What is it?
This is the lightly facelifted Audi Q7 4.2 TDI. Apart from a minor visual refresh, the key changes are to the powertrains, all of which are more economical, cleaner and more powerful. The 4.2 TDI benefits more than most engines in the line-up, its output climbing from 322bhp to 335bhp. Combined fuel consumption improves by 3.0mpg to 28.5mpg and emissions drop 32g/km, to 262g/km. All Q7s now get intelligent alternators too, which usually generate their charge when the car’s coasting or braking to save fuel.
Otherwise, the Audi Q7 4.2 TDI is mechanically unaltered, but there are plenty of detail changes, including subtle redesigns for the grille, the bumpers and their under-protectors, the door mouldings and the tail-lights, which are now LED.
Inside, the appearance and finish of the instruments and switchgear has been improved, along with the interior lighting, and the latest version of the MMI infotainment system is installed with hard-drive storage and bird’s eye view graphics. SE versions get Bluetooth phone connectivity.
What’s it like?
The new car is little different to pre-facelift version. The Audi Q7 4.2 TDI’s performance gain is barely noticeable when there was so much shove in the first place. If you can stretch to it, this engine is worth the extra over the 3.0 TDI in performance and refinement terms, and it delivers its urge with creamy, undiesel-like panache. It pulls more convincingly than the 3.0 TDI, though you’re reminded of what a heavy car this is when you mash the throttle and unleash all 561lb ft of torque, both engine and transmission needing a moment before they spool up and thrust almost two-and-a-half tonnes towards the next reason to slow down.