Saturday, August 12, 2017

2017 Audi Q7 2.0T AWD: The Brand’s Three-Row Crossover

Highlight: A night vision assistant to detect pedestrians and large animals is available for the first time.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $59,450 (base 2.0T-liter AWD $50,875)

Seating Capacity: 7

Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; LED daytime running lights; electronic stability control system; electronic parking brake; front and rear parking sensors; a rear camera; an automatic forward collision braking system; and a tire pressure monitoring system

Standard Equipment (Base 2.0 Turbo): 18-inch wheels; all-wheel drive; an 8-speed transmission; a start/stop fuel-saving engine; a keyless ignition starter system; a leather-wrapped steering wheel; a manual operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; heated front seats with driver memory; leather seats; an oversize sunroof; power folding third-row seats; a power tailgate; a three-zone automatic climate control system; an auto dimming rearview mirror with a compass; a variety of driving modes; a hide-a-away infotainment screen; and second-row seats that divide into three sections

Optional Features On Test Vehicle: 19-inch wheels; special blue paint; a navigation system; a power operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; heated auto dimming mirrors; power folding exterior mirrors; a 360-degree camera; Audi’s signature virtual jet-like cockpit; full LED headlights; rear side airbags; and walnut wood inlays

Other Trim Level:

3.0 T AWD

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 10-speaker AM/FM/CD with satellite

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB Connectivity: Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Towing Capacity: 4,400 lbs

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.0-liter turbo, 4-cylinder/252-hp

Recommended Fuel: Premium

Standard Fuel Mileage:

What’s New: The styling of the Q7 is literally a carryover for the 2017 model year. However, the big news is that the vehicle now offers an all-speed radar-activated cruise control system, as well as apps that integrate the vehicle with today’s smartphones.

Why: The Audi Q7, which is the brand’s original crossover, is available with two powertrains, a four-cylinder and a six-cylinder, which pumps out 252-and 333-horsepower, respectively. This all-wheel drive can be configured with a variety of diving settings: comfort, auto, dynamic and individual.

Audi, which is known for its world class interiors, doesn’t disappoint with its three-row luxury crossover. The well-appointed vehicle, with its wall to wall leather, was outfitted with the same optional virtual cockpit that we found in the brand’s German-engineered hatchback, the TT.

When seated behind the wheel of the Q7, drivers can navigate between using the traditional digital instrument gauges or the all-new virtual jet-inspired gauges. Everything is clear and concise, as well as easy to use. All of the gauges can be controlled through the steering wheel and are duplicated on the center console.

The Q7 even includes a hideaway power operated crystal clear infotainment screen, which can easily appear or disappear with a push of a button. We must note that the backup camera, which is integrated into the screen is one of the clearest viewing displays in the industry. With that said, the infotainment serves as another means on how Audi designs well-crafted minimalist interiors. The driver’s view is also expanded without having the distraction of the pop up screen.

Moreover, the three-row crossover, like in all of the Audis we have reviewed, provides almost a glass less view of its surroundings through its rear camera and Google map systems.

And in order to heighten the driving experience for both front seat occupants, dual adjustable sliding armrests accommodate the occupants. The same thoughtful experience carries through to the second and third rows. In the second row, the seats slide in three separate sections, as well as tilt, whereas in the third row seats are power activated to control the left and right sides of the 50/50 seating.

Added to that, for extended excursions, a built-in rear seat entertainment system is available, too. In order to turn the vehicle into a mobile concert hall or an action-packed movie theater the Q7 can be outfitted with a Bang and Olufsen audio system. This high end system can be played through 19 or 23 speakers.

Furthermore, the Q3 can be optioned out with the latest safety driving aids, too. This Audi provides systems that notifies of cyclists approaching before exiting the vehicle to a pre-collision system that’s capable of kicking in the brakes, as needed up to 137 mph.

Lastly, in order to enhance the exterior styling of this big body crossover, the utility vehicle can be outfitted with 20-inch wheels, 21-inch wheels, running boards and paint protection for the front bumpers, partial hood, fenders and door edges.

But: While the second-row slides forward to accommodate the third-row occupants, it’s still a tight fit. Leg room is limited for both the second-and third-row occupants, when all seats are in use. Also when the second-and third-row seats are occupied, the cargo area is basically nonexistent. Moreover, the rear visibility is limited for the driver.

And, although the four-cylinder engine is adequate, when fully occupied, the Q7 requires a six-cylinder. In fact, with the exception of the Mercedes-Benz GLS, every crossover in this segment is only available with a six-cylinder engine. Ironically, the four-cylinder GLS only inks a mere three additional horsepower over the Q7.

Furthermore, the Q7 is only available in an all-wheel drive configuration. Unfortunately, its lacks a low transfer case for those looking to take this German built crossover off-roading.

Lastly, the exterior styling of the vehicles resembles that of its mainstream sibling the VW Atlas. From a side profile, it’s really difficult to distinguish the vehicle. It has an understated design that Audi has been known for just like in their in their flagship car, the Audi A8.

Verdict: The Q7 is Audi’s second bestseller in its portfolio of vehicles. The three-row crossover is seemingly a well-built vehicle that offers great fit and finish. The all-wheel drive wheel is capable of conquering most road conditions, while comfortably moving five occupants and having the ability to squeeze up to seven, if needed. The Q7 is outfitted with the latest innovations including a jet-like infotainment, which including a duplicate computerize navigation screen that appears in the gauges of the cockpit.

Competition: Acura MDX; Buick Enclave; Infiniti QX60; Lincoln MKT; and Mercedes-Benz GLS

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