What is impressive is the ride comfort. We haven’t tried a car on standard steel springs yet, but given that the air springs make it feel composed and settled even over high-frequency undulations, unless you hit a really sizeable mid-corner bump, it’s an option that could well be worth adding. The air springs also have the added benefit of improving ground clearance, and increasing towing capacity from 2800kg up to 3500kg.
Between a silky powertrain, excellent refinement (but for a quite noticeable burr of road noise over coarse surfaces) and cushy ride, the Q7 proves a really relaxing steer.
Then there’s the cabin. If Audi designed hotel rooms, you’d never have to call reception to ask how to turn the wardrobe’s mood lighting effects off, and there would be a plug point right next to the bedside table. They know just where you want everything, and it all feels reassuringly expensive. It’s subdued, sure, some might say boring, but it really does work well and every shape of driver will be catered for by the electrically-adjustable seat.
There’s loads of room in the middle row of three seats, too, the outer two of which slide as well as recline. Flipping them forwards for access to the third row is a bit tricky, but could be done one-handed whilst clinging to a recalcitrant toddler. The rearmost seats fold up and down electronically, which is great, although there’s nowhere to stow the tonneau cover that you’ll have to wrestle from the boot first.
A shorter adult will be okay for brief journeys in these rearmost seats, but they’re better reserved for kids, who won’t have their knees pressed up against the seat backs.
A huge 770-litre boot (albeit one without a space saver tyre, unless you pay £250 and opt to lose the third row of seats), and stacks of standard equipment including sat-nav, LED headlights, keyless go and four-zone climate control completes the Audi’s arsenal of temptations and practicalities.