2013 Audi Q7 TDI: The Drive to Vienna – Review and Report

By Jonathan Spira on 16 October 2013
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The Audi Q7 has been around since 2009 and has been continually updated by Audi DSC_0625with the latest in driver assistance and safety technologies.  With regard to vehicle size, it was a bit of overkill for my trek to the High Tatras Mountains of Slovakia, a range of mountains along the border of northern Slovakia and southern Poland, and  part of the Tatra Mountains chain.  The 17 tallest peaks, all on the Slovakian side, range up to 8,200 feet (2,500 meters).

My final destination would be one of the most picturesque parts of the region, Štrbské pleso, the second largest glacial lake on the Slovak side of the High Tatras, and home to the Grand Hotel Kempinski High Tatras hotel.

I picked up the Q7 at Munich Airport (Flughafen München) after a flight to Munich from New York.  The Q7 didn’t see much action beyond a drive into the city center as I stayed in Munich at the Vier Jahreszeiten DSC_0558for 2 days before heading east.

The drive from Munich to Štrbské pleso would take nine hours and covered 539 miles (868 kilometers), about a third of it in hilly or mountainous terrain. I therefore decided to break up the drive with a stop in Vienna, a midway point.

Vienna, once the capital of an empire on which it was said that the sun never set, is now equally as important as the capital of a newly-invigorated Central Europe that bridges East with West.  Having grown up partially in the city, rich in tradition and music, it was an appropriate stopping point for multiple reasons.


Given that it was a weekend and I knew there would be traffic approaching Salzburg,DSC_0560 I decided to take the somewhat less scenic route to Vienna via Passau and Linz.  It was a 295-mile (476-kilometer) drive that took roughly five hours.

Leaving my hotel on the Maximilianstraße in the city center, I headed towards Stuttgart/Nürnberg/Flughafen München via the B2R, a ring road that encircles Munich.  The BR2 put me briefly on the Autobahn A 9, a road whose origins go back to the 1930s and the Reichsautobahn project under the National Socialist regime.  After German reunification, almost all of the A9 was rebuilt and modernized with three lanes and an emergency lane in each direction; the section of Autobahn from München-Nord to Neufahrn has four lanes in each direction and I continued here for 16.7 kilometers (10 miles).

Up until now, I was heading in a northerly direction, which changed to northeasterly once I reached the interchange 68-Kreuz Neufahrn and joined the A92.  The A92, which connects Munich with Deggendorf, runs along the Isar River and is a main route for drivers heading to the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. DSC_0562 The planned A94 Autobahn between Munich and Passau, however, when and if it is built, will take over much of that traffic from the A92.

While the A92 starts off with three lanes in each direction, after passing Munich Airport, it scales down to two.  In addition, unlike most German and Austrian Autobahnen, there are no Raststätte (rest stops) en route although filling stations may be found at or near the exits.

Click here to continue to Page 2Crossing into Austria, the Q7’s Updated Engine, and Fuel Economy

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