The Audi Q7 is an undeniably desirable car. Able to cope with three kids, and even weekends with the grandparents visiting, it’s all the family car you need. All that and it still makes you feel good to be seen in it, thanks to the upmarket image and premium feel. It’s no surprise that it’s so popular, really. It’s our favourite used seven-seater if you’ve got a higher budget, too.

What you can expect to pay for a used Audi Q7

We say a higher-budget, as while you can get the Q7 for well under £10,000, you should be conscious that running costs will be fairly high. As with any big four-wheel drive, tax, servicing, insurance, parts and fuel usage will be fairly expensive. Even a new set of tyres can cost some £1000 and may be required every 10,000 miles or so. Factor all of this in if you have a lower budget, of course, but only if you are confident that the running costs are manageable.

If you reckon that you can cover those costs, the Q7 is hard to beat – whether you go for the older model or the more recent version, launched in 2016.

Even with all seven seats in place there’s room for a lightweight buggy in the 330-litre boot. Fold-down the sixth and seventh seats to reveal a huge 775-litre boot with a flat floor that’ll make life on the road with a twin buggy or multiple dogs, or any of the other unwieldy life-luggage that makes a massive boot such a lifesaver.

Under the hood of the Audi Q7

All Q7s have four-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox. Avoid the various big petrol engines available at launch if you can, as they are exorbitantly expensive to fuel yet don’t deliver the performance you’d expect given the economy.

The 3.0-litre diesel is by far the most popular engine, and it’s the best – smooth, more than punchy enough and able to do well over 30mpg in normal driving. If you can go for the later 2012 facelifted model, which got a more efficient version of the 3.0-litre diesel, and a turbocharged 3.0-litre petrol that’s rare but far more recommendable than the bigger, earlier petrol engines.

Ultimately, any of the 3.0-litre V6 diesels (they either have 201, 230 or 242bhp) are great to live with.

Audi Q7 interior

Equipment is good on all Q7 models, but SE – which got electrically adjustable, heated leather seats as well as the standard climate control, parking sensors, adjustable suspension and cruise control – is our pick of the used Q7 trims. S line is the sportier trim and got 20-inch alloys, a butch-looking styling kit and firmer suspension.

Problems to watch out for

Look out for cars that might have been used to tow, as towing typically shortens the life of the gearbox, and Q7s can suffer electrical gremlins if the wiring around the tow hook has been damaged.

Check that the remote central-locking is working properly, and also run the air-con through all the different temperatures and some owners say that the heater malfunctions and can make the cabin smell of fumes.

Servicing is variable – cars that do mostly short journeys or that are driven hard need servicing every year or 9000 miles, but those driven more gently or mostly on the motorway can be serviced as rarely as every 19,000 miles and two years. All Audi Q7s are chain-driven, so at least you don’t need to worry about cambelt changes.

Overall, while the Audi is expensive to buy and run, it’s no more so than alternatives like the BMW X5, Land Rover Discovery or Volvo XC90. It’s the best of the lot if you spend most of your time on the road and need a versatile, seven-seat SUV that’s great to drive and live with. If you’re looking for economy in a family SUV, check out the Skoda Yeti.

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