Luxury SUVs have gained widespread popularity in the United States. However, until now, Audi has not had an offering in this segment of the market, leaving a gaping hole in its model lineup. But as the saying goes: arrive late, dress well. And Audi has done just that with its sensational Q7.
While the Q7 may be Audi's first-ever sport-utility, its strength and refinement suggest that Audi has been in this game for years, if not decades. As such, the Q7 represents a fresh and beautifully rendered newcomer to the luxury SUV segment. Like other Audis, the Q7 is a paragon of driving elegance and interior refinement.
Built upon the same solid architecture shared by the Volkswagen's impressive Touareg and Porsche's high-performance Cayenne, the Q7 is even nicer to drive than its two corporate cousins, thanks to a more compliant ride and Audi's decades of experience with all-wheel-drive systems, which Audi calls Quattro, or quattro. The Q7 is also the longest of the three, and thus is the only one to offer three-row seating. Audi also has equipped the Q7 with many luxury and convenience features not found on the Touareg and Cayenne, including a few not found on any other luxury SUV.
With a base price of less than $50,000, the Q7 is priced close to others in the luxury SUV segment, which also includes the Cadillac SRX, Lexus GX 470, and Mercedes-Benz M-Class. With all-wheel drive, a choice of powerful V6 and V8 engines and arguably the classiest interior in the segment, the Q7 deserves serious consideration when shopping for a luxury SUV.
The 2007 Audi Q7 line features two engines and two trim levels. Both the 3.6 and 4.2 models are available in regular and Premium trim. All Q7s come with six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmissions and quattro all-wheel drive.
The 3.6, available September 2006, is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 that delivers 280 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. It comes standard with five-passenger seating, cloth upholstery, automatic dual-zone climate control, a 10-way power driver's seat, Audi MMI, cruise control, AM/FM/CD stereo with eight speakers, a manual tilt/telescoping multi-function steering wheel, power windows and locks, keyless entry, black roof rails, fog lights, alarm/engine immobilizer system, and 18-inch wheels.
Options include panorama sunroof ($1,850), leather upholstery, seven-passenger seating, heated front and rear seats and XM or Sirius satellite radio, privacy glass, auto-dimming rearview mirror, light/rain sensor, and brushed aluminum trim.
Premium trim adds leather upholstery, 10-way power front passenger with heating feature and driver seat memory, heated front and rear seats, wider wheels and tires, aluminum roof rails, Bi-Xenon headlamps, genuine wood and aluminum trim, AM/FM/6CD sound system with 14 Bose speakers, privacy glass, auto-dimming rearview mirror, light/rain sensor, an interior light package, and a cargo area cover.
Options for the 3.6 Premium include premium Cricket leather, driver's seat memory, six-passenger seat configuration, automatic rear climate control, DVD-based navigation, Rear Parktronic with rear-view camera, Audi Side Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, power tailgate, Bluetooth connectivity, Homelink, voice-activated controls, adaptive front lighting, dual-tone sills/bumpers, keyless engine starting, 20-inch wheels, and a 6,600-pound tow package.
The 4.2 ($49,900) is powered by a 4.2-liter V8 that produces 350 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. In addition to the standard equipment found on the 3.6 Premium, the 4.2 features a leather-wrapped power tilting/telescoping multi-function steering wheel, Bluetooth connectivity, side and rear sunshades and a fold-flat third-row bench seat.
Options for the 4.2 include premium leather upholstery ($1,000); six-passenger seat configuration ($1,200); four-zone climate control ($950); navigation system ($1,800); the Technology package ($2,400), which includes rear backup camera, Audi Side Assist, keyless engine starting and voice activated controls; a cold weather package ($850) that includes heated front and rear seats and a heated steering wheel; panorama sunroof ($1,850); Sirius or XM satellite radio ($550); a 6600-pound towing package ($550); Trunk tie-down system ($250); rear side air bags ($350); 19-inch alloy wheels ($800); 20-inch alloy wheels ($1,600).
The 4.2 Premium ($59,900) adds 19-inch alloy wheels, headlight washers, heated steering wheel, premium Cricket leather, panorama sunroof, rear climate control, the six-passenger seating configuration, keyless engine starting, the navigation system, Sirius or XM radio, rear backup camera and voice activated controls. Options for the 4.2 Premium include 20-inch alloy wheels ($800); Adaptive Air Suspension ($2,600); Audi Side Assist ($500); 6600-pound towing package ($550); rear side air bags ($350); and the seven-passenger seat configuration (no charge). An S-Line package ($3,800), available on all models except 3.6, features more aggressively styled lower body moldings, sport front seats, a sport-tuned suspension and 21-inch alloy wheels. S-Line models are not available with the Adaptive Air Suspension.
Safety features on all Q7 models include anti-lock four-wheel disc brakes with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and an electronic stability program with rollover sensing and a tow mode. Passive safety features include front seat belts with pretensioners and load-limiters, dual front air bags, front side seat-mounted torso air bags, side curtain air bag