Audi SQ7 2020 review

On unnaturally smooth German roads, the SQ7 combines all of this to fairly tremendous effect. Rolling refinement and ride comfort on air suspension and 22in alloy wheels are practically immaculate, with the only notable intrusion being a very slight, very distant shuddering over lumpier surfaces at low speeds. Wind noise at pace is virtually non-existent, as is road roar – although whether this would continue to be the case on coarser British roads remains to be seen.

Nevertheless, there’s a tremendously pillowy character to manner in which the SQ7 deals with rolling, flowing road surfaces. It smothers compressions while assertively remaining in control of its vertical movements, and secondary impacts barely register. It’s a supremely comfortable car, one that shrinks long distances to such an extent that it feels like it would be capable of making a 10-hour stint at the wheel feel no more taxing than a quick trip down the road.

The cabin is as plush and accommodating as you would expect that of a large Audi to be. There’s masses of adjustment in both the seat and the steering column and visibility is good. And aside from a few slightly naff carbonfibre inlays on the dashboard and around the tops of the doors, the general look of the cabin is pretty smart, too, in the fairly sober, slightly monochrome way that seems to define the bigger, pricier Audis these days.

Of course there’s loads of room in the second row, and if you slide that middle bench forwards, there’s enough in the third row to house two adults in reasonable comfort over shorter distances. Getting in and out is a bit of a process, mind, so it’s probably an idea to limber up a bit before attempting to clamber in.

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Elsewhere, the dual touchscreens for the infotainment system look sharp and respond well enough (although they’re still a bit fiddly to operate while driving) and the optional Bang & Olufsen stereo sounds fantastic.

Unsurprisingly, the SQ7 is also seriously quick. Get the revs up past 2500rpm, wait a fraction while the turbo boost picks up and you will find yourself surging towards the horizon on a tsunami of torque and V8 thunder. What’s surprising, however, is that the SQ7 seems to make a bit more of a point about the fact that it actually has a petrol V8 under its bonnet than some of its RS-badged stablemates.

This could well be my imagination getting away from me, but when you pin the throttle in Dynamic mode, you seem to be a bit more comprehensively immersed in its bassy, growling soundtrack than you are in, say, the RS6 Avant or RS7 Sportback. Maybe you just notice it more in a car that doesn’t look quite as outlandish as those models. In any case, it’s great to see the SQ7’s Q-car credentials are still in place – even if some might argue that they aren’t quite as strong as they were when diesel power was the order of the day.

Despite weighing 2265kg, the SQ7 handles its mass through fast corners, too. Dial the active anti-roll bars up to Dynamic mode and you can feel them working to keep the SQ7 level. (The difference between driving modes is surprisingly pointed.) The steering is nicely paced, and the manner in which it weights up and lets you know how the tyres are loading up beneath you really inspires confidence.

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