In the 1990s when I was a boy and the family wanted to transport more than the average 2.4 children around, the car choice would have been an egg-shaped MPV.
Like a Renault Megan or a Ford Galaxy.
These days however, more and more families are going for the SUV.
And Audi it would seem, spells SUV with a Q.
The Q7 tops out the Q range for Audi, as it's flagship SUV model.
And, this year, there's a brand new one out on the market.
A second generation offers to be lighter, more efficient, more powerful, more comfortable, more everything really.
We're here in the beautiful Swiss landscape with a couple of hours behind the wheel of the new Q7 to find out what's what.
And because this is a popular car.
It sold over 500,000 so far.
And because you might be considering one to ferry around your 72 kids, here's our list of our favorite features.
Weight is an important thing when building a car or rather the lack thereof, and this car has shifted over 325 kilos from its previous version.
Put that into context, 325 kilos.
That's, well I'd like to say, that's four of me.
It's closer to three.
But it still means three full grown men, you're not shifting about.
It's also the weight of a grand piano, Audi tells me.
Now I don't think many people have been shifting that around in the back of a car, but you have to imagine it has to affect the handling.
It's brought the zero to 62 time down by over a second, it's pushed up the top speed by 10%.
It's made fuel efficiency better.
It's incredible to think that much weight could have been shifted, but it affects so many aspects of the car, it makes a huge difference.
Audi's new in-car entertainment system features Apple CarPlay connectivity and Android Auto, which means that no matter what phone you have you can integrate it right into the car.
That's a massive leap forward considering that in-car entertainment systems have classically been pretty rubbish when everyone just prefers to use their phone.
Now that you can integrate that straight in and use all the functionality in your favorite apps, That's a huge win, and one less thing that the car manufacturers have to think of.
Audi has been moving away from the rounded look that's been dominating its line up for so long.
And it's adding in this more creased, sharp, aggressive look across its entire range.
We see it in the new R8, we see it in the new TT, and we're seeing it here in the new Q7.
Audi's SUVs to me have always looked more like jacked up estate cars.
But for a company that makes the R6, that it a compliment.
This new creased, sharp look is a modern incarnation of that era we hold so dearly from Audi.
That of the original Quattro.
Those sharp eighties lines, the jijaro age of design is coming back, and it looks better than ever.
Now that's not something we usually focus on here at ExCar, but, about 50,000 pounds in change on the road, It's not a bad prospect when you compare it to other cars in the sector.
Especially considering its fuel economy and speed.
You've actually got yourself quite a good deal.
And for that money, you're still getting an Audi.
Driver assists now definitely they seem to be coming in to a world to take away, from us, the pleasure of driving.
And for that we will never forgive them.
Our robot overlords will steal us of every last joy of driving at some point and we will curse them to our dying day but sometimes they can be a little bit useful.
For example, in slow traffic up to about 37 miles an hour This car can read the traffic signs.
It can read the road markings and how fast and how far the car in front of you is.
So basically it adjusts your acceleration braking and steering up to 37 miles an hour.
And if you live in London like I do that is the top speed you achieve most of the time.
Effectively meaning it could drive me to and from work.
Now self-driving cars might seem like they're a few years away but apparently, this year you can get in an Audi Q7 for almost everything I want to do on a day-to-day basis in a car.
Maybe those robot overlords aren't so bad after all.
Then new Q seven will launch with a three liter TDI engine kicking out two-hundred and sixty eight brake horse power connected to an eight speed tip tronic gear box now that will fall short of sports car credentials but add in the wait production and that give you one hell of a power to weight ratio Interiors.
For me, the most overlooked parts of car design.
And we've talked about Audis looking a little bit past their best, even in the top level RAs for quite some time now.
This new Q7 though has updated everything.
And it just looks that little bit more updated, that little bit more modern, that little bit more swish Now this display here, I'm usually not a fan of displays that feel like they've been bolted onto the dash.
I've complained about it on Mercedes in the past, but this one actually feels really nice and elegant, and the screen is super high resolution.
It's a nice little touch.
Instead of old fashioned analog mechanical dials you're presented with an awesome screen which you can configure to have exactly the information you want up there.
You can have virtual dials up and present or as we have right now the dials are pushed to the side and reduced in size To give me a nice high definition map of where we are now.
Helping me with the sat nav, marry that to the heads up display that's hovering about five yards in front of me.
And you've got yourself a very very efficient way of me not having to take my eyes off the road.
Which frankly in these incredibly windy mountain roads in Switzerland is no bad thing.
It might not be a major point, but if you're driving at night or indeed through a tunnel, the little, interior strip lights come on, blue in this case, and it makes you look like you're driving something out of Tron, which in any one's book is pretty damn awesome.
Now this is obviously an SUV Which means I'm higher off the ground than I like to be normally in a car, and it's bigger and heavier than I normally like to have in a car, even with those 300 plus kilos shedded.
So, handling, well handling is like an SUV.
But within that, that shedded weight Does make a difference.
It is the lightest in its class.
And it uses that to its full advantage to make it feel a little bit more nimble.
The high seating position though definitely reminds you that you're in an SUV.
Now that might not be your taste.
Certainly isn't mine.
But if you like that kind of thing, you get the best of both worlds.
Something that feels light, but still gives you tha high driving, might position on the road.
Now, modern cars are modern cars, and they all feel pretty good.
Audis are at the top of that tree in any case.
This is the HB Techtronic Gearbox which is as smooth as you like.
And frankly right now although a manual gearbox will always be my preferred way of getting forward, at the moment, I'm rocking an injured knee.
So not having to use my left foot is actually a godsend.
There's obviously the flappy paddle gear box, for those of you who still want to **** themselves.
Or this big old chunky stick down here can be used to shift gear as well.
But frankly, put it in drive and point it in the right direction, and that's the way you're going to treat this car 99% of the time.
This is a family transport car.
And no matter how many extra sporty touches they want to add in.
How many more aggressive styling touches.
The truth of the matter is, you're going to be taking the kids to school in this every day.
You're not going to be taking it round the [INAUDIBLE] in the weekends.
That's not what this car is for.
Those little sporty touches are just there to make you feel a little bit better about resigning yourself to the fact that shifting your family around is now your primary concern when you get behind the wheel.
SUVs are good at two very particular things, ferrying a lot of stuff or a lot of people.
And if people ferrying is the reason you've bought this car, at no extra cost it's available with seven seats
Where some of the boot is sacrificed to put two extra full seats in the back.
All of which can be fitted for child seats.
You could be ferrying around six children in this car, and the driver.
Seven if you teach a child how to drive.
Which I highly recommend
So you have it, our top list of the things we think you need to know about the brand new Audi Q7.
These Swiss Alp roads have been a brilliant proving ground for this car and I'll tell you what.
Volvo, BMW, and even Porsche Gonna have to take note.