What is it?
The previous Q7 was the first SUV Audi ever built and an unequivocal success story. It sold as the school run Panzer for a full decade, and despite feeling dated at least halfway through that period, Ingolstadt will keep shifting them until they’re all gone.
That’s because the way the Q7 drove had little to do with why people bought it. Many, if not most, liked the space, power and price primarily, not to mention the image - a millennial power suit of jostling, unapologetic intent.
Its replacement, utterly new from the inside out, is little different in that regard. Chiselling space for the brand’s huge grille has hardly enhanced the look, but the jutting posture is much the same, despite some dimension shrinkage.
Its previously colossal mass, however, is dramatically reduced. Audi’s 325kg headline claim is likely based on the petrol-engined, five-seat model that we won't be able to buy in the UK, but nonetheless, it’s clear that the lighter, second-generation MLB platform has inspired a remarkable slimming session, with the engineers extracting 67kg from the overhauled multi-link suspension set-up alone.
With this weight loss come the usual benefits, this Q7 being simultaneously quicker and more economical than its predecessor, despite coming far better equipped. By way of example, the 268bhp launch version we drove recently in Namibia would trounce a Fiesta ST away from the lights.
Audi expects that to be the more popular model, but the lower kerb weight has opened the door for the slightly less propulsive version we test here, ahead of its arrival in the summer. Developing 215bhp from the same 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel engine, the cheaper model still manages 0-62mph in 7.4sec and extends the claimed combined economy figure to 51.3mpg.