Crossover shoppers in search of the best, listen up: Shortlist the Audi Q7. Its nearly perfect balance of luxury, refinement, driving enthusiasm, and high-tech features make it a no-brainer for those lucky enough to have the budget for such a vehicle. We were fortunate enough to have a 2017 Q7 3.0T Prestige in our long-term fleet, and we found very little to complain about. Two engines are available—an efficient turbocharged four-cylinder and a zesty supercharged V-6—and both come standard with Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Low-speed automated emergency braking is standard, but those seeking more advanced driver-assistance features will find what they’re looking for in the midrange Premium Plus and top-spec Prestige trims.
Highs: Back-road athleticism, beautiful and high-tech cabin, three-row versatility.
Lows: Pricey with extras, snug third row, subtle styling gets lost in parking lots.
Verdict: One of our favorite ways to move the family.
What’s New for 2019?
A reshuffling of features marks the 2019 model year for the Q7. All models now come with navigation, while mid-range Premium Plus trims now offer Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital gauge cluster, a 360-degree exterior camera system, LED head- and taillights, and a wireless smartphone charging pad as standard. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are now part of the Convenience package on all Q7 models. The optional 20-inch wheels now come with all-season run-flat tires and two new 21-inch wheel designs are now available.
Audi Q7 Pricing and Which One to Buy
Premium Plus: $57,895
The Q7 is at its best with the supercharged V-6 and the adaptive air suspension, and we’d recommend the Prestige trim with the Adaptive Chassis package. It comes with a hefty asking price, but you get what you pay for, and in this case, you’re getting one of the best mid-size luxury crossovers on sale today as well as our three-time 10Best Trucks and SUVs award winner. Plus, with this top-spec trim, you’re getting plenty of creature features, such as four-zone automatic climate control, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a panoramic sunroof, and leather seats. Not to mention that Quattro all-wheel drive is standard on all Q7 models, so there’s no need to pay extra if you want the security of additional traction.
Engine, Transmission, Performance, and Towing
Likes: Quick acceleration from supercharged V-6, decent fuel economy, agile handling.
Dislikes: Four-cylinder isn’t much more efficient than V-6, air suspension brings the fun but isn’t standard.
Properly equipped, the Q7 is one of the quickest and most capable SUVs in its class, yet with no shortage of powertrain refinement. All-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic are standard but buyers can choose from a turbocharged four-cylinder or a supercharged V-6. In our testing, the V-6 proved to be quite fleet, registering a 5.5-second zero-to-60-mph time; the four-cylinder is no slouch, though, and managed a 7.0-second time in the same test. The Q7 with the four-cylinder can tow 4400 pounds; with the V-6, it can tow 7700 pounds.
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Despite its bulk, the Q7, when fitted with the optional performance tires on 21-inch wheels, feels low and lithe, like a pumped-up sport wagon. The adjustability of the optional air suspension, paired with the added agility from four-wheel steering, makes the Q7 surprisingly fun to flog down a twisty back road.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The Q7’s fuel economy is decent, considering its size. It’s not great, however, and that’s in part because its engines are tasked with motivating its considerable weight. The Q7’s EPA estimates are quite similar to the Volvo XC90 T6’s, and the Audi’s smaller 2.0-liter engine doesn’t improve upon the V-6’s fuel economy; both engines are rated at 19 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. In our real-world highway fuel-economy test, we managed 24 mpg with the V-6 and 26 mpg with the four-cylinder.
Interior, Infotainment, and Cargo
Likes: Modern interior design, slick infotainment features, easy-to-fold third row of seats.
Dislikes: Fussy second-row folding-seat mechanism, not much space for cargo behind third row.
With its minimalist, contemporary design matched with loads of technology and excellent comfort and build quality, the Q7’s cabin is a special place. Beautiful materials and design highlight the Q7’s interior, as do the intelligent layout of its controls and the comfortable seats that feature both ample support and adjustability. Entry-level Premium versions come nicely outfitted with amenities, and the amount of upscale features can get supremely luxurious in the higher trim levels. You’ll need to spring for at least the mid-level Premium Plus trim, though, to get the Q7’s signature gee-whiz tech: the configurable 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster, which essentially brings a secondary infotainment screen directly into the driver’s sightline.
The Q7 has standard 7.0-inch display screens in the cluster and atop the dash, with the latter increasing to an 8.3-incher in the upper trims. Additional trick features—including 4G LTE connectivity with Google Maps—also are available, though the standard package is respectable and there are an adequate number of USB and 12-volt outlets. Audiophiles can revel in several audio options, topped by a Bang & Olufsen system with 23 speakers and 1920 watts of juice.
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Like most three-row SUVs, there isn’t a ton of cargo space in the Audi’s cargo area when all of its seats are in use. But it has available space comparable with its key rivals, and the rearmost row can be quickly raised or lowered via power controls, which makes up for the somewhat clumsy operation of the middle row. With all seats stowed, the Q7 had room for 25 of our carry-on suitcases.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
As a family hauler, the Q7 is a very safe choice for your most precious cargo, receiving five stars for its crashworthiness from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Q7 missed out on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick honor for headlamps that scored only Marginal, but it aced the rest of that agency’s tests. Key safety features include:
Standard automated emergency braking
Standard forward-collision warning
Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The Q7 carries solid warranty coverage comparable with its peers, although the Acura MDX and the Lexus GX both offer slightly better powertrain terms. Its complimentary scheduled maintenance plan—one year or 5000 miles—is the lone area where it falls behind the coverage of its key competitor, the XC90.
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Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
Complimentary maintenance is covered for 1 years or 10,000 miles