Urban drivers of SUVs are used to being treated like pariahs. They've been targeted by Corbynista pressure groups such as the scary 'Alliance Against Urban 4x4s' who put spoof parking tickets under their windscreen wipers with the headline 'Poor Vehicle Choice'. And now NCP is subtly turning the screws by announcing it is having to increase the size of its parking bays to accommodate the massive beasts, which have a nasty habit of creasing other cars as they nudge and elbow their way into spaces.
Nearly one in three cars in the UK is now an SUV; the Audi Q7, along with the Volvo XC90, is the biggie on the block. The Audi measures almost 16 and a half feet in length when the average car parking space is 15 feet eight inches long. (Smaller versions - the Q5, 3 and 2 - are available.)
The brand still has serious cachet. When the late AA Gill was given one to drive to a shoot in Scotland, he noted: 'The point about Audis is that they are inscrutably sotto voce and self-confident. No Audi ever had a bumper sticker that said "Princess on board" or "I'll give up my gun when they uncurl my cold, dead fingers from around it".'
The Q7's central screen glides on motors from the top of the dash when you push the ignition button, and can be controlled via a combination of rotary knob, buttons and touchpad. It's intuitive to use, giving access to satnav, phone, music and going online. In the cavernous 770-litre boot are two extra seats, which can be popped up electronically.
The model driven by MT is also eye-wateringly costly at £65,550 when all the extras were added. (The advanced parking pack to help avoid those NCP shunts is £1,800.) Even at this price it's still not quite as spendy as the Range Rover Sport.
But what lies ahead for sales in the UK, where the prospect of a hard Brexit has caused a high degree of nervousness among German manufacturers? And then there's The Donald who recently announced that he might well slap a 35% import duty on German cars. But, as with so much that comes from the Mango Mussolini's mouth, that could just be hot emission gas. Germany's economy minister retorted tartly that, 'Americans need to build better cars.' Like the Q7, perhaps.
SPECIFICATION: AUDI Q7 3.0 TDI QUATTRO 272 PS S LINE TIPTRONIC
Price: £65,550 as tested
Engine: V6 diesel engine with exhaust turbocharger
Transmission: Eight-speed tiptronic
Fuel Consumption: 47.9mpg (combined cycle)
CO2 Emissions: 153g/km
Power: 272PS@ 3,2504,250rpm
0-62 mph: 6.5 seconds
Top Speed: 145mph