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By Tim Barnes-Clay, Motoring Journalist

The handsome new Audi Q7 combines the poise of a sports saloon with options for leisure-time and family use.

Strong and efficient engines, quattro permanent all-wheel drive and agile running have been brought together to create a performance SUV for all seasons and all surfaces.

With its elegant, flowing lines, the design of the Q7 is perfectly in tune with the character of Audi as a brand. The front end is dominated by expressive headlights and viewed from the side, the large wheels and rising edges are especially prominent features.

At the rear, the tailgate clearly still identifies this SUV as a relative of its younger brother, the Audi Q5.

Although the exterior dimensions have been reduced, the new Audi Q7 offers more interior room, and has the all-important seven seats.

All Q7s come with heaps of kit, including keyless go, cruise control, and 19 inch alloy wheels.

The seats in the second and third rows have Isofix fixtures for child seats. Busy parents can therefore mount up to six kiddy chairs in the new Audi Q7

The superlative SUV has been designed to make light work of leisure-time and family activities. Numerous practical storage compartments, bottle holders and onboard power outlets are supplied and the German car maker even offers a climate-controlled drink holder to keep liquids hot or cold.

This Audi ticks all the boxes needed to be a success for business, family or pleasure, thanks to its large carrying practicality, classy interior, powerful performance and relaxed ride. 

The 3.0 TDI Quattro, on test here, has nicely weighted power steering, and the eight-speed tiptronic transmission is sophisticated and alert. My 3.0-litre TDI V6, model, driven around Southampton, quickly transformed Britain’s south coast scenery from a picture post card to a movie filmed in technicolour.

Zero to 62mph arrives in just 6.5 seconds, yet it seems even faster. The goliath of a car makes you feel indestructible, but, beware, the Q7 can do 145mph. Therefore, you might feel invincible, but your licence life is likely to expire well before you do if you quicken the pace too often.

As well as being a prestigious, roomy and downright powerful car, the Q7 is a useful beast to have around for towing. It can pull up to 2800kg, so delivers excellent performance, even when lugging a fully laden horsebox or caravan around.

All of this makes the Q7 a motor of two halves; on one hand it’s an ideal country lifestyle vehicle, and on the other it is simply a safe, strong, luxury family car that will last for years.

Fast facts

Max speed: 145 mph
0-62 mph: 6.5 secs
Combined mpg: 47.9
Engine layout: 2967 cc, V6 turbocharged diesel
Max. power (bhp): 268
Max. torque (lb.ft): 442
CO2: 153 g/km
Price: £52,970

Pros and cons

Powerful

Classy

Build quality

Spacious

Costly to buy

Follow Tim on twitter @carwriteups www.carwriteups.co.uk

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