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.
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 Maps - 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
Audi has also decided to change its naming scheme around for its trim levels, with Premium now representing the base model, Premium Plus as mid-grade and Prestige as the top offering. If customers opt for the gas-powered Q7, they can also get the S-line Prestige model.
Standard across the latest Q7 line you will find a plethora of features, such as: Servotronic speed-sensitive steering, eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, electronic differential lock, adaptive air suspension, front and rear vented disc brakes, anti-theft alarm, heated windshield nozzles, power tailgate, leather seats, iPod, Blueooth and Sirius radio connectivity and more.
If that list isn't enough, upgrading to the Premium Plus trim level will add: parking system with camera, auto-dimming, power-adjustable and power-folding heated exterior mirrors with integrated LED turn signals, xenon plus headlights with automatic self-leveling and integrated LED daytime running lights, panorama sunroof, driver memory, Multi Media Interface system including navigation, voice control system and an eight-color driver information display.
To distinguish the two from the outside, the Premium Plus also gets more brightwork, including chromed roof rails.
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 standard 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 JX35 and the Lincoln MKT.