A history lesson…
Launched back when 4x4s were still deemed to be cool and trendy, the massive Audi Q7 became an instant hit for the Bavarians. With its truly gigantic size, drug-dealer-esque looks and impeccable build quality, the Q7 managed to take some of the market off the established names such as BMW’s X5 and the Range Rover.
Unquestionably, the Q7’s biggest challenge was to impress in an overly crowded 4x4 section of the market. It somehow managed to do this by being relatively inoffensive on the looks department and technically very capable. It was never a Range Rover, by which we mean incredible off-road, but it was a great compromise of a luxurious 4x4 combined with the high-driving position which 4x4 customers demand.
Bang for your buck
In many ways, Audi do charge a premium for the Q7. The top model, for instance, is a massive V12 diesel which comes with a £100,000 price-tag. Now for that money you could buy a superb Audi R8, an Aston Martin V8 Vantage or even a used Ferrari F430, so surely you’d be stupid to even consider the V12 diesel Q7… and you’d be right.
The best Q7s are the diesels, albeit the smaller capacity ones. For around £25/30k you could buy yourself an absolute minter of a Q7 with all the luxuries and technology of the £100k V12.
Bang for buck isn’t Audi’s first concern, so expect to pay higher for a Q7 compared to a Range Rover or X5.
What you’ll pay
The beautiful 3.0-litre TDI is the most common used Q7 on dealer forecourts, so expect to pay around £23,650 for a 2006 55-plated SE and slightly more for the S Line at £24,800. Again, Audis aren’t cheap, but they won’t let you down.
What to check
The Q7 is a pretty reliable car, but with it being such a big off-roader you’re better checking the basics along with a stringent look at all the alloy wheels. Along with this, please check the body for any dents or marks; replacing the panels will cost you an arm and a leg!
As said above, parts are anything but cheap. If something does go wrong and you’re not under warranty, Audi will be laughing all the way to the bank, as you go home and cry yourself to sleep. Door mirrors, for example, are a sobering £145 each!
How it drives
Imagine driving a marshmallow, and you’ll be visualising how the Audi Q7drives. It’s not that it’s a bad car – in many ways it’s brilliant – but to drive it feels very soft and cushioned. This is lovely if all you want is a relaxing cruiser for long motorway runs, but if you’re a driver and you want your 4x4 to be able to reach down into your pants and have a little play, then the Q7 is not the 4x4 for you.
Inside, however, is a different story. It’s lovely and plush; full of nice touches and luxurious material. Alongside this is Audi’s excellent build quality, finish and workmanship. It really is a car you can be proud of parked up outside your home.
Just be careful people don’t think you’re a drug-dealer.