Initially the Q7 (with optional adaptive air suspension) doesn’t feel quite as wafty and detached as expected, picking up minor imperfections through town and making the car feel a little less cosseting than some of its rivals. Thankfully over bigger obstacles like speed humps the Q7 is much happier, soaking them up with aplomb. The Comfort setting in the Driver Select menus doesn’t seem to be worth bothering with as the secondary ride isn’t appreciably better and the steering merely becomes overly light.
At nearly two metres wide and over five metres long the Q7 is a car of intimidating proportions. However, select Dynamic mode, throw the Q7 down a decently sized A- or B-road and something surprising happens. It doesn’t quite shrink around you, but it’s possible to pilot the Q7 with a level of precision that is impressive. It never exactly shrugs off its two-ton weight, but body roll is well controlled and although the steering is utterly feel-free, it always leaves you feeling in tight command of the car’s line through a corner.
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Grip from the quattro four-wheel drive is mighty and the standard torque split is an encouraging 40:60 front to rear with up to 85 percent available at the rear axle if necessary.
The SQ7, with its rear wheel steering, torque vectoring rear diff and elaborate anti-roll bars, feels even more competent and agile on the road. Its extra power, and colossal 664lb ft of torque, make the extra weight feel as though it has disappeared. The SQ7 can be coaxed down a road at remarkable pace.
It will be persuaded to loose grip at either axle; if you’re clumsy it will understeer, but if you’re aggressive you can get it to oversteer. However, both are short lived and immediately dealt with by the chassis’ aids, and not corrected by the driver.
That is symptomatic of the way the SQ7 handles. It might be quick, effective and amazingly agile, but it doesn’t off much in the way of involvement or adjustability.