Comfort and tech together make up the new audi q7 sunday drive heraldextra.com power generation definition

Craig and Daily Herald Publisher Rhett Long had to attend one last day at the state Legislature traveling to Salt Lake City, and then the next day had the opportunity to head down to Mount Pleasant to visit The Pyramid, a weekly newspaper owned by the Daily Herald.

During the couple of days of driving, we had the chance to really put the added technology to the test. With the addition of the Driver Assistance package ($2,400), the Q7 came equipped with adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, Audi pre-sense front, lane keep assist and high beam assist.

These are some pretty long names, but add up to a system that primarily operates from 0 to 37 mph. The system will pretty much drive the vehicle, it starts and stops with traffic, watches for anything that needs to be avoided in front of it, and will maintain the preset distance from the vehicle in front of it. This is a great system when in traffic jam and traffic that starts and stops frequently. It functioned perfectly the couple of times we hit slow traffic.

Over the 37 mph threshold, the system will gently maneuver the vehicle back to the center of the lane when it tries to move towards either line on the road and will also vibrate the steering wheel as a warning that you need to pay attention to the wandering vehicle. This is all accomplished with a camera that is taking 25 frames per second and feeding them to a computer to be analyzed. Being a color camera, the system can even tell the difference between white and yellow lines on the road.

We found that if the lines were painted well and easy to the see, the system functioned very well with the exception of when the lane would open up as at an exit or something like that where the spacing changed on the lines, the Q7 sometimes didn’t quite know what to do. Other than that it was one of the best systems of this type that we have driven to date. Folks, whether we want it or not, autonomous driving is getting closer every day.

The other must-have addition that came with the Q7 was the Vision Package ($2,000) that included the Audi Virtual Cockpit, along with full LED headlights and a top camera system. The virtual cockpit is a 12.3-inch high definition screen that includes all the normal gauges and systems that are usually in front of the driver.

The system was completely customizable with the flick of a switch. The speedometer and tachometer could be made very small on the side of the cockpit and navigation could take over pretty much the whole screen, or the radio could dominate, or the connected phone could be the dominate feature. Once we understood how the system functioned, it was easy to switch between objects and keep what was most important large and up front.

After getting over all the technology that can be had in the new Q7, there really is quite a luxurious SUV that really is the essence of the drive. It included leather clad seating, and with the addition of the warm and cold weather packages, a four-zone climate control, heated front and rear seats, cooled front seats and pull-up window shades for the rear seat passengers.

Ours also came with the addition of the Premium Plus Package ($4,000) that added navigation, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross path detection, a power telescoping steering column, heated and folding exterior mirrors an LED interior lighting package, and of course a Bose 3D surround sound system.

Apart from the technology, this package was the one we liked and used the most. Blind-spot detection has become a must with us, especially when Craig sometimes forgets that his truck does not have the option. The power steering column is just a nice touch in a luxury vehicle of this type.

The Bose sound system was outstanding, and with the designers doing such a great job keeping outside noises outside of the SUV, we were able to really enjoy being surrounded by whatever sound we choose. About the only thing we would have liked would have been the ability to change the color of the inside LED lighting.

Inside, about the only downside we could find , other than the LED lighting, was the fact the third row is very limited in leg space unless the second row seats are moved forward but then they have little leg space. Getting in and out of the back was not extremely difficult and those with smaller kids would have no problem with them. The rear seat had a unique feature with the child seat hold downs being covered by a snap-out piece of the seat that would eliminated the chance of ever sitting on them in the back.

Our test ride came with a 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine turbocharged engine that produced a nice 263 horsepower and 273 ft.-lbs. of torque that is matched perfectly to an eight-speed Tiptronic transmission. There is an available 3.0 liter V6 engine if you really want to up the game. We however found that the 2.0 liter version had all the speed that we would have wanted when getting into traffic and passing on the highway.

We would put the new Q7 as one of the best vehicles in the Audi lineup today. With all of the new technology and comfort included, it makes for the perfect choice in the luxury SUV segment. It works for us as empty nesters being easy to and exciting to drive, and also for the younger generation with an increasing family size.