High-tech SUV gives us plenty of notice that its fluid levels need replenishing
Jim Holder
24 March 2017

The past few weeks with the Audi SQ7 have been mostly about fluids.

The windscreen washer fluid warning light was illuminated for more than a fortnight before I got round to sorting it, at which point it still hadn’t actually run dry despite heavy use. With a 7.0-litre washer fluid tank, at least it shouldn’t need refilling too often. 

Around the same time, the AdBlue warning light came on, also with a healthy notice period of 1500 miles before the car would run out of the emissions-reducing exhaust additive completely and refuse to start. 

I had never filled an AdBlue tank before, but I had been told that the urea-based fluid can damage paintwork if you spill any on it, so I invested in a funnel and a 10-litre bottle of AdBlue for £13.49. I’ll happily carry out this minor chore every 6000-odd miles if it helps keep the nitrogen oxides emissions of our sub-5.0sec V8 SUV in check.

Our managing editor, Allan Muir, has spent a lot of time in the SQ7 of late. He said the optional all-wheel steering actually makes ‘Big Blue’ pretty wieldy at low speeds for such a huge car; enough to make fairly easy work of Autocar’s laughably tight multi-storey car park. 

Muir had some quibbles with the ‘virtual cockpit’ digital driver’s display: “The dials themselves are great, but the space between them is under-utilised. I chose to put the sat-nav map in there, but then I also have the map showing on the main screen as well, which is pointless, really. Also, I object to the fact that it doesn’t keep your settings after you’ve switched the engine off.” 

He’s got a point about the car not remembering your settings, but I disagree with his opinion on the space between the dials. I prefer to have the main display folded down, with the sat-nav map on the driver’s display and a prompt for the next direction on the head-up display. 

Perhaps the real point here is how impressive it is that the SQ7 offers such a variety of display layouts.

Read our previous reports below

1300-mile road trip

We’ve been piling on the miles in our Audi SQ7, mostly thanks to a trip to see family in Coburg, Germany.

It speaks volumes of how much I’d already enjoyed the SQ7 that I was relishing the 1300-mile round trip, and it didn’t disappoint. That monstrous torque, that loping suspension, that high seating position, that refinement, that sound system… they all made big miles seem small, and the other half and I loved every minute. It even did more than 30mpg when we weren’t using the autobahn to sample its top-end performance, which is startling for such a behomoth. The SQ7 is always stable, always slick, always in its comfort zone, always rampantly fast.

Interior space was a boon, too, with plenty of space for our luggage, or – as one random occasion required in Germany – a bale of hay for the sheep.

The sheep-feeding trip also took the SQ7 down a farm track that was covered in soft, tractor-churned mud beneath its leaf cover. The Audi’s quattro drive and raised Off Road setting came into play and it clawed its way along what proved to be a very low-traction surface. I’m not saying it’s a Land Rover Defender, but it did dig itself out of the occasional dodgy, axle-meets-mud moment with impressive surefootedness, even on road-biased tyres.

The whole trip proved how broad the SQ7’s talents are, to balance excitement and autobahn effortlessness so brilliantly and then turn farm vehicle and mobile entertainment unit when required.

The more miles I do, the more I struggle to find criticism of the SQ7. Maybe among the short local trips and jaunts down the M3 to Dorset I’ll be doing regularly for the next few months, I’ll find something to be annoyed with and won’t be so gushing in my next update. Or maybe not. 

AUDI SQ7 

Price £70,970 Price as tested £95,160 Economy 30.1mpg Faults None Expenses None Last seen 30.11.16

Read our first report here

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Audi SQ7

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Comments
19

24 March 2017
Emmm a sporty 7 seater:- ok for the continental trips with 5 kids but for the rest of year nah. I'd spend £30,000 less on a Kia and buy a new 7 seat from Kia or Hyundai (you'd actually stand a chance at parking it) and a second-hand Cayman or Lotus.
Each to their own

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

24 March 2017
How can anyone own one of these and not feel at least a twinge of embarrassment at their lack of class?
Steam cars are due a revival.

24 March 2017
Thekrankis wrote:

How can anyone own one of these and not feel at least a twinge of embarrassment at their lack of class?

I suspect the car based on the same underpinnings & tech, at twice the price, takes that particular prize. The Bentayga.


24 March 2017
Or... Cadillac SUV's? They are ugly and the take bling to a new level.

The Audi is big, but not as bad as a Suburban or any of the OTT US SUV's.
At worst you might say it is a US-SUV lite!

24 March 2017
bomb wrote:
Thekrankis wrote:

How can anyone own one of these and not feel at least a twinge of embarrassment at their lack of class?

I suspect the car based on the same underpinnings & tech, at twice the price, takes that particular prize. The Bentayga.

Oh yes, missed that one!

Steam cars are due a revival.

289

24 March 2017
LOL !!! perfect

24 March 2017
More than £95k 'as tested'. The price of two new Cayman's. With spare change of nearly £10k.

24 March 2017
Velvet Munchkin wrote:

More than £95k 'as tested'. The price of two new Cayman's. With spare change of nearly £10k.

Depends if you spec the Cayman in the same manor. Plus, you can't get 7 in Cayman or even 3 Caymans.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

24 March 2017
No wonder I can never find anywhere to park my small car! Still, at least you manged to SQUEEZE in one bale of hay. I've no idea how many farming neighbour manages without an SQ7 but has only his 12 year old 2 wheel drive van to go across the fields to feed his sheep....

 

 

 

24 March 2017
Too many years of free cars has affected your minds. The Audi SQ7 is a great piece of machinery but this article almost makes it sound as though you really couldn't have done this trip in any other car!!! I once drove from Portugal to Yorkshire in a 1988 Fiat Panda, loaded to the hilt with 3 people and all camping gear needed for 4 weeks. Now that was good fun and didn't NEED an SQ7 (Of course if I'd been offered one for free I would have jumped at the chance!).

 

 

 

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