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How much? £96,295
On sale in the UK: January 2009
Engine: Engine 5934cc 48v twin-turbo diesel V12, 493bhp @ 3750rpm, 738lb ft @ 1750-3250rpm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
Performance: 5.5sec 0-62mph, 155mph (ltd), 25.0mpg, 298g/km CO2
How heavy / made of? 2635kg/steel
How big (length/width/height in mm)? 5063/2000/1772
Need to know

CAR's rating

Rated 3 out of 53


Rated 3 out of 53


Rated 3 out of 53


Rated 4 out of 54

Feelgood factor

Rated 3 out of 53

Readers' rating

Rated 2.5 out of 52.5

Audi Q7 V12 TDI (2008) CAR review

By Glen Waddington

First Drives

18 September 2008 10:30

There are big numbers at play with the Audi Q7 V12 TDI. Try these for size: 2635kg (big SUV), V12 (the first 12-cylinder diesel engine yet fitted to a passenger vehicle), 493bhp (it’s the most powerful, too), 738lb ft (that’s one hell of a stack of torque) and £96,295 (yes, you read that right). The question is, do all the numbers add up?

Hmm. 738lb ft? In an Audi Q7? Tell me how that feels

Short answer? Fantastic – but with provisos.
This car is all about its engine. We’re used to the Q7, and most of us would be happy to ‘make do’ with the V8 TDI – at £50,695 it’s barely half the price of the V12. Audi is playing on the V12 TDI’s sheer scale (remember those numbers), and the fact that its engine is related to that of Audi’s R10 Le Mans-winner, to market it at the top of the SUV pile.

Start the engine and you’re immediately aware of its presence. It throbs quite vocally, almost malevolently. Slot the selector into Drive, a blast on the go-pedal and you’re away. Immediately, the thrust feels like the kind of experience you’d more normally associate with Boeing badges and a runway. Yes, 738lb ft, even in something this heavy, feels quite extraordinary.

Extraordinary, yes. But what’s the catch?

Well, all too soon you run into the red line. That’s fine in itself because you’ve got six ratios to play with, so the mad assault on the horizon continues unabated. Yet you feel slightly cheated because you just want the thrust to continue seamlessly, with the revs rising to match. It would be churlish to call it frustrating.

So maybe the Q7’s put me in a churlish mood, because there’s another problem too. It just doesn’t sound alluring. Vivid, yes. Threatening, yes. Belligerent, dramatic, exciting, even. But it’s not remotely appealing for its own sake, just a loud, booming resonance, with no hard edges nor any subtle tones with which to enthrall you. No, it just bullies your ears then hits the red and shifts up a gear.

Click 'Next' below to read more of our Audi Q7 V12 TDI first drive

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Average rating: Rated 2.5 out of 52.5 (72 votes)

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Audi Q7 V12 TDI (2008) CAR review


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Lesciba says

RE: Audi Q7 V12 TDI CAR review

THis is probably by far more appealing and beautiful than the latest RangeRover.... That thing called the RangeRover looks like yet another minor facelift. the loooks r so devastatingly boring.

Weldone Audi!!! the Germans have proven over & over they r the masters of car design!!!!!

16 April 2009 01:43



rbt66 says

RE: Audi Q7 V12 TDI CAR review

I am an Audi diehard but just don't like the Q7. It doesn't drive well, has lots of glitches and the options list for the Q7 V12 TDI is a seriously bad joke. My choice if you need a performance SUV - save a bit of money and go for the sublime ML63 AMG.

15 February 2009 01:25



akrsinclair says

RE: Audi Q7 V12 TDI CAR review

As I have commented before on this site on the current frankly woeful design throughout the entire range and this offering is no different , hideous and boring and mind numbingly dull, and deary deary me 96,000 of our hard earned pounds for this utter monstrously ugly pile of german scrap. Like to know what the 2nd hand prices will be in 3 years, suggest perhaps you remove the last nought on the new price........... could be wrong though and ummm the mpg... 10-12 maybe... Audi really havent put much thought in to this one have they?

03 October 2008 15:36



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andrewmorten says

RE: Audi Q7 V12 TDI CAR review

Passed a G Class yesterday on the highway. I thought it was a new Kia/Hyundai or something until I saw the grill. At least the foul Q7 wont get mistaken for a peace of shit even if it is one.

24 September 2008 09:14



mistral says

RE: Audi Q7 V12 TDI CAR review

Unfortunately Audi is going down the vulgar route, but consider that it only, as always following BMW (X6 anyone?) and Mercedes (what's not to like abour the new G-class). Apparently there is still a market for those things. a good comparison might be the Titanic...

23 September 2008 17:39

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