The Q7 is, in Audi’s own words, “still a big car” – and relatively so, in a segment full of necessarily big cars. It has shrunk marginally compared with its predecessor, but by no more than a couple of inches in any of the major dimensions.
However, the biggest success of the car’s styling could be to make it appear as though a more significant amount of bulk has been dispensed with. An effective combination of reduced body volumes and strong horizontal bodywork creases makes this car look much lower and less hulking than the previous one.
In the broadest sense, most people probably wouldn’t pick this as the most visually striking or appealing car of its ilk. But its new-found sense of understatement seems much more becoming of an Audi, and it’s a change of which we heartily approve.
What’s more, although it hasn’t cut down on the Q7’s kerbside footprint much, the truth is that Audi didn’t need to. The company has done what it’s famous for: employed cutting-edge technology to deliver the gains that other car makers use more obvious means to achieve and often court compromise for the sake of.
The Q7 is 300kg lighter than the car it replaces. That’s an enormous saving, even on a two-tonne-something car, and it has been made on component parts as various as seats (19kg), doors (24kg), brakes (8.5kg), exhaust systems (19kg) and electrical wires (4kg).