KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 10/12/2012
Audi's 2013 Q7 is big, poised and polished, and it delivers luxury-SUV buyers a distinctive blend of capability, performance and accommodation. As part of the VW group's trinity of high-end SUVs (along with the VW Touareg and Porsche Cayenne), the Audi Q7 is built to exacting standards, and its look and feel are uniquely Audi. Partly due to styling choices, the Q7 comes up a little snug inside considering its bulk and mass, especially in back around the third-row seat and cargo deck. But there are no compromises on powertrains: two brilliant 3.0-liter V6s – supercharged gasoline and turbodiesel – work with an 8-speed automatic and Audi's signature quattro all-wheel drive (AWD) to move the big vehicle around smartly yet efficiently, in any weather, on any road.
You'll Like This Car If...
Fans of the Audi aesthetic will find much to like in the Q7. The 3-row seating and quattro AWD give reassuring family transport. The commendable EPA fuel-economy numbers don't hurt either.
You May Not Like This Car If...
The Q7 is big, and some may find its bulk to be a deal-breaker, especially in the face of smaller, capable SUV competition (including Audi's own Q5), not to mention the long-threatened reemergence of the station wagon.
What's New for 2013
The turbodiesel engine in the Audi Q7 TDI is new for 2013. It's still a 3.0-liter V6 but makes 15 more horsepower (now 240), weighs 55 pounds less than the previous engine and yields better EPA fuel-economy ratings of 19/28. There are also some new infotainment system features this year.
The 2013 Q7 has a performance-minded rear bias in its all-wheel drive (40:60 torque split front-to-rear), but there's no escaping the effect of its size on handling crispness. Steering is responsive and the body feels inspiringly solid, but the sheer bulk of the Q7, along with its height, conspires to rob some nimbleness. However, the 2013 Q7 delivers ride quality and feedback that are lacking in big American SUVs, and the interior sets it even further apart. The adaptive air suspension is listed as optional, but it's a worthwhile choice. Both the gasoline and diesel engines are smooth and responsive, and provide remarkable thrust and efficiency given the vehicle's substantial mass. The strong new diesel, in particular, feels like a natural for pushing around this big, multi-use family transporter.
With two-and-a-half tons to move, you'll appreciate the upgraded 333 horsepower of the S-Line. Not only does the S-Line Package give the 2013 Q7 more urgency, but in concert with the quattro AWD it makes for a better all-season vehicle.
3.0 TDI DIESEL
Diesel power is wedging its way into the American market at last, and Audi's TDI deserves some credit for that. In the 2013 Q7 the new turbodiesel engine is stronger, lighter and more efficient than before, and it moves the big SUV around energetically while returning surprisingly good mpg.
True to recent Audi tradition, the interior is where the 2013 Q7 earns its keep. The leather is supple and elegant, and the Dark Brown Walnut wood trim is a fantastic touch. The power front seats hold the driver just so. The second row provides ample room but things get cramped in the third row. With those back two rows folded flat, there is 72 cubic feet of cargo space inside the Q7. The split-back folding seats yield more combinations (28!) than you'll likely ever need but demonstrate Audi's determination to coax the most out of a platform.
The 2013 Audi Q7 makes quite a statement visually. There's no denying its heritage, with the raked windshield, huge grille and aggressive stance. The Q7 is all-Audi, to be sure, though updated body styling on its sibling Touareg and Cayenne models is making the Q7 start to look a bit dated. The S-Line package's trim additions help, but a redesign will probably be in order soon. Meanwhile, the Q7's exterior, just like its interior, shows impeccable fit and finish and excellent quality all around.
Notable Standard Equipment
The 2013 Audi Q7 is exceptionally well-equipped. The base 3.0T and TDI turbodiesel models (called Premium trim) feature rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, Audi Multimedia Interface and a power liftgate. The Premium Plus gets additional chrome pieces, a rearview camera, navigation system (now standard with Audi Connect), and Bose Surround Sound system. The TDI Prestige package comes with 20-inch wheels and Audi's Warm Weather package. Across the line, quattro AWD, electronic stability control with roll-over mitigation, and the full litany of airbags, including side-curtain airbags that protect across all three rows, are present.
Notable Optional Equipment
The most notable option for your conventional gasoline-powered 2013 Audi Q7 is the S-Line package. Improving the feel and responsiveness of the 5,400-pound Q7, the S-Line package coaxes 333 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque out of the Q7's V6 and includes the Warm Weather Package with 4-zone climate control. The Multimedia Navigation unit is available as on option on Premium models. Adaptive air suspension is also available, and will go a long way toward improving your Q7's performance no matter what the surface and conditions.
Under the Hood
The base 2013 Audi Q7 is powered by a 3.0-liter supercharged gasoline V6 that delivers 280 horsepower, while the S-Line version bumps output to 333 horsepower. The 3.0-liter TDI turbodiesel now has 240 horsepower, but more important, its remarkable 406 lb-ft of torque available barely above idle makes it feel like a genuinely lusty powerplant launching the big Q7 from a standstill. Highway mpg for the Q7, depending upon model, ranges from 22-28, helped by the standard Tiptronic 8-speed transmission found in all models. Of course, Audi's quattro AWD system puts down power in a stable, secure fashion.
3.0-liter supercharged V6
280 horsepower @ 4,920 rpm
295 lb-ft of torque @ 2,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/22 mpg
3.0-liter supercharged V6
333 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
325 lb-ft of torque @ 2,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/22 mpg
3.0-liter turbocharged diesel V6
240 horsepower @ 3,750 rpm
406 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/28 mpg
As is the German way, your choice of options can dramatically affect how much your 2013 Audi Q7 costs. Models range from an MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price) of almost $47,000 for the 3.0T Premium to over $64,000 for the TDI Prestige. Adding more options can send high-end 2013 Q7s toward $80,000. Be sure to check KBB's Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the Audi Q7. The initial cost can seem a bit daunting in the face of competition from BMW's X5, the Porsche Cayenne and the less-expensive Acura MDX, but Audi's growing appeal to American buyers is helping to increase resale values.