Anyone familiar with the ungainly, hard-edged oxen cart that the Audi Q7 used to be will likely find themselves in awe of the new model’s well-oiled suppleness.
With optional air springs fitted, it appears to have taken its cue more from Land Rover than from its SUV-shaped rivals at BMW, the suspension favouring a permissive long-wave fluency over most ground that allows the Q7’s body a hefty degree of congenial float.
There’s the odd niggle in the ride over pockmarks and expansion joints at low speeds, but we’re inclined to blame that on our test car’s 21in alloy wheels. Otherwise, entwined with the steady hum of effortless power and the indulgent embrace of the surroundings, the general experience is one of serene agreeableness.
At which point, one suspects, many buyers’ expectations will have been met. Some may notice that the Q7 has linear steering and generally goes where you point it, but few will complain that the directness and patent lack of heft in that steering mean that the car clearly isn’t as intuitive in its handling as the equivalent Range Rover Sport.
Whereas the Range Rover disguises its imposing mass by immaculate management of responsiveness and rate of turn, the Audi doesn’t. As a result, the saloon-car quickness of the Q7’s rack occasionally feels a little incoherent, given the straight-ahead insouciance of the body control.