Back in the Vroom... With a vengeance and what a car to return to reviewing at the end of a long hot summer.
As we all know, first impressions count for most of us mere mortals and after after several months of lockdown and no cars to review, the Audi SQ7 certainly commanded my attention more than it might ordinarily have done.
From the daily ZOOM to 0 – 62 mph of Vroom in 4.1 seconds, this car is a seriously impressive breath of high-octane fresh air, in the literal sense. Faster even than an Aston Martin DBX … who would have thought?
I immediately felt like I was driving an Audi TT inside a flight simulator, with great panoramic visibility as I effortlessly glided across the motorways and roads of southern England.
The Audi SQ7 is deceptive. You feel like you are in a very peaceful sports car (a contradiction in terms I know) but with a huge amount of space behind and around you – all seven seats’ worth.
Whilst it’s most comparable and historic competitors such as the Porsche Cayenne GTS are smaller and more agile, it does not have the feeling of weight of the BMW X7 M50i and consequently feels much lighter and handles very well for a large SUV.
It could quite conceivably be the perfect cross-over car for the driving enthusiast. The one who loves putting their foot down but may have reached a point in their lives where they need to transport multi generation passengers without scaring the bejesus out of them.
Put another way, the drive is so flawless that your passengers safely cocooned in the back will have no idea what is going on and will be safely transported from A to B whilst plugged into iPads, phones or simply snoozing. Not dissimilar to the feeling you might get on a decent long-haul flight, but without the drinks trolley. Easier too with the Audi phone box that allows wireless charging, and two phones can be connected at the same time.
Whereas other SUVs I have tested have on occasion felt slightly bulky,
on first impression, I naturally found myself conscious of the size of the Audi SQ7 when at a complex four-lane roundabout on the North Circular and when first parking.
My fears were unfounded. The Audi SQ7 seems to transcend all of these concerns and effortlessly soothed and guided me through those apprehensions, with the help of all wheel steering, four-wheel drive and cameras showing me every angle.
I quickly felt very confident in this quite contrary car and therein lies much of its beauty.
• Absolutely awesome acceleration with no lag.
• The adjustable sports steering wheel feels fabulous in your hands, making you feel very much in control of the extraordinary engine power.
• A Telescopic speedometer – thank goodness for that otherwise you could get seriously carried away with this car.
• Gorgeous and beautifully made leather interior.
• The four-way lumber adjustment was very welcome.
• Super comfy headrests and lots of leg, head and elbow room.
• Lots of clever clips for hanging clothes up, netted baskets on the back of the seats to secure all of the paraphernalia we seem to all carry with us these days.
• Copious USB points.
• Great rear-view camera that I could understand for a change.
• Simply colossal boot space when all seats folded down.
• Tiniest indicator signs ever on a dashboard.
• Yet more overcomplicated but no doubt very clever technology (which seems to be a common feature of both Audi and Mercedes). The screens are not the easiest to operate whilst on the move and are quite distracting when you have to look down at the lower screen.
• Unless you enjoy using your precious time to sit and work out touch screen technology, you may want to outsource that responsibility to somebody else, who can then show you.
• Probably a first for a car review but you will need a good stash of anti-bac wipes, as the touch screens are huge and will need wiping.
Price from: £75,300
Combined MPG: 30.9
Speed 0-62: 4.1 seconds
Top speed: 155mph