Living with an Audi Q7: Second report



I'm two months into the relationship with our long term Audi Q7 and the
honeymoon period shows no signs of wearing off.

Even now, some several thousand miles into our time together, I find it hard not
to glance back at it once parked up for one last look. The Q7 might not be
everyone's cup of tea, but I'd argue it's a suave and stylish solution to family
transport.

And that's one of the giant German's biggest plus points – its ability to switch
between motorway mile muncher to school run companion is superb. In the last
four weeks the Audi has been called into action for some almighty cross-UK
business trips. In one 24-hour period alone, I covered some 500 miles from the
south coast to North Yorkshire and back again in it.

Its brilliant seats, perfect driving position and excellent entertainment system
all made those 10 hours in the car far more bearable than usual and I got out at
either end relatively fresh.

No sooner had KU16 MOF been parked up back at the office for a well earned rest,
did one of my colleagues steal the keys from my desk for another week-long UK
tour. It was certainly interesting to hear a fresh opinion on the Audi, but
sadly not all of it was positive.

"The sat nav system is generally excellent, although the track pad method of
entering addresses is frustrating at times," emailed my colleague a few days
into the loan. "It seems to be quicker to use the voice activation.

"The system supposedly covers all of Europe, but did seem to have trouble in the
Fens. While navigating through Cambridgeshire the system crashed and the screen
started to resemble an early '80s pop video. It did it on the return journey
too, so the IT helpdesk's favourite fix of 'turning it off and on again' didn't
work."



I haven't experienced the pop video phenomenon myself, but I know what he means
about entering addresses. Just behind the gear lever is a track pad you can draw
letters on with your finger, but it often mistakes an 'I' for a '1' or vice
versa. It's a good idea, just not very well executed. Fortunately it was still
in my colleague's custody when the next issue arose too.

"At just over 7,000 miles the Q7 told me it needed some AdBlue," he wrote in his
email. "The warning message said at least 5.7-litres would need to be added in
the next 1,500 miles.

"Since I was passing within a couple of miles of an Audi dealer I decided to
pull in and see what they could offer, but I was pointed towards their parts
department which was trapped behind a road closure. So I gave up.

"A quick scan online proved that Amazon could offer 10-litres for £15 delivered,
which was about a fiver cheaper than a petrol station. It arrived next day and
the mystery fluid was glugged into the filler. It swallowed all of the 10-litres
exactly, to the brim. It was only a minor hassle but adds unexpectedly to the
running costs."

Using AdBlue – a solution of water and urea – is becoming increasingly popular
in diesel cars and it helps keep emissions under control. Consumption of the
fluid varies from car to car, but I'll be keeping an eye on how much of it the
Q7 drinks. More worrying is the fact the car simply won't start if it runs out,
so you need to ensure you don't ignore the top up warnings.

Those small blots on the Q7's copybook haven't ruined what has quickly become a
firm favourite on the fleet, though. It's been nice to have a fresh opinion on
what it's like to live with the Audi, but over the coming weeks I think it's
time I got a little selfish once again and keep the keys well and truly hidden.

FACTS AT A GLANCE

Model: Audi Q7 3.0 TDI Quattro S Line
Price: £65,250
Engine: 3.0-litre, TDI
Power: 268bhp
Max speed: 0-60mph: 6.5 seconds
Emissions: 153 g/km
MPG: 48mpg (combined)
Mileage this month: 1,567
This month's highlight: Working out what AdBlue actually is