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 Lori on Saturday, July 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "very low mileage fun to drive"
Cons: "not a family car"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Love this car , low miles, fast it's sports car . I know there is a demand for this car low miles, Has all the bells and whistles"
15 people out of 28 found this review helpful
By vuemont on Monday, June 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,300overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "sporty, punchy off the line,"
Cons: "The diesel sound is strong at times"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"I love my Q7 a lot, but not completely. The rear seats are not terrible, but not great. My youngest two fit comfortably, but they are 9 and 11. My 14 year old will sit back there but only if she absolutely has to. You know how the school bus seating has high backs and you can't really see over them? It's kind of like that in the Audi when you sit in the third row. However, I wouldn't be with out them. The extra seating option is worth it. The reason we purchased the Q7 was because of the 7 passenger diesel. I drive 30k+ miles per year. With diesel I get much better gas mileage (on average 29-31 mpg to/from school 25 miles from the house). The other option for me was the Mercedes GL 350. I felt like the third row on the GL was bigger and more comfortable. What I love, love, love about my Q7 is the gas mileage, the computer/nav, large sunroof, comfort and handling, large gas tank, it feels solid, the power of acceleration, wifi although we don't use it, the parking guides make me a parallel parking queen. What I don't love: too much service work, very few cup holders, cargo mat and visor don't have a place to go when 3rd row is being used, middle seat in 2nd row is uncomfortable, the protective laminate on bumper has discolored, My last car was a Toyota sienna. That van had cup holders and cubby space galore. The kids loved it and really miss the space that we don't seem to have anymore in the Q7. I love how the Q7 fits the four of us really well for our Monday through Friday schedule. On the weekends when it's the 5 of us, I think the minivan or even the GL would be better. "He's touching me" and "I sat in the middle last time" is a constant argument. There seems to be great room between the front row and middle row. Just not great when you seat three across. Also the middle row seat feet area has a hump, which doesn't help the touching issue."
24 people out of 34 found this review helpful
By Sjpwildcat on Friday, June 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 114,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive, interior, design, power"
Cons: "Costs a fortune to maintain, questionable quality,"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I bought this car and fell in love with it. It look great, has a unique look vs. other SUV's and great handling and power. The service and upkeep of it has been a bitter disappointment. EVerything from routine maintanence to service costs a fortune. Oil changes are $150, battery cost me $400 and I had several issues with the electrical system. Regretting my purchase of this and long for the days of a simple American or Japanese care that may not have the cache or bells and whistles of this car but at least the bells and whistles it does have work ."
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By wildoc on Tuesday, March 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 105,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great acceleration, comfortable, good gas mileage"
Cons: "add blue requires dealer to fill, costly repairs"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Very happy with performance. Roomy interior but third row seats very hard for adults to get into. Large carrying capacity. Tires need rotation every 5000 miles otherwise wear quickly. Dependable in hard winter. Dislike the Audi telephone feature not user friendly. Fair navigation system also not very user friendly"
22 people out of 37 found this review helpful
By Krissy22 on Sunday, March 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is such a great vehicle! Drives and handles like the Mercedes GL without the large size that wasn't needed for our family. I love putting it in Turbo to pass tractor trailers and my kids love the panoramic roof! My husband has a BMW 3 and loves how the Audi handles. As for cost, it is exactly what you would expect from a German vehicle. I had an Acura MDX prior to the Audi, with minimal expenses. Audi has been great on cost so far, however, based on my husband's oil changes/etc...he never leaves without paying less than a large three digit number. It's the cost of owning a luxury German vehicle. Therefore, to anyone who is interested in an Audi, Mercedes, BMW, be ready to pay more in service costs than an Acura, GMC, etc.... But with any luxury vehicle you do get your oil changes every 10,000 miles with the synthetic oil instead of 5,000"
6 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Henadz on Tuesday, February 11, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 68,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "mpg, safety, road feel"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Great truck. bought used and feels brand new. great quality and i constantly get over 30 mpg on the highway. would recommend to everyone"
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful