with an Electrically Powered Compressor (EPC) acting as a ‘third’ turbo to eliminate lag. With 435hp and 900Nm, it’s monstrously fast and – with optional active anti-roll bars, four-wheel steering and a quattro Sport differential fitted – brilliant to drive. It is, though, expensive to buy and run, even second-hand. The 2019 facelift brought in a revised cabin with Audi’s latest three-digital-screen MMI Navigation Plus infotainment interface and reshaped light clusters outside, easily spotted at the back of facelifted Q7 Mk2s because they are joined by a chrome strip.
As much as we’d like to say the SQ7 is the go-to model, in reality a pre-facelift 3.0 TDI with the 272hp motor is going to do everything a family could need of an everyday SUV.
Audi Q7 3.0 TDI 272 S line
Engine: 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel
Maximum speed: 234km/h
0-100km/h: 6.5 seconds
Fuel consumption: 5.7 litres/100km
• Incredibly refined
• Brutal SQ7’s performance
• Top-notch interior finishing
• Expensive to buy
• e-tron is five-seat only
• Petrol engines very rare
Save for its predominantly diesel drivetrains in an era when the fuel-type is slipping out of fashion, the Audi Q7 is one of the best large, premium, seven-seat SUVs there is. Buy a used example and you’ll be getting every bit of the luxury experienced by customers of brand-new Q7s, only for significantly less cash.