back to article The Q7: Audi’s big SUV goes from tosspot to tip-top

Too large, too ugly, too late. Luckily (for El Reg’s relationship with Audi) that’s my opinion of the outgoing Q7. Why anyone coughed up good money for a Q7 when for less you could have pretty much the same thing with a VW Touareg badge on the back was beyond me. Q7_side New Q7, looks less leaden than old model. In fact, it' …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Deep Joy

    So the Audi driving [redacted] can get from A (home) to B(hair/nail salon, school) half a nano second faster in the new lighter Q7.

    It used to be BMW 3 series that I had to look out for on the road. Now it is 'Mummy darling' whisking her little pride and joy off to Private School and to hell with anyone else on the road. The drivers have no concept of how wide these Panzers are.

    I have found that the Black ones are the worst. Now they have made is lighter, faster and....

    Plus they don't fit into parking spaces. Don't try to park next to one or your door will get zinged for sure.

    Grrrrrrrrrr

    1. getHandle

      Re: Deep Joy

      Round here all the drivers of SUVs seem to think the white line down the middle of the road is theirs and theirs alone to drive on. Drive what you like but at least learn to drive it well!

    2. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: Deep Joy

      "Plus they don't fit into parking spaces" -- AC

      Almost nothing fits into parking spaces any more -- they are like bus seats, still being made to fit the sizes of vehicles and backsides that were around in the '70s and '80s.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Deep Joy

      I have found that the Black ones are the worst

      I prefer black (well, metallic black) over white any day - feels less like you're driving something that is only an Armitage Shanks logo short of being a toilet..

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Deep Joy

        I prefer black (well, metallic black) over white any day - feels less like you're driving something that is only an Armitage Shanks logo short of being a toilet..

        Probably better driving a bog than a hearse.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Deep Joy

      Round here it doesn't need to be private school. We live close to the village primary and there are two no go times of the day when people (and cats of a nervous disposition) stay indoors. People dropping off at the local private school tend to drive smaller scruffier vehicles - a choice of where you want to spend your money.

      1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
        Pint

        "...platform new, but the Q7 is the first model to use it..."

        Traditionally, on Top Gear, they'd yell...

        "How's your [insert name of cheapest vehicle based on same platform]?"

        For a Porsche, "How's your Beetle?"

        For a Lambo, "How's your Audi?"

        For a Jeep Cherokee, "How's your jacked-up Fiat Dart?"

        VWG arranging that the first vehicle to use a new platform is the slightly higher end model is brilliant. It turns the Top Gear insult on its head, disarming it entirely.

        Next year, when the VW version of the SUV comes out, people can only yell, "How's your Audi Q7?" - which really isn't as funny.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: "...platform new, but the Q7 is the first model to use it..."

          "Next year, when the VW version of the SUV comes out, people can only yell, "How's your Audi Q7?" - which really isn't as funny."

          Which is unfortunate, though, for the forthcoming Bentley Bentayga which will also be using the same MLB 2 platform as Q7 (and new A4 and A8).

          But yes, with any Audi "how's your Skoda" is perfectly fair comment.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "...platform new, but the Q7 is the first model to use it..."

            What's wrong with a Skoda?

        2. Sir Sham Cad

          Re: Top Gear insult on its head

          "How's your Skoda Yeti?"

      2. Jamester

        Re: Deep Joy

        I used to think that when passing our local private school... people making some difficult financial sacrifices to send their children to private school.

        Then someone pointed out to me that actually those are just the nannies who have the smaller, older cars dropping off.

      3. Trigonoceps occipitalis

        Re: Deep Joy

        But don't those yellow zig-zags mean "SUV Parking Only"?

        1. Eponymous Cowherd
          Thumb Up

          Re: Deep Joy

          "But don't those yellow zig-zags mean "SUV Parking Only"?"

          A Police officer friend of mine once old me how they received a number of complaints from the local MumsNet chapter (yummy mummy division) about people parking inconsiderately outside a local school.

          They duly dispatched a couple of plods who slapped tickets on a swathe of vehicles parked on the yellow zig-zags (which, apparently, earns you points as well as a fine).

          Next day, another load of complaints from the same people (who had originally complained), who had all been ticketed. Apparently they "had" to park on the zig-zags because all of the legal parking spaces were taken.

          They expected Plod to move on people who were parked legally, so they could park, and were incensed that they were ticketed as they made the complaint in the first place.

          I don't know if they were driving SUVs, but, in my mind's eye they were. The sense of righteous entitlement to the entire road kind of fits.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Deep Joy

      "New high-end motor just better than the old. At everything"

      Nope, my current 4.2 Q7 is still significantly faster accelerating. And there was a 6.0 too...

      1. Eponymous Cowherd
        Trollface

        Re: Deep Joy

        "Nope, my current 4.2 Q7 is still significantly faster accelerating. And there was a 6.0 too..."

        But how many wanker signs per hour does it do?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Deep Joy

          "But how many wanker signs per hour does it do?"

          That depends of course on how many it passes...

  2. Field Commander A9

    I don't know about your part of the world but...

    Around my part of the world, a big black Audi is the go-to choice for EVERY rich farmer/ex-farmer who's too old to understand why their son bought that tiny car that can't do anything other than go from 0-60mph in 3 seconds.

    1. dogged

      Re: I don't know about your part of the world but...

      "Rich Farmer"? East Anglian detected.

      Also, I noted this little gem from the article -

      One is called Traffic Jam Assistant, which, at speeds below 37mph, uses the adaptive cruise control and a camera to keep the car in lane and at a fixed space behind the vehicle ahead

      About an inch a half, right? It's an Audi, after all.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google Sat Nav usability research

    Mostly negative results. No positive developments. Something tells me that animated paper maps, or 3d drivethroughs, aren't the ideal ways to present this info. Maybe all you need is something like a roadsign showing which exit to take at the next junction, along with adequate forewarning

    1. DryBones
      Pirate

      Re: Google Sat Nav usability research

      Not sure what you're on about, Google has been spanking the satnav general market (with the occasional moan) for years now. They're simply better at delivering the information.

      As for your something, I suggest that you take it to a bigger city sometime. When you take an exit, then have to choose between 2 diverging lanes within 200' of that, and then again another 300' on, while moving at a reasonable clip, it's rather helpful to be able to glance at the screen and see you need to go right, stay left, then go right before you have to combine it with keeping other vehicles from initiating mating.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Google Sat Nav usability research

        I guess you gave me the thumb down? I was thinking of research a bit more rigorous than "I use Google and I like it"

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Google Sat Nav usability research

        Not sure what you're on about, Google has been spanking the satnav general market (with the occasional moan) for years now. They're simply better at delivering the information.

        Not really. For a start, a satnav doesn't leak my information to Google so it's not tracking me, and it needs no live data connection (unless it needs to stay up to date, and in that context I don't like Tomtom either but at least they're not US based), secondly I would really hope that at some point, Google maps stop scrolling on the mouse wheel. The moment you come close to the web browser with a mouse your map scale and position changes, with no ability to return to where you started other than reloading. Ergo, their idea of UI design (at least for maps) has enough flaws to be annoying.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Google Sat Nav usability research

          Google maps stop scrolling on the mouse wheel.

          Driving whilst browsing the internet?

          very lorry driver or black cab esque

  4. russsh

    A trick up its sleeve?

    Mazda's 4WS did that same trick more than 20 years ago.

    In that case it was to make a sporty-ish car (MX-6) sportier, rather than as a necessary aid for keeping the barge on the road around corners.

    1. Steve Evans

      Re: A trick up its sleeve?

      I was just about to make the same comment... As far as I can remember, every AWS system I've ever experienced has done that same "trick"... The Nissan 300ZX from the (very) late 80s for example, not to mention the Skyline GT-R.

    2. CRConrad

      Re: A trick up its sleeve?

      Also the Honda Prelude, ca 198...6, 7?

      Nigh on THIRTY years ago.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cue now

    ...all the dismissive comments from those who would never be able to afford one anyway. :-)

  6. Ian Emery Silver badge

    SUV drivers should pay double (or triple) parking fees due to the excess space they take up. I saw a tit blocking two spaces yesterday (parked exactly down the middle of the white line), in a carpark that was already full to bursting.

    Had another one today, taking the disabled space closest to the shop, no badge and jumped out athletically.(no passengers).

    1. DryBones

      Mine fits quite well, but I suppose it's more in the crossover / son-of-a-wagon category.

      Is there a number you can call to report them for booting/towing?

      1. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

        Is there a number you can call to report them for booting/towing?

        Probably not. All parking areas seem to be managed by the lowest bidding private firms these days. They don't have towing vehicles because employing somebody on a zero hours contract with a book of parking fine tickets is so much cheaper.

        I think this also has a bearing on last year's Government cull of valid Blue Card holders. Every disabled Blue Card holder costs us money by getting free parking, dontcha know, so if we tell the Govt its costing them money the dozy sods will believe us and put a stop to it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          blue Badge holders

          Round here they have to pay just like the rest of us plebs. Their only advantage is that they get the spaces closest to the Pedestrian exit.

          Now the local conncil has removed two of the three motorcycle parking spaces in town and made them 'Parent and Baby' spaces as if there aren't already two whole rows of them already.

          Barstewards.

          Is it any wonder that people head for the next town where parking is far more sensible.

          1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

            'Parent and Baby' spaces

            These spaces ought to be time-limited. After bed-time they should be available for grown-ups to use.

        2. Trigonoceps occipitalis

          They don't have towing or booting teams because it has been illegal for private companies since 2014.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Booting a car has obviously always been illegal no matter how temping it might be with some people's parking...Keys or other sharp objects usually are more subtle anyway...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "...(parked exactly down the middle of the white line),"

      You weren't wearing boots?

      In most jurisdictions, you're permitted to leave an £800 dent in the driver's door.

      I'm fairly certain of that.

    3. Down not across

      Parking

      SUV drivers should pay double (or triple) parking fees due to the excess space they take up. I saw a tit blocking two spaces yesterday (parked exactly down the middle of the white line), in a carpark that was already full to bursting.

      Whilst I do not deny that there are quite a few SUV drivers that don't seem to be able to drive or park them, at least they have some vague excuse especially since parking spaces in many places are pretty tight fit for most modern cars.

      I see even more bad parking with the very small cars (Swift, Cinquecento, etc). It is quite shocking that it is so difficult to fit one of those within the parking space.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Parking

        Parking Spaces.

        There seems to be a few hundred thousand tradesmen and courier drivers in transit van sized vehicles that can manage parking in normal spaces without the aid of a read window.

        Yet in a smaller Audi family car, suddenly parking is a problem.

  7. Andy Tunnah

    Boring

    That is one ugly, boring looking car. It looks like a bloated A4. It looks like they simply inflated the A4.

    I liked the first Q7. It looked...mean. Although I suppose that limits your market, this is definitely a more soccer-mom looking affair

    1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: Boring

      this is definitely a more soccer-mom looking affair

      I should have thought that the population of mothers who play football would be too small to constitute a worthwhile market.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Boring

        Especially since a high percentage of female football players apparently don't prefer men...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Probably not the target market, but...

    The peek under the hood (sigh...bonnet) tells me all I need to know about this car. There's nothing in there that you can fix yourself. Everything from a headlamp bulb change to an oil top-up is going to need a trip to the dealer.

    What's a petrolhead to do?

    1. John Geek

      Re: Probably not the target market, but...

      indeed, ALL the new cars, they hide the engine under 3 layers of useless plastic, guaranteeing at least an extra billable hour to each and every service trip.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Probably not the target market, but...

        ALL the new cars, they hide the engine under 3 layers of useless plastic, guaranteeing at least an extra billable hour to each and every service trip.

        Most of this is on quick release clips so it's not going to take much time to take it off. Those covers do have a function: noise management. That stuff is part of the measures to contain the typical diesel "hammer" noise.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "...electrically operated tow hook..."

    Ah, a hidden hitch.

    There's a brand of trailer hitches in North America called 'Hidden Hitch'. You see them hanging out below rear vehicle bumpers, like, everywhere! Proudly emblazoned with the bold brand name 'Hidden Hitch' visible from hundreds of feet distant. "Hidden..."? Not even slightly.

    1. John 62

      Re: "...electrically operated tow hook..."

      At least the hitches are hidden from nearby number plates, walls, car doors, etc.

  10. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    The Full Audi

    "Traffic Jam Assistant, which... ...uses the adaptive cruise control and a camera to keep the car in lane and at a fixed space behind the vehicle ahead."

    Being an Audi, the 'fixed space' will be 16 inches.

    1. Down not across

      Re: The Full Audi

      "Traffic Jam Assistant, which... ...uses the adaptive cruise control and a camera to keep the car in lane and at a fixed space behind the vehicle ahead."

      At least it may keep the 'soccer moms' from running into you while they do their make up. And with any luck will mean they won't be trying to do it on the motorway.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Full Audi

        Cmon, you can do better than that sexist drivel.

        Women are no better and no worse at driving than men. If it wasn't makeup it would be some a-hole man fiddling with the entertainment system.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The Full Audi

          "Women are no better and no worse at driving than men"

          Statistics disagree. Per mile driven, women have more accidents. They are however often cheaper to insure as they on average drive far fewer miles than men.

  11. small and stupid

    SUVs are vulgar, stupid piles of shit for tasteless wankers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      SUVs are vulgar, stupid piles of shit for tasteless wankers.

      They're also excellent transport vehicles for anything to do with emergency handling. There is no vehicle more practical than a SUV if you need to take along a lot of kit at the same time as being able to transport people out where required.

      And it is, of course, by definition an excellent way to piss off people who hate SUVs - call it a bonus feature.

      1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
        Pint

        "...no vehicle more practical than a SUV..."

        Not necessarily. There exists SUVs with amusingly small and awkward cargo spaces. Hardly enough room for a hound. Some SUVs are very badly designed.

        A Mercedes W211 saloon can hold 3 or 4 political prisoners in the boot, and 3 heavily armed mercenaries in the back seat, at the same time. Fold the rear seats down and there's room for about a dozen political prisoners if they're stacked efficiently.

      2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        There is no vehicle more practical than a SUV if you need to take along a lot of kit at the same time as being able to transport people out where required.

        Except, possibly, an estate car. This Audi looks like it has a lot of load space, but many SUVs have a disappointingly titchy load floor when the seats are up.

    2. Dr_N Silver badge

      "SUVs are vulgar, stupid piles of shit for tasteless wankers"

      Aw. They're not allowed under your company car rules then?

  12. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    Proof, if proof were needed, that having a lot of money doesn't mean you're not a

    chav.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Proof, if proof were needed, that having a lot of money doesn't mean you're not a

      Chav is not based on income. It's more of an ideology. With Audi at its core (especially A3).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Proof, if proof were needed, that having a lot of money doesn't mean you're not a

        "Chav is not based on income. It's more of an ideology. With Audi at its core (especially A3)."

        LOL, Audi must be one of the least Chav car brands on the market. For starters they are high quality and very expensive - and out of the income range of your average Chav. Secondly they have an impeccable image - and are commonly used by the upper classes - especially the Royal Family who are well known Audi drivers!

  13. GrantB
    Boffin

    Reduced drag coefficient?

    I get that modern cars like this SUV are designed to look like bricks; part fashion, partly to make it look safe and to help frontal impact/pedestrian safety.

    But so many reviews pass on the manufacturers claim of reduced drag for new models. In this case "...It’s more slippery too, the drag coefficient has dropped from 0.35 to 0.32"

    Audi were achieving 0.29/0.30 drag coefficients over 30 years ago with the 100/200 series. So they must increasing drag every other model so that they can then claim to reduce it for some models like this.

    I know that drag reduction is not a big deal in massive vehicles like this that have the frontal area of a barn (and spend most of the time tooling around urban zones) but why even try and make claims that they are more sleek? If Audi actually cared, they have the technology to improve drag over ancient models.

    (I am just bitter as when I was a kid at school, I drew pictures of future cars, imagining them to be light, streamlined and cool; not agricultural boxes with big engines that prove with sufficient thrust anything can be made to move fast).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reduced drag coefficient?

      If Audi actually cared, they have the technology to improve drag over ancient models.

      Audi does have models with a far better drag coefficient (basically any other model, come to think of it), but this is simply a physical limit. If it's shaped like a cathedral there are only so many corners you can round before you run out of options..

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Reduced drag coefficient?

        If it's shaped like a cathedral there are only so many corners you can round before you run out of options.. reminds me

        One of my favourite car quotes from the 70's was about the Landrover Series 3

        "As aerodynamic as a breezeblock"

        yet they still sold them, but the market was for farmers, sites and rescue services, not taking "Tarquin" the 300 metres to school and back

        1. launcap Silver badge

          Re: Reduced drag coefficient?

          > "As aerodynamic as a breezeblock"

          As the old saying does - even a brick will fly pretty well if you put enough power behind it..

    2. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Reduced drag coefficient?

      Keep in mind that total drag involves not only Cd, but also cross sectional area.

      So a huge SUV with a poor Cd is going to be bad squared.

      That's why Audi SUVs are always tailgating 16 inches off your bumper. They're not being rude, they're just slip streaming to help save energy.

    3. JetSetJim Silver badge

      Re: Reduced drag coefficient?

      > Audi were achieving 0.29/0.30 drag coefficients over 30 years ago with the 100/200 series.

      Apples and oranges - the 100 & 200 series weren't SUVs - you'd want to be comparing them with the A4. Additionally, I suspect the manufacturers at the time weren't also that hugely concerned with survivability of pedestrians in impacts with their cars, which has an impact on design and aerodynamics, also.

  14. Wibble
    Paris Hilton

    Another white van, how appropriate

    it appears to be missing the signage from the side. After all it's the size of a transit van.

    Maybe it's me, but every time I see one of those on the road I can't help thinking what tasteless tosser would buy one of those. Obviously they'll sell well in those bastions of sophistication Essex and Cheshire.

  15. vordan

    In my country, only drug-dealers drive these...

    We've learned to stay away and give them right of way

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "In my country, only drug-dealers drive these..."

      So presumably implying it is the ultimate MPV choice where money is no object!

  16. Yugguy

    A bin

    "Audi shifted over half a million Mark 1 Q7s but I've never understood how or why. "

    Really? Its quite obvious l.

    Audi could put its badge on a wheelie bin and shift millions because they are viewed by certain people as a status symbol.

    1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: A bin

      Audi "...a status symbol..." ?

      Their "...aspirations are rubbish."

      Autobahn pecking order (by brand) is reportedly:

      Porsche

      Mercedes

      BMW

      Audi

      VW

  17. MJI Silver badge

    Around here in that market position

    It appears to be mainly Land Rover products.

    Not so many large Audis

  18. Dan McIntyre

    They're all the same

    Audis/VWs/Skodas

    They're all the same. Every single car from each of the manufacturers. Same interiors, same bland boringness and same numbskull "driving" them, usually 5mm from the rear of the car in front or, as last Friday, at high speed on the wrong side of the road after running a red light.

  19. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Hmmm, I'll stick with my Touareg thanks...

    The Audi is still an overpriced "soft roader" with no-off road creds. My Touareg has towed a Disco out of a muddy field, horseboxes across them; and loaded up with bikes, kayaks, diving equipment and such like down some pretty tricky green lanes and trails has never broken a sweat.

    It's black. Has never been near a private school as my darling daughter gets the train, and is genuinely the best car I have ever owned.

    1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Hmmm, I'll stick with my Touareg thanks...

      Your current vehicle should always be monotonically improved over any previous vehicles you've owned. Cars are generally improving with every revision, as should be your financial circumstances and experience. You should always be driving "...genuinely the best car [you've] ever owned." If not, then you're doing it wrong.

      Q7 and Touareg aren't all that different. VWG actively minimizes the number of platforms. Choice of tyres is probably at least 75% of any delta in traction off road.

      1. Cupboard

        Re: Hmmm, I'll stick with my Touareg thanks...

        "Choice of tyres is probably at least 75% of any delta in traction off road."

        One that's got wrong by so many people. I have (literally) run rings round vehicles that have far more fancy off-road aids than my Defender purely by having sensible tyres. Nice tall and skinny tyres are the way forward.

        I don't get the fascination for fitting rubber band tyres to wheels, and I don't get the attraction in really wide tyres either. How often am I doing high speed cornering? Never. How often might I want a bit more forwards traction? Me, frequently, most people sometimes. How often would I like a ride that doesn't judder my back to bits? All the time.

        I know it's rather agricultural but I find my Defender a lot more comfortable than a friend's A4 (though on road his will out corner mine quite nicely).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmmm, I'll stick with my Touareg thanks...

      "The Audi is still an overpriced "soft roader" with no-off road creds. My Touareg has..."

      Over priced to you maybe - but then again it's a way way better vehicle in pretty much every aspect - having driven a Touareg for a few weeks as a loan car and now owning a newish Q7: Handling, comfort, performance, build quality, features, accessories, noise levels, technology, interior - all are leagues ahead on the Q7.

      As far as I recall the Q7 has never been sold as an "off roader" (although it does have Quattro 4 wheel drive and adjustable ride height). It's firmly in the premium MPV sector.

  20. Jim 59

    Review

    It's usual for independent car reviews to include a negative comment or two, and a couple of comparisons to competing models. Rather than a string of uniformly positive statements topped off with a friendly invitation to "...drop into an Audi dealer... ".

    Has Vulture actually been at the wheel? Or just at the Audi press launch ? How did Vulture established that the car has "...class-leading dynamics..."?

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