2017 Audi SQ7 Road Test and Review…
Want to get the kids to a basketball game and simultaneously set a land speed record? This is your car – The Audi SQ7.
With not one, not two, but three turbos bolted onto a 4.0 V8 diesel, this 900Nm triple turbo monster will have you one up on anyone bragging about their rather pedestrian twin turbo in the pub.
You did read that right – 900Nm. That’s a lot of torque.
To put it in perspective, an average Kenworth prime mover generates about 1100Nm and can tow about 40 tonnes.
While the big Audi SUV can’t quite match that, I’m sure if you needed to uproot a huge gum tree or pull over an office block, the SQ7 is likely to be up to the task.
Jokes aside, this is one seriously fast machine. Without caution, you could be in front of a magistrate asking to have your $153,616 Audi SQ7 released from the impound yard before you know it.
It’s deceivingly quick – perhaps because of the higher ride height – after about 5 seconds a quick glance at the speedo will see you sailing past the national speed limit.
It piles on the speed at a blistering rate of knots and just keeps on going.
Audi have limited the top speed to 250km/h, which is more to do with what the tyres can handle rather than how hard the V8 diesel can push.
This car would be glorious on an autobahn, or to cross the Nullabor in, it eats up the miles like few cars can.
And that engine is a work of art. Even the most hardened car nut would be hard pressed to pick that it’s an oil burner by listening to it.
From any position in or out of the car, the throbbing V8 sounds like what any high performance petrol V8 does.
It’s a joy to listen to even at idle.
In fact, if it wasn’t for the TDI badge on the back and the diesel warning inside the fuel filler flap, few of my mates wouldn’t have believed that it doesn’t drink petrol.
The consumption figures prove that it’s a diesel. Afterall how many other 3 tonne, 7 seat SUV’s able to do 100km/h in 4.9 seconds can return a figure like 7.2 litres per 100km? That’s 32 miles per gallon. Staggering.
There’s a host electromagnetic trickery on this car, starting with the electric turbo that spools up to eliminate turbo lag before the two traditional turbos kick in.
Then there’s the suspension system that counteracts the laws of physics by combating body-roll.
Any car leans in a corner, this system pushes the SQ7 in the opposite direction to produce near on flat cornering.
For lovers of the Honda Prelude from the 90’s, there’s a return of four wheel steering, available as option in the big Audi.
It results in a turning circle smaller than the tiny Audi Q3, when at low speeds the back wheels turn in the opposite direction to the front wheels.
At speed, it adds to the composure by turning ever so slightly in the same direction as the front wheels.
Like an Audi these days, the cabin is magnificent.
Our test car came with the optional diamond stitching pattern on the seats. It drew glowing comments from everyone that saw it.
An Audi cabin almost has more to do with how it feels rather than how it looks. Every surface you touch has a feeling of well thought out quality.
Like the obviously ergonomically designed centre armrest that is exactly the right height so you can rest your hand on the stubby little gear lever.
The flat bottom steering wheel with it various control functions looks brilliant. The only draw back is you can’t steer with your knees when eating a Big Mac.
But fear not McDonalds aficionados, the SQ7 comes with active steering, among a suite of other ground breaking safety systems.
Not that I’m recommending you scoff a burger with your hands off the wheel, that’d be silly, and you’ll probably end up with special sauce all over your lap.
The Audi won’t let you anyway, it can detect if you’re not holding on and will summon a swarm of alarms and flashing warnings to tell you to put your hands back on the steering wheel.
Audi’s virtual cockpit, or digital dash, is stunning. It has high resolution Google Earth images embedded in it, meaning when you’re sitting at the traffic lights you can tell if the house on the side of the road has a swimming pool.
Fascinating for sticky beaks!
There’s so much more to this car than speed, handling, safety, luxury and technology.
It’s a big, comfortable seven-seat family wagon that does a spectacular job.
It’s a car for everyone. Kids will love the space for all their mates in the back, Mum will love the luxurious interior, and of course, Dad will love the power and handling…come to think of it, Mum will too!
NUTS and BOLTS – 2017 Audi SQ7
Engine: 4.0 litre Triple Turbo V8 Diesel developing 320kW and 900Nm
Transmission: 8- Speed Automatic
Safety: 5 Star ANCAP
Warranty: 3 years, unlimited kilometres
Price: From $153,616 before on road costs