The Audi Q7 is one of the most comfortable rides we’ve tested but how does it score in tech and gadgetry?
Although the Audi Q7 features GPS, Bluetooth and SD cards, it falls a bit short in technology compared to some of the other cars we've looked at.
The steering wheel controls on the Q7 are pretty minimal which is not a bad thing. Instead of buttons, you have a button and a vertical roller on each side that can also be pressed to select. The roller on the right is used to control the volume with a button for voice input while the left side has the “Mode” button that lets you switch between views on the hi-res color LCD screen located between the Speedometer and the RPM gauge. This screen shows you three different views- media, communication and info.
Media shows you the current track playing on the sound system and using the steering wheel controls, you can skip between your audio files. Communication shows your Bluetooth connected phone’s list and recent calls allowing you to dial in and out. Finally the information screen shows you things like your current speed in digital format, outside temperature as well as kilometers you can drive with the fuel present in your tank.
Towards the right of the steering wheel is your main screen that is controlled by a knob as well as four corner buttons located near the gearbox. The system is not as intuitive as a touch screen but after a while you get the hang of it. However, it could sometimes be a pain to use, especially when you want to enter data as you have to rotate the knob to highlight the alphabets you want to enter. What we’ve done is put together a small video to show you how the whole system works.
As you saw in the video, entering data could be a bit of a pain. What I did like are the two SD cards that you can store your files on and they work quite well. What is sorely missing is iPod connectivity or even a 3.5mm jack for auxiliary input. These are sold as optional on the Q7 however, I think they should be standard. It would also be nice to have screens on the back for the kids as this is a family car.
The audio system on the Audi Q7 is kick-ass to say the least. Not only can you control the bass and treble like in most other cars, you also have controls for the sub-woofer and believe me, that thing packs a punch. There are a total of eleven speakers and they can sure produce a good quality audio output.
GPS functionality on the Audi Q7 is pretty mediocre. First of all, it doesn’t offer a 3D view so all you have is a top-down view. Secondly, it could not find some destinations- for example, the Grand Millennium Hotel in Dubai was nowhere on the map. However, it did find places like Emirates Towers hotel and for anything in its database, it had no problems guiding us to the destination. Maybe all that’s needed is an update for maps.
Bluetooth worked without issues as well. We paired the HTC Desire and the iPhone 3GS without any issues and could easily access the phone books stored in the phones. Strangely, contacts were sorted by the last name and I couldn’t find a quick way of sorting them through the first name. You can add your favourites to the car’s memory and then easily speak out their name using the voice command system. This worked quite well.