The first generation AUDI Q7 3.0L TDV6 is one of the top three premium luxurious sports utility vehicles (SUVs) that will drive past you on the busy streets of Kampala.
Released in 2005, AUDI Q7 first generation was assembled in Slovakia, India and Russia, until launch of the second generation in 2015. The Q7 generation 1 is still a symbol of luxury and style. It comes from the same stables as the equally popular VW Touareg 1, but will put a bigger dent in your pocket.
AUDI Q7 has a line up of power plants; the Fuel Stratified (FSI) petrol Injection 3.6 litre and 4.2 litre V8, the turbo diesel 3.0 and 4.2 litre V6 as well as the 6.0 litre V10. But does the Audi Q7 really fit the bill in terms of driveability and practicality?
Audi Q7’s 3.0 litre turbo diesel engine is popular in Uganda because it is amazingly responsive to throttle, environmentally clean and efficient on fuel with a subdued and quieter diesel clutter.
This is thanks to the modern double overhead cams with four valves per cylinder, common rail piezo diesel direct injection, variable geometry turbo charging with intercooler (TDi) and meet Euro IV emission standards.
Audi Q7’s 3.0 litre TDI engine reaches 100KPH in 9.1 seconds so it will trail behind its competitors like second generation Mercedes ML and BMW X5. The six speed transmission on the Q7 synchronises seamlessly with the engine to provide prompt and smooth up shifts as well as excellent fuel economy.
Comfort, design and convenience
Audi Q7 is designed like a luxurious horse drawn carriage, no wonder it drives like one. The exterior exubes extravagance and royalty emphasised by the deep statement front grille and fluid curves that flow along the egg like shell.
Q7 comes with high quality interior panelling and convenience features such as multi zone automatic climate control, six CD changers, optional DVD players, Bluetooth phone facility, leather interior, electrically adjusted doors, windows and seats, cruise control, trip counters, tyre pressure monitors, futuristic computer car status and interactive function display monitors with car service reminders.
The interior is spacious and upholstery wide with a mixture of alcantara and real leather finishes. Legroom, head and shoulder room is ample.
Reliability, security and resale value
The maintenance parts availability is ample, some repair parts have to be ordered abroad with independents since there is no appointed dealer to handle parts support.
The few independent parts shops fill the vacuum the maintenance and repair parts. Technical competence to maintain the Audi Q7 is available with a few independent garages around Kampala. Q7’s security system offers anti-tamper or intrusion warning alarm and engine immobiliser.
Cost on road
You can buy a 2007 Audi Q7 at Shs90 million to Shs100 million.
Handling & safety
The AUDI Q7 generation 1’s size and shape makes it a comfortable but lofty vehicle to drive. It does not handle like its smaller and more nimble competitors. Whereas the Q7 will drive smoothly on straight stretches of tarmac, it feels a bit top heavy when manoeuvring through sharp corners and bends at high speeds.
Safety technology such as ‘ABS PLUS’ anti locking braking system, Electronic brake assist, electronic brake distribution and traction control are provided to prevent skidding and enhance driver as well as passenger safety. Multi link independent front and rear suspensions mitigate body roll or sway when driving fast around sharp bends.
Other standard safety features include multiple driver and passenger frontal and side airbags; child door locks and ISOFIX child seat harnessing points, door side intrusion beams, and a crash crumple zones that will only be effective if passengers wear the built-in seatbelts with pre-tensioning systems) electronic park assist.
It also comes with blind spot assist, tyre pressure monitoring systems, roll over sensors which cut off power and fuel supply in the event of an accident, adaptive head lights, which move with the steering, adaptive steering which stiffens when a driver over steers at high speeds.