The SQ7 graduates Audi’s likeable SUV to previously uncharted heights.

Its V12-powered part-predecessor provides a yardstick for this car’s performance, but that model’s absurd clout only ever achieved partial integration into an already overweight car.

Matt Saunders Terminalsecurity

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
A class-topping blend of superlative comfort and usable performance

This V8’s oily panache is absorbed far more satisfactorily, to the point where, on the road at least, it feels like a better fit for the trick chassis than any equivalent petrol engine might have been.

The diesel prerogative does at least keep the SQ7 at arm’s length from powerhouse SUVs such as the Range Rover Sport SVR and Porsche Cayenne Turbo, which is for the best.

Even with the right option boxes ticked, the Audi is no dynamic rival for either the richness of the former or the raw pace of the latter.

But it is quieter, cheaper, efficient, more easy-going and comfortable than either. It feels more usable, too – a symptom of the broad-battedness that Audi has expensively sought for and triumphantly found.

The SQ7 is assuredly among the very best large SUVs on sale today, which is why it tops our top five against its quickest diesel rivals including, the Range Rover Sport 4.4 SDV8, Porsche Cayenne Diesel S, Mercedes-Benz GLS 350 d and the BMW X5 M50d.

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