At over 5-meters long and almost 2-meters wide, this behemoth is the throne that has cars moving out of your way, and the road bending to your will.

There are cars that suit your lifestyle – get you from point A to B, are relatively comfortable and don’t offer too much drama – and then there are cars that your lifestyle gets suited to.

The Audi Q7 is a little bit of both – the perfect storm between what you expect and the extraordinary that goes beyond your expectations.

As a 7-seater luxury SUV, the expectation is that it will be big, comfortable and powerful; but the Q7 ups its game by also being graceful, incredibly responsive and seductive, enticing you to want to drive it, even without a destination.

The crossover and sports utility vehicle market has seen impressive gains over the last year, and although a big chunk of that interest has gone to the compact range, the full-sized SUV still has the potential to be the kingmaker, and in the Q7’s case, at least for driver if not the carmaker.

The Drive

At over 5-meters long and almost 2-meters wide, this behemoth is the throne that has cars moving out of your way, and the road bending to your will.

Externally, what it lacks in sex appeal, compared to, say, Audi’s sedans or super cars, the Q7 makes up for in presence – the large grille with horizontal bars, Audi’s signature daylight running lamps and the 19-inch aluminium wheels make for a gorgeous first impression.

Under the hood, the 2.0 Quattro variant is powered by a 2-litre TFSI 4-cylinder DFI (direct fuel injection) engine and an exhaust gas turbocharger that deliver a maximum 252hp and 370nm of torque. Coupled with an 8-speed transmission, Audi says the Q7 goes from 0-100km/h in 7.1 seconds, but with a little cajoling you can probably shave a few hundreds of a second off. But that’s not saying you will want to, because as powerful as the Q7 is, this is a car you want to take your time with.

From the light and excitable accelerator to the nimble and smooth steering, almost anyone can drive the Q7 with ease and, I daresay everyone will find pleasure in it driving. While its size may frighten a novice, the SUV is incredibly agile and comes with enough of modern tech assistance to make sure this Titanic doesn’t hit any icebergs (or anything else for that matter).

Audi’s drive select tailors the car’s ride high enough to very obviously feel the difference when stationary. In motion however, the car sails across most roads, potholed or otherwise comfortably, regardless of the drive mode.

The Interior

The Q7, unsurprisingly, matches its large exterior with an incredibly spacious interior, but also maximises the illusion of space with clever design.

The almost customary 8.3-inch screen retracts into the dashboard while all its controls are placed near the gear-shift. The centre console itself mainly hosts the controls to the car’s air-conditioning and a few other assist functions. The end result is a clean and functional design that goes against the norm of button-heavy aeroplane-like cars, that isn’t only easier on the eyes, but also to the touch.

The second and third row also offer a gracious amount of space and leg room, potentially making the Q7 a suitable chauffeur driven vehicle, if you’d much rather lounge in the back. The third row seats electronically fold down for more luggage space, while the second row seats can also fold away to turn it into a home on wheels with 1,955 litres of space.

Finally, the infotainment system features Audi’s 10-speaker, 9-channel amplifier sound system which does an impressive enough job.

The Tech

The Q7 comes with the laundry list of tech that’s become standard for a vehicle in its segment and while most of it – from the electronic stabilisation control to the hill descent control – will work seamlessly in the background, the multitude of parking assist features makes storing this graceful mammoth incredibly easy.

The 360-degree cameras, dedicated front and rear cameras as well as 360-degree sensors will come in handy to the more hands-on driver, like yours truly. But if hands-on doesn’t get you into the spot the first time, the Q7’s auto park feature is amazingly efficient , parking the car as well as I would myself, except I didn’t need to turn the wheel, just keep my feet sceptically close to the brakes.

Yay or nay?

At RM524,900 for a complete built up model, the Q7 gets a resounding ‘Yay!’ As SUVs constantly redefine their own purpose and try to become more all-rounded vehicles, Audi and the Q7 are among the leading pack.

This car suits an executive – to drive or be driven; a family – to lug in comfort; and a genuine car lover who appreciates the allure of a lifestyle-altering, king- making SUV.

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(Photos: Reshween Maan)