By KBB.com Editors
Audi admits it's late to the game, the most important in its history, but its arrival on the sport utility scene with the Q7 quattro is a triumph of technology, elegance, performance and quality. The Premium version wraps around six passengers (seven in the base model) in classy comfort and safety, offering innovative features to help you park easily, drive fast, and enjoy a versatile lifestyle. With all the hallmarks of the Audi heritage, the Q7 does not disappoint. Classified as a light truck by the EPA, it is built on a unibody which Audi prefers to call a car and indeed handling and interior amenities compare with any luxury sedan. Built-in is 25 years of permanent all-wheel-drive experience for limited off-road duties.
You'll like this car if parking a large SUV is your recurrent nightmare. Instead, it's a dream when the Q7's rearview camera guides you onscreen inch by inch. Hauling people? Try the 28 different seat configurations. Cargo? Maximum trunk space is a mammoth 72 cubic feet
You may not like this car if adults use the third row. They could have trouble squeezing in and out but children and packages can fit. And if you're an impatient pedal-masher you may find that the throttle response lags a little from zero to 30 miles per hour, although 30 to 60 is surprisingly exhilarating in this 5,269-pound vehicle.
The 16-foot 8-inch long Q7 is specifically designed for the high-end U.S. SUV market, focusing on craftsmanship, multi-function seating, plenty of horsepower, unlimited cargo space, and every techie gimmick going. Upping the ante on driving dynamics, the Q7 bundles in Audi's latest generation of quattro, and pioneering safety features.
Driving Impressions The heft and solid feel of this well-built, agile Q7 tooling along at high speeds transfers a sense of sure-footedness and road grip to the driver. The cruise control is...a snap to use and the adaptive air suspension's three very exact driving characteristics with adjustable ride height—Dynamic for sporty outings, Automatic, and Comfort—cover every driving requirement depending on the mode selected and speed. When you shift into Off-road, the superb stabilization technology kicks in. The 8.1-inch of ground clearance works well over rocks and deep ruts although severe washboard trails can set unsecured headrests rattling. Back on-road, the suspension system automatically lowers the Q7 for high-speed stability. Despite a few aluminum parts, this is still a heavy vehicle, and while the turning circle can require a three-point effort, the precise steering helps. Road noise is minimal. The seats are high, wide and supportive, the airy sunroof lets in 5.6-feet of light, and with every function and feature at your fingertips, driving the Q7 compares well to the top players in its field.
Adaptive Cruise Control
A world first, the system controls distance and speed as a safety feature in traffic. The driver chooses his driving mode, which automatically determines the time interval from a vehicle in front.
Brand new, the system consists of a rearview camera and audio alert to help you park. An image of the rear bumper appears onscreen as you back the Q7 into a parking space, following the colored guidelines on the monitor. Blue areas show if the space is large enough; orange lines guide the driver for parallel or angle parking.
The interior, like all Audis, is second to none in the automotive industry and the Q7 is trimmed with luxury woods, aluminum inlays, and stitched leather everywhere including the heatable steering wheel. The cockpit is based on the A6 and every ergonomically-designed button, knob and switch is at hand either on the steering wheel, the dash, or next to the shift lever on the center console. Ten cupholders stash drinks. The driver's seat is height-adjustable, as is the steering column. Both front seats have lumbar support. The middle seat in the second row bench flips down to form a mini-table, and single-pull levers fold the seats flat. Airbags abound front and side, and seatside bags along the full side length to the third row. Air conditioning conveniently cools the glove box. The luggage compartment is a treasure trove of tie-downs, cargo nets, a retractable cover, partitions, telescoping racks, a ski sack, and a protective liner.Exterior
The Q7's exterior is sleek, striking, and sporty, with a bold rectangular grille, high beltline, narrow side windows and a coupe-like roofline capped by a rack. The front overhang is comparatively short but in perfect proportion to the intent of the sporty design. A long wheelbase provides the Q7 with a self-possessed elegance. Headlamps, door handles, and arched fenders fuse into a seamless, graceful unit. Sporty styling rescues this large SUV from the behemoth bin and sets it apart as a well-appointed vehicle for the Ritz or riverside camping. A raked windshield, a small rear roof spoiler that houses the third rear light, and a three-panel sunroof, complete with shade, are well-integrated. A wrap-around 45.7-inch wide tailgate lifts on hydraulic pistons and, fortunately for anyone under 5 foot 4 inches, can be programmed to rise to the height of your choice. Heatable, fold-flat sideview mirrors are massive, and settings are saved in memory.
The Q7 Premium is loaded with advanced technology and exceptional standard features. Among the most innovative are turning headlamps that follow bends in the road, and a hill descent control to automatically apply the brakes to maintain speed on steep, loose-gravel downhill grades or when the axles are articulated. Another first is the Multi Media Interface (MMI) which controls the navigation system, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, air suspension, and audio.
Worth the extra bucks is the adaptive air suspension system with adjustable ride height and roll stabilization. Also debuting in this 2007 model is an adaptive cruise feature to automatically control distance from zero to 90 miles per hour in stop-and-go traffic. Another safety option is Audi's Side Assist with a flashing arrow in the sideview mirror. It uses radar technology to detect fast-moving vehicles moving into your critical zone, and monitors blind spots during lane changes. A towing package increases haul capability from 5,500 to 6,600 pounds. Rear-side airbags and 20-inch alloy wheels with high performance tires complete the list of add-ons.
Audi's Q7 has all the latest mechanical toys: Fuel Straight Injection (FSI) for spontaneous response and more power, a drivetrain that combines quattro, a six-speed Tiptronic transmission, and a Dynamic Shift Program that adjusts gear changes to your driving style and road conditions. Premium unleaded fuel is recommended but the Q7 functions on regular unleaded, losing five-percent horsepower. A 3.6 V6, 280-horsepower engine is ready for September 2006. Rumored in the wings is a 5.2 V10.
350 horsepower @ 6800 rpm
325 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/19
By baz (FL) on Saturday, November 02, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "very safe and stable with the 4 wheel drive"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"in 5 years only expense has been 2 light bulbs plus a couple of oil changes,,,,same tyres so I am very satisfied with this vehicle plus the rewsidual value has gone up as they are quite scarce..."
By briwser586 (MA) on Monday, August 26, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this car new and have owned it for 6 months now. By Far the best SUV I have owned (previous include Porsche, Mercedes and BMW). Big car with great power, very comfortable. I entertain clients quite a bit and almost all the time the topic of discussion in the car is the car itself!"
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By b. b. (SC) on Friday, August 09, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "Beautiful, Heavy, and Safe"
Cons: "SO EXPENSIVE-REALLY INSANE"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"This car is beautiful and super safe... but be prepared! It will cost you, up front, for maintenance, and god forbid something goes wrong.. because you will learn to brace for the estimate. A bit crazy, really. It's fun to drive, but not sure it's worth what you will pay to own it... gas, tires, brakes, oil changes.....it's non-stop. BE prepared going in...I've never owned such a high maintenance vehicle."
18 people out of 22 found this review helpful
By jade7 (CA) on Thursday, August 01, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"Catastrophic Fuel System Failure at 28,000 miles. Fuel System failure at 31,000 . . . this time only the fuel sensor. This has NOT been a good Audi experience. I am currently negotitaing with Audi of America."
5 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Kevin (MI) on Thursday, March 07, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfortable, great mileage, beautiful truck."
Cons: "Brake job at 50,000 miles was expensive"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I waited years for Ford, GM or Chrysler to put a small diesel into an SUV (something smaller than an Excursion). I finally gave up waiting and bought the Audi Q7 with the 3.0 liter TDI. I love this truck. Even though it weighs around 5,500 lbs, I always get 21-23 mpg in town and high 20's- 30 mpg on the highway. It will get in the low 30s if you do not exceed 65 mph. This is a great vehicle for a long trip - the 26 gallon fuel tank means 700 miles between fuel stops on the highway. I've pulled a trailer from Michigan to Denver with no issues - the torque from the turbo-diesel is incredible. If I had to replace it today it would be with another Q7 diesel or the Cayenne diesel."
9 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Raul (FL) on Saturday, February 09, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,377overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Tasteful, safe, lifestyle vehicle"
Cons: "Repair cost are high without warranty"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I selected the Audi Q7 TDI due to lifestyle changes. I live in Tampa, FL and work in Jacksonville, FL and commute between the two cities on the weekends. So on any given week I clock close to 600 miles. It's also a vehicle which looks good when driving up to the valet attendant at any upscale hotel. Soccer moms that like to drive with girlfriends for lunch at a local outdoor bistro when the kids are at school will be very pleased with this vehicle. I traded in my 2012 Audi Q5 3.2L Premium S Line for the 2010 Q7 TDI. The Q5 although had very good performance but limited cargo and not very comfortable for larger persons. Sitting 3 teenagers in the back also proved to be somewhat cramped. My primary criteria for the purchase of any vehicle is its safety rating. The Audi Q7 has an outstanding safety rating. As it pertains to my lifestyle I required more cargo room, driving comfort for larger individuals, comfort for longer distances, and the ability to tow at least two large Harley Davidson motorcycles or a boat. Some other considerations were having a vehicle that I could use for camping or to drive onto sand on any Florida beach. The Audi Q7 TDI met all of my requirements. In my opinion, the Porche Cayenne and the Mercedes BlueTech SUV were too "pretty" for someone with an outdoor lifstyle. The X5 Diesel was also considered but the MPG were not as good and with a slightly higher price tag. My very first weekend of ownership I drove from Jacksonville, FL to South Florida via I-95 and back up the West Coast via I-75, thru Alligator Alley, St. Petersburg, Tampa, and Ocala. I choosed to travel via the Ocala country roads to get a feel for handling the small hills and curvy roads which led me back to Jacksonville, FL. That was about a 1200 mile weekend getaway. The entire trip was very pleasant and the handling was very good. Yes, it a bigger vehicle and one should not compare this vehicle with your previous sedan, an older model SUV of a different make, or a sports car. It's not a vehichle to break the sound barrier but a vehicle to enjoy. Consider the TDI (Diesel) model since the fuel is no more expensive, and many times less expensive, than 93 Octane. I'm 45 years old and have owned Porche, BMW and various Audi models. My take for anyone that is trying to make a decision on any car is too choose based on your actual lifestyle and budget. All cars do well with proper maintenance. So drive what you like and if you wish to own a luxury brand and your budget does not allow for it then consider buying Certified Pre-Owned for greater warranty. Certified Pre-Owned vehicles offer great value and will certainly make your financial advisor or your significant other happier knowing that you have made a sound decison. Good luck on your selection. - Raul"
30 people out of 30 found this review helpful