2016 Q7: Does it suck?

German SUVs are one of my guilty pleasures. The BMW X5 has always been my weapon of choice as far SUVs go. The ML has been the weapon of choice for a few of my friends, and the Cayenne is just awesome. All of these are great cars, and even better trucks. They are luxurious, practical, and still a blast to drive.

 

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The old Audi Q7 never really did it for me. I found the interior to be bland, the trunk too small, and the rear seats uncomfortable. I really didn’t like its looks, way to feminine, and the driving feel wasn’t any better. I really didn’t see why anyone would buy one, other than to have the badge. The thing is, Audi sold a lot of Q7s, and so they needed to make a new one.

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Audi just revealed the 2016 Q7, which was supposed to be the 2015 Q7 but I’ll touch on that a little later. The new Q7 is a lot lighter (over 700lbs lighter), thanks to a new multi-material chassis. This new chassis is also stiffer, so handing should also be improved. Engines are pretty much unchanged, with one exception. We will be treated to the familiar 3.0 TFSI Supercharged V6 (333hp) as well as the gem that is the 3.0 TDI (273hp). A V8 has not been announced, but it’s safe to assume that the 4.0T will be making its way into the new Q7.

 

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Styling wise, I like the new Q7. It’s a monumental improvement over the last generation. Lines are sharper with fewer curves. The exterior is definitely more masculine than the last gen, but not over done. As for the interior, I can say that I am pleasantly surprised. Yes, it is quite minimally designed, but at the same time it is designed really well. The dash and center console house all of the knobs and buttons, which are all focused towards the driver. It really differentiates itself from the rest of the Audi lineup. Now, as I mention before, this should’ve been the 2015 Q7, however Audi decided (at last minute) to delay the unveiling to work on styling and design. Well, I can happily report that the extra time and effort in the design studio has paid off (so far).

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Audi also announced that the new Q7 will be Audi first diesel plug-in hybrid vehicle as well as the first e-Quattro vehicle. Basically, the 3.0 TDI I stated above will be paired with an electric motor, producing a combined output of about 380hp and 515 lb/ft of torque. Electric only range is stated to be around 35 miles, however the expected fuel economy is touted to be 135 mpg on the US SCALE!!!! (Not the overly optimistic European scale). The diesel hybrid is expected to make it stateside (YES!!!). Expect more information, as well as pricing and release information to be revealed next month at the Detroit Auto Show.