All Q7s come with the same eight speed automatic gearbox and for almost all customers the high output 3-litre diesel has more than enough performance not to make you feel compromised by the type of car that circumstances have forced upon you.
The engine is notably smooth and tuned in nicely to the shift patterns chosen for the transmission. The way to make the most of it is to keep the revs low and let the torque – of which there is plenty – do the work rather than the power of which there is actually comparatively little given the vast heft of the car it is being asked to propel.
With barely 200bhp to its name, the problem with the entry level engine is not that it’s inadequate for the Q7 but rather it must be worked quite hard to provide the kind of performance you might these days think should be taken for granted in such a car.
If that doesn’t trouble you because you’re happy to knock along with the rest of the traffic then it remains worth a look, although you should bear in mind that not only is it actually very little cheaper to buy than the high output engine, the small fuel consumption advantage it holds on paper would probably be entirely negated by the extra effort it must make to provide decent performance.