One of the things I love about working in the car business is that I get to try a lot of different cars in the course of a year. With the portfolio of brands that we offer, that means I get a taste of a lot of different driving experiences.

Modern cars are pretty complex things – even your most basic Toyota or Volkswagen has features that we couldn’t have dreamed of 20 or 30 years ago, let alone 52 years ago, when we opened our first dealership. So I generally like to drive a new car for at least a month so I can really learn about how it drives, and increasingly, about all of its technology.

It’s a bit too early to give you any detailed experiences about my new Audi Q7, because I just started my month with it a few days ago. But I can give you some initial impressions.


First off, I love the space. It’s amazing how much stuff that you need to drag around with children, and there’s nothing better than a large SUV to make loading and unloading a breeze. The new Q7 is actually a little shorter in length than the last generation, but getting people and stuff in and out of the interior is a lot easier than before. The design of the interior adds to the sense of space: the dash is nice and low, there’s tons of useful storage space, and the way everything has been laid out enhances the feeling that there’s room to stretch out.


Needless to say, with Audi, you’re also getting amazing interior fit and finish, and cutting-edge technology. The instrument cluster is now Audi’s virtual cockpit – it’s a huge flat panel screen that can show you conventional dials, but also a massive 3-D navigation map, your phone book, or infotainment settings, all in one place. There’s also a big screen that pops out of the dash, as well as optional removable tablets in the rear that let you surf the web, watch videos, see the map, and more.


I’m still a performance car guy, so I drive the Q7 in sport mode most of the time. It’s kind of cool what happens when you put the car in sport: not only does it make the transmission’s shift mapping more aggressive, and make the throttle more responsive, it also reconfigures the instrument cluster to make the gauges bigger, and even changes some of the interior lighting to red. A nice touch in a vehicle that’s full of nice touches.