With fuel prices having been low for some time and seeming likely to remain that way, many car buyers are beginning to feel more confident. The lower pricing of the last couple of years still seemed like something of a trap to many, with lessons learned through earlier peaks counseling forbearance. As many analysts now feel that relatively low petroleum prices will persist for some time, though, a fair number of buyers have started looking into vehicles that would formerly have been financially dangerous even to contemplate. Just as interest in full-size SUVs once again ramps up, the new Audi Q7 has made an entrance that has attracted a good deal of attention.

While certain vehicles in the class, like the sprawling Ford Expedition, have earned their own places of honor, the full-size SUV segment has never been one of especially great refinement. Part of the reason for this is that buyer interest fell off so quickly, alongside rising fuel prices, just as this style of vehicle first started making inroads into the mainstream. For this second round of momentum, though, manufacturers have gone back to their drawing boards in ways that are likely to resonate with buyers for a good while to come.

Audi’s Q7 exemplifies this all throughout. Compared to its predecessor in the line, it comes in about six hundred pounds lighter in most trims, a savings that can be felt right away. Removing so much weight from the new Q7 means that Audi’s famous driving feel can come through much more clearly, which is a pleasant surprise for anyone who has driven many SUVs of this size.

The manufacturer was also careful to equip the new SUV with a selection of power plants that are up to the task of keeping driving enjoyable, as well. With the most capable of these turning out around 270 horsepower, even the Q7’s still-considerable bulk can be put into motion at a reasonable pace. Although it will never be mistaken for a low-slung sports car, the spacious, high-riding Q7 is a vehicle which proves that buying and driving a full-size SUV does not need to mean succumbing to very many downsides at all.

The New Audi Q7 Delivers a Number of Welcome Improvements