In the modern world, where you’re either first or you’re first loser, it might be tempting to see the Audi Q7 (2015-present) in a ‘second best’ light.
But that would be an error, because as plenty of people have found since it appeared in 2015, the Q7 is a superb car to live with and a brilliant choice when you need to tow on a regular basis. Indeed, it came close to winning its category in the annual Tow Car Awards, only beaten by the Land Rover Discovery.
What’s the Q7 like inside?
A stable tow is something that the best towing cars for caravans will always provide – an excellent interior is another. If there’s an area in which the Q7 has its rivals well and truly licked, then the interior is that place.
For a start, it’s huge. There’s a vast amount of space for the two people in the front, and the middle row of seats is equally generous; even if you’re well north of six feet tall, you’ll be able to sit quite comfortably behind someone of similar height. Bear in mind, though, that the sizeable central tunnel will mean the middle passenger has to sit with one foot either side of it.
The Q7 also has a third row of seats in the boot, and while you can slide forward the middle row to increase legroom, these are still best left for younger members of the family. Getting into and out of them requires a little dexterity, even though the outer two middle seats fold forward.
As you’d expect from a car that is big enough to have its own postcode, the boot space is vast, provided the rearmost seats are unoccupied. Better still, these rear seats can be folded up or down simply, at the press of a button.
Quality is superb – you’ve got more chance of finding a dodo than you do of locating a rattle or squeak in the cabin. Standard kit is plentiful, featuring climate control, DAB radio, sat nav, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with high-class leather and wood or metal trim.
Is the Audi Q7 a good used car?
The 3.0-litre diesel is a peach. It hustles the Q7 along with respectable haste, and never sounds aggrieved while doing so. It is utterly unfazed when hitched up, too.
In our test, it took just 7.2 seconds to accelerate from 30-60mph, which leaves most rivals trailing. Stopping power is equally impressive. The upshot is that you’ll need to make sure everything is secure in your van before putting your foot down or stopping briskly. Lane changes are of no concern to the Q7.
When new, the car was offered with standard or adaptive air suspension. It is worth looking for one with the upgrade, which enhances ride quality and increases towing capacity to a maximum of 3500kg.
It’s expensive, but there are, quite simply, few finer tow cars. The second-generation Audi Q7 is one of the most spacious, comfortable and luxurious vehicles out there, and a consummate tow car. It will also be an absolute pleasure to live with on a day-to-day basis.
If you’re after more inspiration to help you find the vehicle for you, be sure to check out our best used tow car round-up.
Need to know
What will it tow?
- Kerbweight: 2135kg
- Towing limit: 3500kg
- Noseweight limit: 140kg
- 85% match: 1815kg
- Figures for 2016 3.0 TDI Quattro SE with optional air suspension
- 3.0 TDI Quattro SE
- Insurance group: 35
- Annual VED: £140
- Average economy: 48.7mpg
- Interim/full service: £100/£158
- (Prices supplied by Servicing Stop, 0844 324 5262)
The second-generation Audi Q7 has been recalled a few times, so make sure all of the necessary work has been carried out.
One recall concerned a bolt connecting the steering rack and shaft, which could come loose.
Another was for rear axle suspension bolts that were the wrong specification. Some models were recalled because the rear two seats could deform in a crash. A full list of recalls can be found at www.check-vehicle-recalls.service.gov.uk.
What to pay for a used Audi Q7
- High: Price: £82,500, Model: 2021 50 TDI Vorsprung, Miles: 13,800
- Sweet spot: Price: £56,500, Model: 2018 50 TDI S Line, Miles: 25,500
- Low: Price: £24,100, Model: 2015 3.0 TDI V6 SE, Miles: 135,000
Or you could try…
The X5 kicked off the market for roadgoing SUVs more than two decades ago, and is still a major player. No, you wouldn’t want to climb a mountain in one, but it’s easily capable of manoeuvring a heavy trailer at a slippery campsite.
The X5 is also brilliant to drive unhitched. The interior feels sumptuous and is full of cutting-edge tech, including one of the best infotainment set-ups available.
The F-Pace is the company’s excellent first attempt at an SUV. It looks superb, and the cabin is full of technology and space, albeit only for five.
Quality is good, although the interior of the Q7 feels like a step up from the Jag.
The driving experience is superb, too, with the F-Pace proving to be an engaging companion when driven solo, and thoroughly capable when hitched up to a trailer.
Range Rover Sport
If you need seven seats, the Range Rover Sport is a viable option. For a start, it has that iconic badge, which offers a certain kudos.
The interior looks classy and has plenty of standard kit, including climate control, leather everywhere, heated seats and steering wheel, DAB radio and electrically adjustable everything. Engines, from the 2.0-litre diesel to a supercharged 5.0 V8 petrol, cater for everyone.
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