2017 Audi Q7 Overview – The 3-Row Flagship

2017 Audi Q7 Front 3/4 Exterior, Image: © 2016 Alex Dykes/The Truth About Cars

2017 Audi Q7 three.T

3.-liter DOHC V6, supercharged (333 horsepower @ 5,500-6,500 rpm 325 pounds-feet @ two,900-five,300 rpm)

Eight-speed ZF automatic, Quattro AWD

19 city / 25 highway / 21 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

19.5 (Observed, MPG)

Base Value: $ 55,750*

As Tested: $ 78,825*

* Prices contain $ 950 location charge.

We not too long ago reviewed the 2016 Volvo XC90, the long overdue redesign of Volvo’s family hauler. Very first introduced as a 2002 model, the XC90 was a teenager by the time it was finally replaced. Oddly enough, it is a similar story with the Audi Q7.

In response to Volvo’s then-new XC90, Audi began development of the seven-seater Q7 in 2002, which later hit the market place in 2005. It received a facelift in 2009, but the fundamentals of the slab-sided Audi remained. Eleven years later, and at about the same time as the new XC90, Audi has finally reinvented the Q7 as a sort of soft-road A8 Avant.

Can it compete against the new XC90 for the hearts and minds of luxury-minded households?

Exterior
You’d be forgiven for considering this Q7 is but another refresh of the original model, as its resemblance — the result of Audi’s “brand unifying styling” — exhibits historical roots. Even complete redesigns have to stick to the “one sausage various lengths” style philosophy.

The Q7’s grille and headlamps are much more angular than prior to, providing the front end some needed masculinity, and the tail lamps achieve Audi’s new Y-shaped light pipes. The all round impact is a sharpening of the desirable lines located in the 2016 model without breaking any new ground.

It is not just sheetmetal that Audi replaces for the new Q7. The seven-seater is built upon Audi’s new MLB two platform, which was produced for the Bentley Bentayga and the majority of Audi’s future models. Although the huge Bentley is the largest expression of MLB, the Q7’s 199.7 inch length is notably longer than the BMW X5 and just 4 inches shorter than an Escalade.

2017 Audi Q7 Interior, Image: © 2016 Alex Dykes/The Truth About Cars

Interior
Although the outdoors is a variation on a theme, the interior goes all-in on the latest gadgetry — from an available full-LCD instrument cluster to a large touchpad for “finger writing” entry and far more active security gadgets than I care to name.

The general look is a tiny busy compared to the minimalist Volvo or even the X5. The dash is bisected by an huge bank of air vents styled right after the Audi 5000 that stretch from the gauge cluster all the way to the passenger door.

2017 Audi Q7 Interior Rear Seats, Image: © 2016 Alex Dykes/The Truth About Cars

Audi’s new front seats are much more comfortable than the base thrones in the BMW or Mercedes, although the up-level seat beats the competition’s premium alternatives by a hair. That mentioned, the new seat design in the XC90 trumps this comfort, no matter whether we’re talking base or optional seats.

Where the Q7 shines is in its second row. It is enormous. Sporting a 40/20/40-split style like we see in the Volvo, the seats offer a smidge much more space and my backside discovered them much more comfy. The trade-off is a third row that’s less comfortable than the XC90, even though it is a substantial improvement more than the cramped way-back in the X5.

Solidifying the Q7’s status as the luxury alternative to a minivan, you will discover 5 sets of latch anchors for child seats. In addition, the second row is wide enough to strap a Graco Classic Ride 50 seat in the middle and nonetheless flip/fold the outboard seats to hop in the rear. That is essential since moving the second row out-of-the-way is a more involved two-step process than the 1-step fold/slide mechanism we see in comparable Volvo, Acura, and Infiniti models.

2017 Audi Q7 Apple CarPlay, Image: © 2016 Alex Dykes/The Truth About Cars

Infotainment
2017 requires MMI to a new level. Utilizing the exact same 12.3-inch LCD disco dash as the TT, the Q7 adds an eight-inch LCD front and center. Audi decided to limit some of the “virtual cockpit” characteristics observed in the TT, but the system functions similarly all round. The LCD cluster offers a wide-screen map view with Google satellite imagery and infotainment readouts, but method and automobile settings have to be adjusted with the show in the dash.

Perhaps the biggest adjust is the addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. With out a touchscreen, these interfaces work a small differently than in mass-market sedans. As a outcome, it actually feels significantly less polished than the implementation in the 2016 Accord.

Audiophiles will be content to hear that the base audio technique is a nicely balanced, ten-speaker setup with a regular CD player. Our tester had the mid-level, 19-speaker Bose branded technique, which adds speakers in locations you by no means believed you’d discover them. This isn’t the prime-finish method. That’d be the insane 23-speaker, 1,900-watt Bang &amp Olufsen method for a cool $ five,000 over the Bose program.

2017 Audi Q7 Engine 3.0L Supercharged V6, Image: © 2016 Alex Dykes/The Truth About Cars

Powertrain
Even though we have been told that a two.-liter turbo 4-cylinder engine will at some point be the base engine, the only engine at launch is a three.-liter supercharged V6. Cranking out 333 horsepower and 325 lbs-ft of torque, it tops the three.-liter turbo in the X5 and the turbocharged and supercharged four-banger in the Volvo. Mated to a standard ZF eight-speed automatic and Quattro all-wheel drive, the Q7 will tow up to 7,700 pounds when appropriately equipped.

2017 Audi Q7 Driving, Image: © 2016 Alex Dykes/The Truth About Cars

Drive
With 333 horses under the hood and a ZF transmission coordinating the energy delivery, you’d assume the Q7 would be sprightly, and you’d be appropriate. Our tester scooted to 60 miles per hour in six.1 seconds, simply besting the six-cylinder X5 and base GLE whilst tying with the lighter, nine-speed equipped MDX. What may surprise you is how close the 2016 Volvo XC90 came — just 3/10ths slower.

Audi’s Quattro integrates the center and front differentials into the transmission case, the side effect of this is that the complete engine and torque converter ride in front of the front axle. This placement signifies that the Q7 carries a higher percentage of its weight on the front wheels than primarily each rear-wheel-drive competitor and, interestingly adequate, the new XC90 as well. Nonetheless, don’t confuse front-heavy weight distribution with front-wheel-drive power bias. This AWD system sends the majority of the energy to the rear wheels unless needed. The XC90 can never send much more than 50 % of its power to the rear wheels unless a front wheel slips, and the new SH-AWD technique in the MDX is far less aggressive at sending energy to the rear than it was ahead of, which now defaults to a front-wheel-drive bias unless you’re genuinely pushing it hard.

2017 Audi Q7 Wheel, Image: © 2016 Alex Dykes/The Truth About Cars

When the new Q7 was launched, Audi trumpeted a significant 700 pound reduction in curb weight. Even so, by the time the Q7 made it to America, it gained about 275 pounds back, placing the 2017 model a cupcake away from five,000 pounds. That is a significant distance from the new XC90 at four,394 pounds, or the MDX at a comparatively slim 4,286. Even though the Q7 has a powerful rear energy bias and our model came equipped with optional rear-wheel steering and wide 285-width tires, the Q7 nevertheless felt large and heavy on winding mountain roads. Our model was equipped with the optional adaptive air suspension which, like all air suspensions, makes the Q7 really feel “boatier” than it otherwise would. In contrast, the front-wheel-biased Volvo feels nimble and greater balanced in neutral handling scenarios. On the flip side, the rear-wheel steering makes effortless perform of parking lot maneuvers that would be multi-point turns in the Volvo or Acura.

The EPA prices combined fuel economy at 21 mpg, which is primarily the very same as the XC90. Nonetheless, most likely thanks to the weight and the general drivetrain design, we averaged 19.five mpg — below what we saw in the Acura or Volvo.

At $ 55,650 to start (inclusive of a $ 950 location fee), the Audi is $ 100 a lot more than a base X5, but is far much better equipped. In addition to the normal third row, the Q7 also attributes common leather seats, all-wheel drive and three zone climate handle, making it nearly $ five,000 significantly less than a comparably equipped BMW. The delta among the Q7 and the new three-row Mercedes GLS is likely to be $ ten,000-$ 15,000. The Q7 is faster to 60 mph than the comparable Germans as well.

2017 Audi Q7 Rear 3/4 Exterior, Image: © 2016 Alex Dykes/The Truth About Cars

On the other side of the segment, the Acura MDX is a significant discount more than the Q7, but ZF’s nine-speed auto is far much less polished than the eight-speed in the Q7. The MDX also feels much less premium in common. Even though a comparable MDX is a $ 9,000 discount more than the Q7, the Audi is practically $ 9,000 nicer.

As anticipated, the toughest competitor for the Q7 is the new Volvo. The XC90 T6 AWD is $ four,000 much less than the Q7, is practically as rapidly, is a hair far more effective and has a far more comfortable 1st and third row. The XC90’s style also strikes me as refreshing in a sea of complex Germanic themes. Whilst the Q7’s drivetrain is far more my cup of tea than Volvo’s higher-strung four-pot, the Volvo’s much more nimble dynamic, much more polished active driving assistants and decrease price tag hold it in the top spot for me. Second place is not a undesirable finish for the Q7, but our tester pushed the $ 4,000 delta among the Audi and Volvo to $ ten,000 with out adjusting for the leather dashboard and door panels you locate in the Swede. With that kind of price tag distinction, the Q7 might be the discount German, but the Volvo is the all around greater folks hauler.

[Pictures: © 2016 Alex Dykes/The Truth About Automobiles]

Audi offered the vehicle, insurance and one particular tank of gas for this evaluation

Specifications as tested

-30: 2.three seconds

-60: six.1 seconds

1/4 mile: 14.3 seconds @ 97.7 mph


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