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RISHAD SAAM MEHTA | New Delhi, February 2, 2013 17:11
Tags : Audi Q7 4.2 TDI | BMW X5 | Volkswagen Touareg | SUV |

Audi Q7 4.2 TDI

If you are want to miss a little action for some more fuel economy, buy the Q7 with the 3 litre engine option.

But it is the 4.2 litre Q7 that really tugs at the heart strings.

I recently drove one from Delhi all the way over the Mughal road right into the upper reaches of Kashmir and I was smiling most of the way. The car’s mile munching capabilities combined by the supreme luxuriousness of its interiors make this behemoth a car that you’d want to drive to places where common sense would tell you to take a flight. Say from Bombay to Ladakh...

Where the 3.0 TDI gently presses you into the seat, the 4.2 pins you down. First and second gears are heady acceleration, third, fourth and fifth shove the car ahead in one long relentless tidal wave of torque, after which you cross speeds of 200kph. Its top whack is 240kph, and it’ll get there without breaking sweat.

The engine is a 90deg V8, displacing 4134cc making 340bhp and its peak torque is 77.5kgm spread all the way from 1750rpm to 3000rpm. This is the reason for its sustained and unrelenting acceleration. It will go from zero to 100kph in 6.5 seconds and will rush past 150kph in 13.9sec and 200kph in under half a minute. Like the 3.0 TDI, this engine powers all four wheels through a rapid fire six-speed automatic. Its over-five-metre length notwithstanding , it has the ability to feel very manageable from behind the wheel.

The build quality of the Q7 is excellent, the interiors are of a high standard, the seats are comfortable and there’s a tons of equipment – there’s that massive sunroof, dual-zone climate control, MMI, DVD player, paddleshifts, leather seats, a refrigerator, and a hard drive to store your CDs.

Cost: The Q7 costs around Rs. 78 lakhs. And, later this year there is probably a V12 engined version arriving which will go from 0 to 100 in about 4.5 seconds and put you back by Rs. 1 crore.



The BMW X5 looks sporty and while it doesn’t sport the engine muscle of the Q7, it is amazing to drive. I drove it from Bombay to Surat recently and it is a rapidfire highway weapon. While the suspension is firm, it is this very attribute that makes it well sorted when it comes to handling and makes it very comfortable over long distances. The X5 comes with a 3.0d engine that takes it to 100kph in 7.3 seconds and will carry on till 220kph.

Looking inside, the fit and finish is definitely up market. The spacious interiors are further accentuated by the large sunroof which allows for an even more open feel. BMW has also taken the liberty to ensure that the X5 is rather flexible in seating and though most owners will keep their X5 predominantly as a 5 seater, there is an optional third row of seating that allows for two more passengers. The level of kit and entertainment depends on the package, and the list and configurations are almost endless.

The X5 is almost alarmingly silent when fired up. And this, mind you, is despite the fact that in the hood resides quite the monster. An all-aluminium six-cylinder diesel engine with TwinPower Turbo and common rail direct injection, it delivers 245bhp and churns out 540Nm of torque between 1,750 - 3,000 rpm which makes it an absolute joy to drive. The power is delivered to the wheels via an 8 speed tiptronic gearbox. This car is quite fast but if you want something faster in an SUV from BMW you can opt for the X5 xDrive50i which comes fitted with a V8 TwinPower Turbo and direct petrol injection and makes 407hp and 600Nm of torque between 1,750 - 4,500rpm and can accelerate from 0 - 100kmph in 5.5 seconds.

Cost: The 3.0d costs Rs. 76 lakhs and xDrive50i come for Rs. 1 crore.


Volkswagen Touareg

Volkswagen’s SUV looks and feels expensive. While it doesn’t offer the seven seater flexibility, it rides comfortably and the handling is much better than what you could expect from a two-tonne SUV. It is well-built, spacious, generously equipped and is generally a comfortable place to be in. It does everything you expect of a premium SUV. While the interiors are a bit plain, they feel well screwed together, the switches work with the solidity you expect from a German car, and there is a genuine sense of luxury inside.

The car comes with 240bhp and its 2.2 ton weight might make you think it to be a modest rating, but the 3.0-litre V6 diesel churns out oodles of torque. It makes 56kgm of torque from 1500rpm which routed to the wheels through an eight-speed gearbox gives this car pleasing performance. It hits 100kph in an admirable 7.47sec and will cross the 200kph mark in under 40 second.

You don’t have to fret though, as there’s loads of grip from the full-time four-wheel-drive system and the fat tires. The suspension offers a ‘Sport’ and ‘Comfort’ mode and the Sport mode is the better one to drive in because the ride is impressively flat and the suspension is pliant enough to absorb almost everything you throw at it.

But the best bit of all is how tough the Touareg is, it can take battle-tank levels of pounding and on our roads, this is definitely a plus.

Cost: The Touareg costs Rs. 76 lakhs

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017