17 July, 2017
We enjoyed test-driving all of Audi’s Q models and comparing their performance during a promo-race from Zagreb to Selce
In early June, the Zagreb-based Porsche Croatia, general importer of Audi automobiles to Croatia, organised a showcase of their SUVs. Gathered in one place, we could view all the Q models, test them, and enjoy the programme prepared for the press by the head of marketing for Audi Croatia, Petra Kovačević. An exchange of cars was organised for the occasion, so that at every 30 kilometres on the route from Zagreb to Selce we could ‘jump’ from car to car, according to a prior planned schedule. By doing so, we were able to familiarise ourselves with the varying performance and comfort of not only each car model, but also of the individual cars from the same line and see what the differences in their equipment and engines mean. After gathering in Jankomir, a neighbourhood in Zagreb, we set off to Gorski Kotar, towards the old Austro-Hungarian road, Josephina, connecting Karlovac and Senj, on which we drove to the Mrežnica river close to Duga Resa, where we started testing the cars. Although we had enjoyed this comfortable ride before, this masterfully designed road with its beautiful curves and an even more beautiful, spring landscape was ideal for assessing the abilities of the line-up of cars at our disposal.
We took the opportunity for a joint photo session after crossing the Tounj bridge, but the cars’ performance still remained in the foreground. We went for a ride in a ‘regular’ Q3 model that handled the curvy road well, then we continued on in the Audi Q5 model, with an included sports package that displayed considerably more agility on more demanding road sections. Then we took a short break at the Sabljak lake near Ogulin. We changed route and had the chance to test their strongest — and most expensive model – the Audi SQ7. Even though the SQ7 is equipped with all imaginable systems and accessories, such as the heads-up display and the Bang & Olfusen sound system, its true value lies in the handling of this robust car. Owing to its 435 horsepower hiding beneath the bonnet, the SQ7’s V8 turbo diesel engine with an electric compressor develops enough power to effortlessly accelerate, even at short distances and the suspension keeps the immense car perfectly glued to the road even in the most difficult of curves. The driving comfort is also incomparably better than the other SUV models that we had the chance to test.
Even though we knew that the Q7 is a marvellous car, comparing it with other models only confirmed our first impressions: The SQ7 belongs in its own class of cars and if you are looking for a spacious and comfortable SUV with the heart of an athlete, this car is definitely a hole in one. As was the rest of the programme that Audi had prepared for us. After passing over Velebit, we arrived at Selce and checked into the new Amabilis hotel, where the rest of our adventure truly began. Speedboats took us to the nearby town of Vrbnik on the island of Krk where we, besides having lunch, had an ATV race. On return to Selce, we enjoyed an excellent dinner at the hotel and a private Marko Tolja concert. The next day, we rejoined our Audi Q flotilla and returned, taking a perfectly normal route — the motorway to Zagreb. In addition to the incredibly pleasing programme that was prepared for us, we had the pleasure of enjoying the ‘Qdays’ and comparing our impressions first hand and drawing our conclusions on the differences between the smallest and most spacious models. We took this valuable experience and the many beautiful moments, organised for us by Porsche Croatia, back in our hearts.