Unlike its brethren the Volkswagen Touareg and Porsche Cayenne, the 2011 Audi Q7 carries on with the design that debuted in 2007, mildly refreshed inside and out last year. It’s the only one of the trio that offers a third-row option, enabling it to seat seven, albeit tightly at the rear.
Audi has simplified the engine options, however, offering either a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 (in two different outputs) or its 225-horsepower, 3.0-liter TDI V-6 turbodiesel, which delivers more than 400 foot-pounds of torque. All-wheel drive is standard regardless of engine choice.
The EPA rates the Q7 TDI at 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway, for a combined rating of 20 mpg. The gasoline version is considerably lower than that, at 16 city, 22 highway, and 18 combined.
As the most overtly luxurious SUV in Audi’s lineup, the Q7 is large and relatively elegant for a high-riding sport-utility vehicle. The enormous grille is the most overt expression of Audi’s frontal styling theme, and LED lamps front and rear add a high-tech visual touch. Inside, the richness of leather, wood, and suede underscore its luxury role. The first two rows fit adults of any size, although the third-row seats are best suited to children. There’s 88 cubic feet of cargo space once the second and third rows are folded down.
The comprehensive safety features include rear side airbags, a lane-departure warning system, a blind-spot alert system, and a rear-view camera. Standard features include, among a lengthy roster, automatic climate control, keyless entry, and even a power-operated tailgate. The Q7 is so comprehensively equipped that the options list is short: a navigation system based on DVDs, and four-zone climate control are the most notable offerings. Audi’s Multi-Media Interface (MMI) system isn’t the most intuitive, but it gets the job done.
All that luxury doesn’t interfere with its capabilities, though. The 2011 Audi Q7 handles well and can tow 6,600 pounds. The all-wheel drive is paired with an air suspension that provides different modes—Sport, Comfort, and Automatic—to adapt handling and ride height to the duties required. It’s enormously capable, but on the road, you’ll notice through the seat of your pants that this is one heavy, heavy SUV.
Prices start at about $47,000 and can exceed $60,000 with every option. For more details, see the full review of the 2011 Audi Q7 on our sister site, TheCarConnection.
|quattro 4-Door 3.0L TDI (1)||MSRP||Invoice||MPG City||MPG Hwy|
|quattro 4-Door 3.0L TDI Premium (2)||MSRP||Invoice||MPG City||MPG Hwy|
|quattro 4-Door 3.0L TDI Premium Specs||$51,450||$47,849||17||25|
|quattro 4-Door 3.0T (1)||MSRP||Invoice||MPG City||MPG Hwy|
|S line Specs||$59,450||$55,289||16||22|
|quattro 4-Door 3.0T Premium (2)||MSRP||Invoice||MPG City||MPG Hwy|
|quattro 4-Door 3.0T Premium Specs||$46,250||$43,013||16||22|