Road Test

Road Test: 2010 Audi Q7 3.0 V6 TDI Clean Diesel

May 17, 2010

Audi Q7_05It’s not just the size, eventhough with over five meters of length and over two meters of total width, the Q7 looks a bit oversized at least by european standards, but Q7 looks really good at the parking lot. The exterior is full of details that catch your eye. Big singleframe front grill, Xenon headlights surrounded by LED daytime driving lights, LED indicators in the front bumper and LED tail lights integrated to the tailgate. Twin exhaust tailpipes are lurking under the rear bumber and inside the extended wheel arches there are filled 19″ alloy wheels, which in this case, doesn’t look very big. Dark brown metallic colour is called Teak and it works great in this big car. Dark brown is a nice change instead of the more usual black or silver paint.

Inside of the car there is a luxurious feeling, especially if you have chosen to have leather upholstery with the centre console and armrest in the doors finished with leather and with decorative seams. Q7 offers seats for seven passengers in three row. On the third row the seat itself is big enough even for an adult, but there is a shortage of head and especially legroom. Passengers in the second row can adjust their seats for forwards and backwards movement and even the backrest can be adjusted so on the seconf row there is as much room as in luxury sedan. The large panoramic glass sunroof is a really nice feature giving light and airy feel to the interior and especially for the passengers on the third row. Large glass surface is split into 3 segments. The front glass segment can be both tilted for ventilation and fully opened electrically. For a really sunny weather there’s also a sun screen. The rear glass segment has a tilt function which can be operated also from the back seat and it has also it’s own sun screen.

3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel produces 240 horsepower and 550 Newton metres of torque. Eventhough the car weights almost 2,5 tons, this smallest diesel engine still gives a nice performance for the Q7. Nothing spectacular, but it will keep you satisfied. Acceleration to a hundred takes 8,5 seconds which isn’t too bad for a big SUV. Certainly more power is always nice, but you would hardly ever need it. Now this 3.0 TDI is available as a clean diesel version. Clean diesel engine uses a diesel oxidation catalytic converter along with a diesel particulate filter and a special DeNOx converter. A biologically degradable water-based solution, known as AdBlue, is injected in minute doses into the exhaust pipe upstream of the DeNOx converter. The hot exhaust gases break down the solution to form ammonia, which in turn splits the nitrous oxide into nitrogen and water. This result is a cut of nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 90 percent. The solution is stored in a separate tank, which, when full, will easily last as long as the car’s service intervals. Audi Technicians then top up the tank during the car’s scheduled maintenance breaks. Due to this technology, the Audi Q7 3.0 TDI clean diesel already complies with the EU 6 emissions standard that only comes into force in Europe in 2014, as well as the stringent BIN 5 standard in the USA.

In addition to this 3.0-litre V6 TDI you can have your Q7 with a bigger 4.2 V8 TDI (326 hp and 760 Nm) or even bigger 6.0 V12 (500 hp and 1000 Nm). If you prefer a petrol engine, then you can choose between 3.6 V6 (280 hp, 360 Nm) and 4.2 V8 (350 hp, 440 Nm) FSI-engines. Power is delivered through 6-speed automatic gearbox for all four wheels. The latest version of new and enhanced generation of quattro features asymmetric and dynamic torque distribution with a 40/60 split, favouring the rear wheels. With Adaptive air suspension you can change the suspension settings and damper characteristics, at the touch of a button to suit how you want to drive. There are five modes to choose from: comfort, dynamic, automatic, offroad and lift. Raising the ground-clearance height of the car to approximately 240mm, lift mode is perfect for negotiating rough terrain and steep slopes. With lift mode the car’s height is really noticeable and it is not meant for longer driving. For bad road conditions you can choose offroad-mode whereas comfort, dynamic and automatic modes are designed to be used on the open roads.

With automatic-mode the ride height is dropped at higher speed making the car more aerodynamic and therefore helping the fuel efficiency. Even with comfort settings, the air suspension isn’t quite as smooth as you would expect, yet there isn’t really anything to complain about. Air suspension keeps the car’s big body well under control during acceleration and deceleration and preventing body roll in the corners. You won’t feel any big difference between comfort and dynamic-modes, but for some reason the dynamic-mode was usually on. On dynamic-mode the car height is lower and it is the sportiest choice. Well, as sporty as it can get. Q7 is quite good to drive and it’s behaviour is well balanced for a big car, but even with well working suspension you can’t hide the car’s weight and higher center of gravity and make it a sporty, no matter what. It you wan’t a sporty Audi SUV, then you should look for a smaller model, the Q5. Instead, the Q7 is big and bold, more like a luxurious limousine with a lot of space. Eventhough I don’t need 7 seats or 2000 litres of luggage space, I really fell for this car. Q7 looks good and is surprisingly powerful even with this 3.0-litre diesel, which is also eco-friendly. So now you have really good reason for buying a bit oversized car just for yourself.

Specification

Engine

  • diesel
  • 6-cylinder
  • 2967cc
  • turbo

Power

  • 176 kW (240 hp) / 4000-4400rpm

Torque

  • 550 Nm / 2000-2250rpm

Transmission

  • 6-speed automatic
  • AWD

0-100km/h / 0-62 mph

  • 8.5 seconds

Top speed

  • 210 km/h / 134 mph

Fuel consumption

  • 8.9 l/100km / 31.7 mpg

CO2 emissions

  • 234 g/km

Audi Q7_07