The Q7 is a full-size luxury crossover that shares a number of components with the Volkswagen Touareg and Porsche Cayenne. It offers seating for seven, a pair of powerful supercharged V6s and an efficient turbodiesel motor that returns 28 mpg on the highway.
For the current model year, which is expected to be the last for the current Q7 before a redesigned model arrives, changes are limited to a full-body paint finish and several new options packages.
Despite its oversized dimensions, the big crossover avoids looking like a box thanks to sleek styling elements such as a tapering roofline and upswept character lines running along the base of the doors. Audi's trademark oversized grille adorns the front fascia, and LED running lights provide a bit of illuminated bling.
While the exterior styling fools the eye into making the vehicle seem smaller than it is, the interior, in reality, is smaller than one might expect. While the first two rows are spacious and comfortable, the third-row seats are best suited to children, and only 10.2 cubic feet of cargo space is available with all seats in the upright position. Fold the rearmost seats and a more sizable 42 cubic feet are available, while folding the second row seats as well unlocks a total of 72.5 cubic feet.
In typical Audi fashion, the cabin is comprised of attractive and high-quality materials. The dashboard is uncluttered and modern, and a host of advanced technology features are available. New features for the latest model year include the latest version of Audi's MMI infotainment interface and Audi Connect, which makes the crossover a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot and also includes access to Google Earth - complete with panoramic views and high-resolution 3D satellite and aerial imagery.
The base Q7 features a 280 horsepower, 295 lb-ft of torque supercharged 3.0-liter V6. This engine will take the Q7 from a stop to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds, while fuel economy is rated at 16 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway
For the S-line Q7, the 3.0 TFSI engine is uprated to 333 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque, but retains the same fuel economy ratings. Acceleration to 60 mph is hasted to 6.9 seconds.
The final engine option is a 3.0-liter "TDI" V6 turbodiesel. This mill was upgraded for the latest model year with 15 extra horsepower for a total of 240 ponies. Torque remains an impressive 406 lb-ft. Fuel economy is also newly improved, and is now rated at 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Though its claimed zero-to-60 mph time is an unimpressive 8.5 seconds, in the real world the TDI rarely lacks power thanks to its abundance of torque.
All three engines shift through an eight-speed automatic gearbox and feature Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system as standard equipment. Maximum towing capacity is 5,500 lbs. as standard or 6,600 lbs. with the available trailer hitch package.
Trim Level Breakdown
The Q7 is available in Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige trim levels.
The Premium includes a plethora of standard features, such as: leather upholstery, heated and power adjustable front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, an 11-speaker AM/FM/CD/SiriusXM stereo with AUX and USB inputs, a power liftgate, Bluetooth connectivity, rear parking sensors, Audi's MMI infotainment system, Xenon headlights and 18-inch alloy wheels.
The TDI Premium adds extra exterior chrome and 19-inch wheels to that list.
If that list isn't enough, upgrading to the Premium Plus trim level will add: navigation with Audi connect, a Bose surround-sound system with HD radio, a rearview camera, front parking sensors, a panoramic sunroof, auto-dimming and power-folding exterior mirrors, LED running lights. The trim can be enhanced with the warm weather package, which brings four-zone automatic climate control, manual sunshades for the rear windows and tailgate and a tinted oanoramic sunroof.
The Prestige brings with the more powerful gasoline V6 (the TDI remains optional) as well as ventilated front seats, a proximity key, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a blind-spot warning system, cornering lights, the warm weather package and 20-inch wheels.
The S-Line Package includes a gloss black grille, 21-inch titanium-finish wheels shod with performance tires, matte black aluminum rails and trim around exterior windows, a black headliner, S line front and rear bumpers, brushed aluminum interior inlays and a three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with shift paddles. The Cold Weather package brings a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats.
New for the latest model year is the Offroad Style package. Available on Premium Plus models, it features Black-optic exterior elements, black roof rails, Offroad style fender flares, bumpers and stainless steel skid plates, as well as 20-inch 5-spoke S line design Titanium-finished wheels and all-season tires.
Also new is the Sport Style plus package, which is offered on Premium models and includes black optic exterior elements, black roof rails, unique front and rear bumpers and fenders, oval exhaust outlets and 21-inch 5-segment-spoke design Gloss Black-finished wheels. The Luxury package enhances the interior with extended leather treatments and a contrast-stitched black Alcantara headliner.
Stand-alone options include a 14-speaker, 505-watt Bang & Olufsen sound syste, a rear seat entertainment system, heated rear seats, rear side airbags and power running boards.
Dual front, side and side-curtain airbags are fitted as standard, as are traction and stability control systems. Regardless of engine choice, the behemoths are limited to 130 mph top speeds. ABS and EBD-enhanced four-wheel ventilated disc brakes are also standard, though the Prestige trim comes with upgraded brakes for maximum stopping power.
Rivals to the Q7 in the seven-passenger premium crossover segment include the Volvo XC90, the Land Rover LR4, the Infiniti QX60 and the Lincoln MKT.