Audi Q7 hybrid review
Thanks to plug-in hybrid technology, the Audi Q7 TFSI e offers potentially low running costs and an electric range of over 25 miles
- Never feels underpowered
- Spacious and practical
- High-quality interior
- Gearbox can be jerky
- 'Haptic' touchscreen
- Uninvolving to drive
|Car type||Electric range||Fuel economy||CO2 emissions|
|Plug-in hybrid||28-29 miles||105-109mpg||58-67g/km|
In recent times, Audi has been on something of a plug-in hybrid mission – with the Q7 TFSI e being one of the German carmaker’s latest electrified models to reach the UK market. Others include plug-in versions of the A7 four-door coupe, the A8 flagship limousine and the Q5 SUV, which is the Q7’s smaller sibling. The big Q7 actually comes with a larger battery pack than its hybrid stablemates.
This actually isn’t the first plug-in Q7: Audi previously offered the Q7 e-tron, which was a diesel-electric hybrid. But with diesel falling out of favour with motorists, the German brand has decided to go down the petrol-electric route for its latest plug-in Q7, dropping the 'e-tron' badge in favour of 'TFSI e' – although the former is still used for fully electric Audis, such as the e-tron SUV.
Ignoring the TFSI e’s electrified elements, it remains an upmarket large SUV that promises plenty of space, quality and refinement – just like non-hybrid Q7s. Focusing on the hybrid aspect, though, the Q7 TFSI e promises strong performance and the potential for relatively low running costs (for its size and weight) thanks to modest CO2 emissions and strong fuel economy.
Audi offers two powertrains for this Q7 – 55 TFSI e and 60 TFSI e. The basic difference between the two is power output, while other components, such as gearbox, are the same. Regardless of powertrain, the Q7 plug-in offers rapid acceleration: combining a 3.0-litre V6 engine with an electric motor was always going to result in brisk performance. As for trims, there are five to choose from.
With prices starting around £65,000 and rising to around £80,000, the Audi is comparable with its rivals: the BMW X5 xDrive45e, Volvo XC90 Recharge and Range Rover Sport PHEV all start in and around the £65,000 to £70,000 mark. Each offers much the same as the Q7, in that they're large, luxurious SUVs with petrol-electric powertrains – although only the Range Rover and Volvo are available as seven-seaters.
All things considered, the Q7 TFSI e is a much more relevant car than the old diesel Q7 e-tron. While the plug-in Q7 will no doubt offer some savings to those who'd otherwise run a diesel or petrol Q7 (especially company-car drivers) it isn’t as straightforward a financial decision as some smaller plug-in hybrids. For a more detailed look at the Q7 TFSI e, read on for the rest of our in-depth review…
In This Review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThanks to plug-in hybrid technology, the Audi Q7 TFSI e offers potentially low running costs and an electric range of over 25 miles
- 2MPG & CO2 emissionsFor such a big car, the Audi Q7 TFSI e promises low fuel bills and tailpipe emissions, but its figures are still on the high side for an electrified model
- 3Running costsRelatively speaking, the Audi Q7 TFSI e has the potential for low running costs, especially for business users
- 4Engines, drive & performanceThe Audi Q7 TFSI e is powerful and very quick despite its huge size
- 5Interior & comfortThe Audi Q7 TFSI e lives up to its upmarket image with plenty of equipment and cutting-edge technology
- 6Practicality & boot spaceBeing large has benefits for the Audi Q7 TFSI e – such as plenty of passenger space and a big boot despite the presence of a big battery pack
- 7Reliability & safetyAudi’s engineers have done a great job in ensuring the Q7 TFSI e keeps occupants safe on the road