By on November 11, 2008

First, the upsides. When I helped a pal who owns a kindergarten schlep some cinder blocks, I got unprecedented, appreciative smiles from a group of young mothers (I disapprove of porno jargon, so I won’t use the term “MILF”, but you know what I mean). I was expecting to see a lot of hate, but the only person who screamed at me was a fuzzy-bearded hippy. The TDI has oodles of low-end oomph, so it provides the particular pleasure you get from driving something that is both massive (2.4 metric tons) and muscular, especially when it’s full of stuff. This Q7’s 0 – 60 time of 8.6 seconds belies its 500 NM’s of torque. Basically flawless handling intensifies the elephant-on-dancing-shoes effect. And even when I drove it Teutonic-aggressively, I got at least 16 MPG.

But here are the many downsides. Generally, the interior is fine, Audiesque. But the transmission tunnel surround– the part near the  thighs of the front two occupants– is hard, feels cheap and sounds hollow: it’s definitely sub-X5 quality. The hatch, when you slam it, sounds tinnier than the one on my 9-year-old Citroen. For all the Q7’s considerable size, it’s nimble, but you’ll never ever forget it’s an fat, tall SUV. I didn’t like the trans, either. Approaching an autobahn exit at 120 mph, I tried to snickety-snack the auto transmission from 6th down to 4th gear. But it simply refused; each gear level needed its own pause, think, re-think, and pause again.

This SUV’s computer user interface is a chapter in the book called “I feel like an idiot because I bought an expensive car that forces me to read the fucking manual.” Honestly: with my mobile phone, I can use Google Maps for walking around town without getting lost, I can take a photo, write an email, and I can chew gum, and all at the same time. I didn’t need a booklet to learn how to do that, but I couldn’t fathom the Audi’s climate control without printed help. And no matter how softly I drove it, I never got better than 21.4 MPG. Finally, at the end of a day’s driving, I checked carefully, but my penis hadn’t grown an inch. So I really can’t recommend this car to anybody I know.

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8 Comments on “Capsule Review: Audi Q7 TDI...”

  • avatar
    Austin Greene

    I test drove one of these about a year ago and I really wanted to like it. You see, one of my neighbors has two A8Ls and having driven, and been driven in, them several times, I’ve been impressed.

    However, this Q7 is another beast. I drove a V6 model, as the dealership had no V8s, and put simply it had the absolute worst automatic transmission that I’ve ever driven. Neck-snapping shifts at very light throttle and holding gear to excessively high RPMs at very light throttle. Now calling Ingolstadt: please drive a GM Hydramatic to find out how an AT is supposed to shift at part throttle – that is imperceptibly. I’m okay with hard shifts at half-throttle or more, but when you’re just cruising around an AT should shift as gently as a manual driven by someone who knows how to shift at anything less than WOT.

    With respect to the dealership, I was very impressed with the building and the way in which I was greeted and treated. However, when I asked for a brochure, I was told that there were none. When I asked to see the available interior and exterior colours, a computer monitor was turned to show me digital facsimiles. I wanted to see the real thing: actual paint and upholstery samples. Audi’s answer to me was no-can-do. My answer to them was the same.

    Heck, even GM can show you real colour samples, and an AT that works, on one of their $20K disposable units. So why can’t Audi?

    As I say, I really wanted to like this Q7, but Audi just wouldn’t let me.

  • avatar

    This was a great quick review. I needed a few chuckles this morning and it delivered. I agree that if a vehicle like this can’t provide some male enhancement then what good is it?

  • avatar

    Silly Americans, Diesel is not just for trucks anymore.


  • avatar

    Perhaps it is consolation for Martin Schwoerer, that after driving Russian T-64 with V-12 diesel and T-72 with even more powerful V-12, my schlong did not grew either.

  • avatar

    It’s rare that I say this, but Mercedes did this right. The R-Class, marketing failure that it is, is a much better car in just about every way. Excepting penis enlargment factor.

    If I could get an R320 CDI without the great, big Mercedes emblem on the front (and could swing the payments and maintenance) I would.

  • avatar

    autonet…did you write an article about that for a periodical?

    Honestly, if I won the lottery, I think I’d buy a used T-72, T-84, or even a T-90 and pay someone to train me to drive it.

    Back to this Audi…mileage like that from a diesel is laughable. Add to that Audi’s crap long term quality and you’d have to be a fool to buy this.

  • avatar

    Someone already beat you to the tank idea…

  • avatar

    Lieber Herr Schwoerer: it’s a fat, tall SUV.

    HTH, und hier endet die heutige Englischunterrichtsstunde.

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