Audi Q7

The Essentials

  • Price from £40,010
  • What Car? says: 3 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 39.2mpg
  • What is it?

Great

  • Beautifully built interior
  • Engines deliver very strong performance, and it handles well
  • There's plenty of safety kit

Gripes

  • It costs more to buy than many of its competitors
  • Running one isn't cheap
  • The rearmost seats are strictly for kids
  • Drive

    Big but light on its feet, it's as fast as it is smooth - and very well behaved

  • Inside

    One of the best interiors on offer in its class

  • Safety

    You're well-protected in the Q7, with multiple airbags and stability control

  • Reliability

    Audi hasn't got a great track record in reliability surveys

  • Space

    Plenty of room up front but only kids will be able to squeeze in the rearmost seats

  • Standard and extras

    A bit of a letdown, given the price you're paying

  • What's it like to drive?

    The Audi Q7 is a joy to drive, despite its size: it surges forward the second you put your foot to the floor, sticks to the road in the worst of Britain's weather, and corners with the poise of a prima ballerina. You can switch the suspension mode between comfort and sport to suit the road and/or your mood: lower it while you're putting bags into the boot or jack it up if you're venturing off-road. Feeling a little frazzled? The Q7 is so tranquil, take it for a quick spin and you'll feel as though you've spent the day at Champneys. Finding a suitably sized parking spot might be a challenge, however - it's vast.

  • What's it like inside?

    The controls in the Audi Q7 are exactly where your brain wants them to be and everything works smoothly. You can shift the steering wheel and seat until they fit you perfectly. Paddles on the steering wheel let you override the automatic gearbox and change gear manually. You can stretch out in the front two rows of seats and slide the middle bench for extra leg space. But the back seats, which fold into the floor when they're not being used, should be reserved for the kids. The boot gulps down luggage without even chewing. Prepare to pay extra if you want the luxury of DVD sat-nav and a huge panoramic sunroof.

  • How reliable is it?

    Although everything in the Q7 feels beautifully put together, Audi's reliability has been disappointing in recent surveys. You'll last a long time, too: you get multiple airbags and stability control to help keep you safe.

  • Should I buy one?

    You needn't sell your soul to buy an Audi Q7, but you might have to remortgage it to meet the running costs. It's big, it's thirsty and it belches out carbon dioxide in alarming quantities.