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2011 Audi Q7

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2011 Audi Q7 Review

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Audi's Q7, now in its fifth year of production, is one third of Volkswagen's trinity of uber-capable SUVs, sharing its basic architecture with Volkswagen's Touareg and Porsche's Cayenne. But that was then, this is now. Both VW and Porsche have aggressively freshened their offerings for 2011, while Audi retains the same basic platform (with three rows of seating) as it had at launch. And that platform was regarded as overweight and inefficient then; the Q7's disconnect with the competitive environment today is made even more striking. It does, however, benefit from new powertrains. The 3.6-liter V6 and 4.2-liter V8 available in 2010 are jettisoned, and replaced by two variants of one 3.0-liter supercharged V6. Those powertrains, in combination with Audi's 3.0-liter TDI diesel, provide the Q7 with a relevance it didn't possess with an overworked V6 or thirsty V8.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you enjoy the Q7's clean exterior, well-executed (like all Audis available in the U.S.) interior, three-row capability and standard all-wheel drive, you'll enjoy the Q7. And your decision to commit to the Q7's 5,200 pound curb weight is made more palatable by the new V6 and improvements in both city and highway EPA ratings.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Typically, those interested in a European "feel" also reflect a European sensibility. And that sensibility will more typically steer them to the station wagon (and Audi builds some sterling examples). Audi's mid-size Q5 has proven extremely popular, and we suspect its positive reception has cost the Q7 some customers.

What's New for 2011

Having received a mild exterior freshening in 2010, this year's changes are highlighted by two versions of the 3.0-liter V6 engine (272 horsepower in Premium and Premium Plus, 333 horsepower in S Line Prestige) and the addition of an 8-speed Tiptronic automatic. This, along with a few equipment and cosmetic tweaks, sums up the changes to an aging platform.

Driving the Q7
Driving Impressions

Despite standard all-wheel drive, with a performance-oriented 40:60 front to rear bias, the Audi Q7 will never be confused with one of Audi's sedan-based station wagons. A...

... high center of gravity and the aforementioned two-and-a-half-ton curb weight prove vexing, even with all-independent suspension, communicative steering and an appropriately rigid body structure. With all that, the ability to carry both you and an extended family will typically necessitate some compromise, and while not as nimble as an Audi sedan the Q7 offers so much more in tactile feedback than comparably priced American SUVs, and certainly more refinement than the off-the-rack minivan. As noted earlier, the adaptive air suspension is most definitely a win, both on-road and off.

quattro All-Wheel Drive
At this point in Audi's recent history, quattro all-wheel drive is fully integrated into the carmaker's DNA. And when you combine quattro's performance dynamic with all-season attributes, you're hard pressed to conjure a better asset to an upright, over-spec'd SUV.

3.0-liter TDI Diesel
With all of the negative ink generated by the general media in the U.S., Audi and Volkswagen continue to make a compelling argument for the modern diesel powertrain. With 3.0 liters Audi's clean diesel generates 225 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque, while delivering you to sixty miles per hour from a standing stop in just over eight seconds.

2011 Audi Q7 Details
Interior

You simply can't fault Audi on its design execution inside. And here - in 2011 - we see significant enhancements. Every Q7 features hand-picked wood inlays, along with heated 12-way power front seats. Since its introduction the Q7's trump card has been its three-row packaging. And while that third row is marginal for even small adults, the Q's additional interior length provides a bonanza for those that are activity-oriented. With the second and third rows folded flat - which don't require removal of the headrests - you'll enjoy a full 72 cubic feet of cargo area. And if equipped with Audi's accessory bike rack, two bikes can be transported inside the car standing upright, an option that provides those bikes with better security - and doesn't impact your miles-per-gallon (often the case with roof-mounted transport). And did we mention the 28(!) possible seating combinations?

Exterior

You can't deny the Q7's visual force, from its signature Singleframe grille to its tapered hatch at the rear. The windshield is aggressively raked, while the greenhouse - which won't be confused with the parent company's Microbus - is sufficiently generous to provide adequate visibility. Relatively short overhangs front and rear communicate both the Q7's rear-wheel drive bias and some semblance of off-road credibility. Also of note: The availability this year of 21-inches of alloy wheel; just the thing for getting in touch with your inner Dub. While judgments on exterior design are almost always subjective, the Q7 - in the absence of a significant design update - is looking dated when compared to its Cayenne and Touareg siblings, which look and feel more athletic.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

To the Audi team's credit, there is no such thing as a poorly equipped Q7. Even in base Premium trim, the Q features standard quattro all-wheel drive, 18-inch alloy wheels, power and heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, Audi music interface (intelligent integration of iPod and iPhone), leather seating surfaces, Bluetooth prep, power tailgate and HomeLink. Standard safety features balance the active (your ability to avoid an accident) with passive (the ability to survive an accident). Active elements include all-wheel drive, ABS and electronic brake force distribution, while passive safety is reinforced with a host of airbags, including Sideguard side-curtain airbags protecting all three rows of seating. Of note: Standard equipment levels on the TDI are slightly higher than those of the base 3.0 TFSI V6.

Optional Equipment

If an SUV is intended to convey an adventurous spirit, the adventure will be enhanced with the Prestige S Line trim. Motivation is improved by the V6's 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, all the better to propel the Audi's 5,400 pound curb weight (with options). The S Line also includes a Warm Weather Package featuring four-zone climate control and rear side window and cargo shades. For your ultimate adventure, equip your Q7 with adaptive air suspension. Electronically controlled, it continuously adapts the suspension to its on-or-off-road environment, while its adjustability will secure over nine inches of ground clearance. Finally, Audi's MMI Navigation plus offers a 7-inch screen, color driver information system, real-time traffic, navigation and telephone functions.

Under the Hood

For the 2011 model year, three is the magic number: Three powertrain choices, each displacing 3.0 liters. The base 3.0-liter supercharged V6 develops adequate horsepower and torque while providing a highway mpg figure of 22. Opt for the S Line Prestige trim level and that same displacement nets 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, while achieving 0-60 in under eight seconds. Finally, the 3.0 TDI, while delivering less hp, generates 406 pound-feet of torque - and 25 miles per gallon on the highway. Efficiency, of course, is helped in no small party by the newly available 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. Now, if they can only remove approximately 500 pounds of vehicle weight.

3.0-liter V6 Supercharged
272 horsepower @ 4750 rpm
295 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/22

3.0-liter V6 Supercharged
333 horsepower @ 5500 rpm
325 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/22

3.0-liter Turbodiesel V6
225 horsepower @ 3750 rpm
406 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25

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2011 Audi Q7 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 112 Ratings for the 2007 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    8.7/10
    Performance
    8.9/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Very Disapointed

By on Sunday, June 26, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "Surprisingly it tows well, handles well"

Cons: "Seats. Probably overpriced by $15,000 ."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Everyone who sees this car is impressed. Audi has done a great job of marketing. My Q7 gets 22 MPG when nursed and on long trips. Handling is xlnt, almost sportscar-like. I pull a small motorcycle trailer with two streetbikes to the mountains occasionally and there are no power or braking problems. The seats are probably the biggest disappointment. They are 2 hour driving seats. Probably the worst seats of any car I have owned in the last 20 years. The electronics are unnecessarily complicated. After owning a full size SUV I find that I am not satisfied with the smaller sized Q7. We are a pretty active family and the luggage compartment has trouble accommodating golf clubs, workout gear, baseball equipment and the usual grandkid stuff. Golf clubs must be place "caddy cornered". I have had no reliability problems. Still, I feel you should get more for almost $70,000 new. I will not buy another."

The perfect family SUV!

By on Friday, April 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 145,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great handling, impeccable design + tech features"

Cons: "Cupholders"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Our Q7 is off-the-charts wonderful! We're a family of 6 and this SUV has everything we need. We often take winter trips over the pass in winter and the Quattro AWD is bar-none, the best there is. The car safe and we have been pleasantly surprised with just how reliable it is considering Audi's reputation for high-cost maintenance. I do wish that there was a better cupholder solution for the driver, but there really are no other cons that I can think of. We remain incredibly happy with our purchase and plan to hang on to it as long as we can."

5 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Great ride and plenty of comfort

By on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,197

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "clean lines and impecable ride"

Cons: "sight line in front"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"The Q7 looks and ride are exceptional. Ive been extremely happy with this vehicle. the only thing I can say bad about this model 2014 is the sight lines in front of the car and that truly is nit picking."

5 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Styling, power, handling, super quiet interior!

By on Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "fun to drive, quiet, reliable"

Cons: "cup holders! hard to come up with cons"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"this is a big crossover with plenty of storage space, responsive handling and power. the diesel engine is quiet, clean and provides 26/28 MPG overall. rural driving with speeds around 45 MPH provides 30MPG! I knew two things going in 1)tires wear out around 30K miles, 2) brakes need work around 35K miles. I have 27K miles now and will need new tires by the time I hit 35K miles. however, my brakes are in good condition and should last until 50K plus. maybe it's just the way that I drive. if you need a safe, reliable, quiet, and responsive vehicle with a lot of carrying capability, this is the car for you."

72 people out of 119 found this review helpful

One of the best crossover SUVs available

By on Sunday, April 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Drives and handles very well; overcomes slow acceleration of 6 cylinder with super chargers; wifi hotspot a must to pacify kids with their devices; 7 seats (Q7) works well for commuting and hauling kids but not for any long trips: not enough storage if the 3rd seat is down; wish the design of the container/drink holder between the 2 front seats was more functional; otherwise, this is a great driving vehicle; adaptive cruise control works very well but sometimes is annoying when cars pass you and then slow down in front of you: makes you rethink your interstate driving habits; only real complaint? tires seem expensive and they wear out fast: 20-25,000 miles max, at least, that's my experience."

21 people out of 32 found this review helpful

Love this car!

By on Monday, March 9, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've had several SUV's and this one by far is the smoothest ride, great turning radius and is build SOLID!"

45 people out of 72 found this review helpful

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