Monday, February 15, 2016

Used Car Review - Audi Q7 (2006-2015)

This long running luxury SUV has been changed, and Myk Belmonte sees the old model further.

2006-2015 Audi Q7

You may not know this but Audi is owned by the Volkswagen Group, which is one of the largest car manufacturers in the world. Which means that your Audi A4 has an equivalent vehicle that shares its platform in the other brands stable (platform sharing done by the Volkswagen Group is common and a long list can be seen here) but making subtle differences from one another. Apart from Audi and Volkswagen themselves, they also own the following: Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, SEAT, Skoda, Ducati, MAN, Scania, and Neoplan trucks. This alone makes them have more brands compared to Toyota and General Motors.

One of the birth-child of the PL71 platform is the Audi Q7, which also shares its base together with the Porsche Cayenne and the Volkswagen Touareg and the upcoming Bentley Bentayga will use this also. The one thing in common among them are these are their first SUVs in their stable and the platform is meant for mid to large size SUVs. Among the three, the Q7 is the largest especially it uses an extended model that can accommodate three rows of seats. While it was the last to be produced (production started in 2005), it was the last for a second generation to be released, ten years later.

PGA Cars shipped in the Q7 in their portfolio back in 2006 as an answer to the booming luxury SUV market. While the first two platform-mates arrived earlier, it would be the last among the trio. Two engine options were offered: a 3.0 diesel and a 4.2 gasoline with a S-Line model reserved for the former in November 2009.

Value and Costs
Compared to contemporaries from BMW, Mercedes Benz, and Land Rover, the resale value of the Q7 is low especially that you get one for just P2,000,000. As a rule for premium brand vehicles, it pays to go the certified pre-owned route especially these have been inspected and backed up with a warranty if you desire one.

When it comes to taking care of one, maintenance costs aren't that too far from rivals coming from Europe and don't expect affordable cost of ownership, since it is not meant for one. Areas of concern are the EGR especially if dirty fuel is ingested throughout ownership life and the air suspension, especially if it malfunctions it would be a pain to fix.

Exterior and Interior
At 5,000mm, the Q7 makes the Touareg (4,700mm) and the Cayenne (4,700mm for the first generation, 4,800mm for the second) tiny in terms of vehicle length. The grille will definitely shout "Audi" that makes it a distinction from other stablemates while some hints of VW/Porsche exist can be seen from the sides and the rear. The latter, as always in the case of other vehicles, is plain looking at its best. S-Line models distinguish themselves by side skirts, revised bumpers, and 20 inch alloys; with the latter item inherited from the 4.2 model.

Going inside will reveal an interior that mimics the A6 or A8 without sacrificing a lot in terms of comfort or interior quality, which is a good proposition in itself. If BMW has the iDrive, the Audi carries the Multi Media Interface System which holds the controls of the air suspension system, air-conditioning, and the audio system which gets BOSE audio complemented with 14 speakers inside. Rear occupants are fine in the second row seat but will not appreciate the third row bench which is suitable for children or small build people. Folding the back seats will give you cavernous space for your precious cargo.

Both the 4.2 V8 gasoline that has 350hp at 6,800rpm and 440Nm at 3,500rpm and the 3.0 V6 diesel which displaces 233hp at 4,400rpm and 500Nm at 1,750-2,750rpm provide excellent performance and smooth delivery of power. However, most Q7 units in the market are diesel powered and we would vouch for this, since it is fuel friendly over the gasoline option.

Driving Impressions
Most SUVs aren't driven in dirt roads by most buyers, and the Q7 handles like a car plus the standard air suspension will lower the vehicle at high speeds or raise when tackling rough roads. Handling is similar to a sedan, considering it is very long, and has good body control. Lastly, you may appreciate the ride since it is floaty at best.

Audi's first attempt at the popular SUV market is something to be proud of, they did it right the first time. Who wouldn't know that their first will also bear other small counterparts from the brand that shares the same philosophy later on.

The Good:
  • Powerful engines
  • High quality interior
  • Seating for three
The Bad:
  • Ride is too firm at low speeds
  • Cramped third row
  • Expensive maintenance costs
The Pick: 3.0 diesel

Engines: 4,163cc V8 gasoline and 2,967cc V6 diesel
Power: 350hp @ 6,800rpm (gasoline), 233hp @ 4,400rpm (diesel)
Torque: 440Nm @ 3,500rpm (gasoline), 500Nm @ 1,750-2,750rpm (diesel)
Fuel Consumption: 4-7km/L (city), 7-10km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Suspension: Front and rear double wishbone

Price (New): P6,000,000-P8,000,000
Price (Now): P2,000,000
Rivals: Mercedes Benz GL Class, Lexus LX570, Nissan Patrol Royale
On Sale: 2006-2015

PGA Cars Mandaluyong - (02) 727-0145

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