There are three engine options for the Q7, a 215bhp or 267bhp version of the 3.0-litre V6 or the 4.0-litre V8 in the SQ7. All the options are diesels and all mated to the ubiquitous, but nonetheless very good, eight speed auto from ZF.
Steering wheel mounted paddles come as standard and although the transmission does a fine job of shuffling ratios without any human intervention, we found ourselves using the paddles more than expected.
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Both the V6 and V8’s performance is pleasing, with a smooth delivery of all the power. The SQ7’s twin turbo V8 is supplemented by an electric compressor to eliminate turbo lag. The compressor makes the engine seem very responsive off the line and at very low revs. However, once above 1000rpm the two sequential turbos still do a great job of making the engine feel linear and relatively responsive.
The SQ7’s diesel does a fine job of sounding like a proper, performance V8, especially from the outside. The deep guttural noise, though, makes the 5000rpm limit all the more disappointing.