CLEANER HUNK The Clean Diesel TDI’s focus is on NOx rather than CO2, and it is equipped with an ingenious device to reduce its emissions. A special additive, AdBlue, is sprayed into the exhaust gases just before they enter the catalytic converter. This means, potentially dangerous nitrogen oxide (NOx) is turned into harmless nitrogen and water before leaving the system. There is sufficient additive to last through 20,000 miles of driving, so the AdBlue is topped up when the car goes in for service, therefore, it is available throughout the life of the car
There is nothing about the way the Q7 drives to let you know that any of this is happening under the bonnet. Performance is not compromised at all by the engine’s NOxbusting adaptation. Power output and torque are unaffected by the change, and both 0-62mph time and top speed remain unaltered.
This is one of the models in the Q7 range that has just undergone a minor cosmetic facelift. Subtle changes to some of the body panels contrive to make the newly updated Q7 appear slightly smaller and less bulky. There are also new LED lights at the front and rear, a revised tailgate, redesigned bumpers and a glossy black front grille. The intention was to slightly ‘shrink’ the Q7 visually and make it a bit less of an in-yourface SUV. Nice try, Audi, but it’s still a huge hulk of a car.
It drives like one, too. In common with other Q7s, you sit high up in a commanding driving position, lording it over other traffic. The car’s adaptive air suspension makes for a wonderfully comfortable ride that isolates you from surface undulations. The car feels far more nimble on the road than its sheer size suggests, but you’re always aware of being at the helm of something five metres long and weighing the best part of two and a half tons. It does cosset you, though.
The newly refreshed Q7 is very similar inside to its predecessor, with a lavishly leather-clad cabin, acres of room and high-quality fitments – such as the Bose stereo and a revised MMI interface with 3D screen graphics.
RIVALS: MERCEDES-BENZ ML 350 CDI BLUEEFFICIENCY, PORSCHE CAYENNE, VW TOUAREG BLUEMOTION 3.0 V6 TDI
- Engine: 2967cc, V6, turbodiesel with particulate filter
- Gearbox: 6-speed automatic
- Max power: 237bhp at 4,000 to 4,400rpm
- Max torque: 406lb ft at 2,000 to 2,250rpm
- Max towing weight: 3,200kg
- Max speed: 134mph
- 0-62mph: 8.5secs
- Combined consumption: 31.7mpg
- CO2 emissions (taxband): 234g/km (L)
- Boot space: 775/2,035litres
- Insurance group: 40
- Fully Equipped
Every little helps, as the saying goes. An improvement of 0.7mpg and 5g/km sounds pretty puny by most standards, but at least it’s a step in the right direction. That’s the difference you see on the spec sheet of the Audi Q7 3.0 TDI Clean Diesel compared with a standard version without the cleaner technology. But the minimal change in the figures is slightly misleading, as there’s rather more to it than they suggest