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July 18, 2014
Audi Q7 loaded with luxury but showing its age
The luxury SUV market has become a very crowded field. There’s hardly a marque that doesn’t have such a vehicle or plan to have such a vehicle within the next couple of years.
There are some really good ones. The Audi Q7 is one of those good ones. Yes, it has its age issues but for those looking for something that offers a tremendous amount of luxury, please, look here.
I was able to sample the diesel version of the Q7. I am a diesel fan, maybe a fanatic. I think I would own one before a hybrid, but that’s a close call. Anyway, my Q7 got an impressive 28 miles to the gallon on the highway and 19 in the city. That’s an overall rating of 22 mpg, which is great considering the Q7’s weight and its ability to carry seven people.
Well, seven might be a stretch. The rear seat is for kids or small adults. Cargo space is very limited if that seat is used. It becomes OK if you fold it out of the way. The rest of the interior is attractive. Luxury abounds in lavish amounts of wood, leather and metal, but the dash can be a bit confusing. There’s also not as much space as one would like for something with this big a footprint.
The Q7 is powered by a 3.0-liter six-cylinder TDI clean diesel that makes 240 horsepower. Seem skimpy? This engine makes an astounding 406 pounds-feet of torque. That’s enough to pull big tree trunk out of the ground if you wanted. It’s also enough to whip around slow traffic when needed. The transmission is a buttery eight speed.
The Q7 is isolated from nearly every type of bad road conditions you can find. The optional adjustable air suspension gives you a cloud-like ride. The Quattro (Audi’s all-wheel-drive) dispenses of treacherous weather with aplomb. The ride might be a tad soft for some so I’d suggest the sport setting for better road feel. I’d like a few more horses for top end, but the available torque is more than enough to compensate.
Driving dynamics are about what you would expect for something this big but about what you could hope for something this big built by Audi. The 2014 Q7 adds LED running lights and standard keyless entry to the Premium package.
My vehicle was the Prestige model which is a $12,000 package that includes 20-inch spoke wheels, four-zone climate control, Bose sound system, navigation and a panoramic sunroof.
The Bose system was replaced by a Bang & Olufsen “advanced sound system” at a cost of $6,300. The mentioned air suspension was $2,600.
A technology package included a side-view camera and adaptive cruise control for $2,400. The S-line package gives you better exterior cosmetics for $2,000.
Throw in a few more packages and destination charges and the $52,900 Q7 clocks in at $81,395. That’s in line with Mercedes, BMW, Infiniti and Lexus, but most of those vehicles are newer. Audi takes care of that with a new Q7 in 2015. For now, this is still something you should consider if you intend to sit in luxury’s lap.