Audi SQ7 TDI 2020 review – performance and 0-60 time

Audi’s biggest S model digs deep into its technical arsenal to create a talented, if somewhat joyless SUV, but then aren’t they all?

Evo rating
Price
from £70,970

For the SQ7’s 4-litre turbocharged V8 diesel to propel the leviathan that this Audi is, it needs to produce some equally enormous figures. Thankfully it does. The SQ7’s diesel makes 429bhp from 3750 to 5000rpm. But that’s not as impressive as the amount of torque it produces – 664lb ft from a ludicrously low 1000rpm. So despite weighing 2330kg, which does seem fitting for its immense size, it can reach 62mph from rest in 4.9sec – that’s over half a second quicker than an F-type convertible, albeit it a four-cylinder one. The SQ7's top speed is limited to 155mph.

The SQ7 doesn’t just perform like a petrol SUV, it behaves more like one, too. Diesels, typically, don’t respond well to being revved; changing up halfway through the rev range to utilise their torque often seems most effective. The SQ7’s sequential turbochargers make the diesel V8 far more entertaining to drive all the way to the red line. You get real, responsive performance close to the 5000rpm rev limit.

With the SQ7’s engine in Dynamic mode it's as raucous and as brash as you’d want your performance SUV to sound. And at anything other than idle you could be forgiven for thinking it was a petrol V8 from within the cabin. The sound from outside isn’t as bombastic, but the deep burbling you do hear is pleasant and befitting of the remarkable performance. The biggest problem is that it sounds so good, and the noise disguises what fuel it’s running on so well that a 5000rpm rev limit almost feels too low

Most Popular

Alfa Romeo Giulia GTAm 2021 review – if Porsche built a four-door 911 GT3 RS
Alfa Giulia GTAm header
Alfa Romeo Giulia

Alfa Romeo Giulia GTAm 2021 review – if Porsche built a four-door 911 GT3 RS

Alfa Romeo Giulia GTAm is the most extreme modern Alfa to date. It’s also one of its very best.
12 May 2021
Sub-T.50 Gordon Murray Automotive Project Two supercar confirmed
GMA T.50 XP2
Supercars

Sub-T.50 Gordon Murray Automotive Project Two supercar confirmed

Two-seater retains Cosworth V12 and manual gearbox, but loses ground-effect fan
10 May 2021
Audi RS6 v Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo v Mercedes-AMG E63 S Estate – super-estates go head-to-head
Audi RS6 v Porsche Panamera v Mercedes-AMG
Features

Audi RS6 v Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo v Mercedes-AMG E63 S Estate – super-estates go head-to-head

Which 600bhp wagon is the current super-estate king? It‘s time to find out as the Audi RS6 Avant takes on Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turi…
8 May 2021