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2007 Audi Q7 Bookmark

Engine                         V6, 3.6 Liters
Output                          280 hp / 266 lb-ft
Top Speed                   130 mph Limited
0-60 mph 8.0 sec (est.)
Weight                         5015 lbs
Price As Tested           $45,900

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Audi, the originator of Quattro all wheel drive, did not have a SUV in its lineup until this past year.  Being one of the last of the Germans manufacturers to bite the bullet and build a SUV, and that too in a time when SUV sales are plumeting, is quite risky.  Audi was never one to go after high sales numbers like its cousins in Germany, being content thus far making premium sport sedans with a emphasis on 'sport' and a better price than its rivals.  Mercedes has always been the more luxurious one, while BMW offered a fine balance of both sport and luxury, and Porsche offered something for the sport car lover.  Audi set itself apart by offering a firmer ride, all-wheel drive, and an overall harder, sportier feel than even BMW all at a lower price.  Out of all the German manufacturers, Audi has a nice position in the market and appeals to a core group of buyers, who are affluent yet still want an understated sport sedan.  Audi entering the SUV world signals at how automakers must compete in every segment to ensure their survival and so the Q7 brings Audi into what has been the biggest market of vehicles in the US at a time when more and more buyers are moving away from the SUV. 

From a host of true competitors like the ML from Mercedes, the BMW X5, and the Porsche Cayenne, Audi has managed to make a SUV that is unique and that will appeal to many different kinds of SUV buyers.  Just as loyal Porsche owners have bought a Cayenne, Audi hopes the Q7 will be parked in many previous Audi owners' garages.  We recently tested the Q7 3.6 Liter Premium Edition which wowed us in so many ways.  What is so unique about the Q7 is that it is roomier than any of its rivals from Germany while offering great build quality inside and out with a sharp looking exterior.

 

            Our Q7 features a 3.6-liter FSI direct-injection V6 engine that produces 280 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque.  Mated to this is a 6-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic, allowing the driver to select gears manually, and Dynamic Shift Program which selects from over 200 shift programs to match driver needs.  The Q7 also has the latest generation Quattro permanent all-wheel drive system, with asymmetric/dynamic torque distribution (torque split 42:58).  The air suspension system allows you to firm up the ride and raise the vehicle for truly variable levels of performance.  Steering control is via a servotronic, speed-sensitive close-ratio power unit for very precise input and feedback. 

Driving habits of the Q7 are as supple or as sporty as you want the vehicle to feel.   The air suspension system is wonderful and its controls are similar to that of the Audi A8.  A simple spin of the control dial lets you select any level of firmness, from dynamic, to automatic, to comfort.  The Automatic setting rarely sets the suspension to the more firm dynamic level as you would have to be going pretty fast on US highways for that, but comfort setting is truly great for bumpy roads while driving slowly or fast.  Even with large 20 inch wheels the vehicle feels quite supple in the 'comfort' setting which is great when you have sleeping passengers in back.  However, the Audi Q7 will never feel as quiet, or boring, as a Lexus, despite the air suspension.  Selecting the firmer 'sport' mode, lowers the Q7 significantly, and stiffens body sway, allowing for more road feel and much more fun.  When you want to feel like you are in a sports car, just a touch of the dial is all you need to do.   

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The amount of feedback coming to the driver from the pedals and the steering wheel is quite high, something that is very difficult to attain.  The steering is super precise with good amounts of road feel.  For a large SUV the Q7 feels much more like a smaller vehicle behind the wheel.  This is one vehicle you must take for a long test drive.   The Q7 feels light and maneuverable, without being overly light as in a Touareg.  Carving the Q7 through curves at high speed feels fun, much like a sports car, even though you have a few tons of weight being you.  The large width of the Q7 may be the true reason behind this fantastic feeling in the esses.  Sit inside and you have almost Hummer like width inside the cabin and you can feel this width through the steering wheel as you carve the corners.

            The V6 engine is very smooth and powerful.  The sound of the exhaust is also noticeable at full throttle giving us a sporty feeling while driving.  Gear shifts are liquid smooth though not as quick as on a DSG transmission.  We hope Audi can provide the DSG transmission in future versions of the Q7.  In manual shifting mode we could feel a split second delay in shifts which should have been improved.  Overall, Audi's smooth V6 engine combined with their excellent 6-speed automatic transmission made for a great combination.  Whereas in the Cayenne V6, you can have some lagging or struggling in hard acceleration, the Q7 did not display similar traits and was quite sporty.

 

          Stopping this monster was just as enjoyable as pushing the accelerator.  We think this is perhaps the best braking system on the market today, we simply have not felt anything that is so quick and works so well on any other production car in this price range.  Pressing the brake slightly causes the vehicle to slow down amazingly fast with a confident feeling coming back to the driver.  Large disc brakes are offered all around with 350mm x 34mm rotors in front and 330mm x 28mm rotors in back.  Another superb feature is the four-wheel anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake pressure Distribution (EBD) and Hydraulic Brake Assist, a system which automatically senses emergency braking and applies maximum available power boost to reduce overall stopping distance.  Combine this with ESP and you have a amazing system that brakes one wheel at a time to help you go where you want to go on icy roads.  We were lucky to have a ice storm during our test and we are happy to report that the Q7 handles wonderfully.  If all cars on the roads were this good we would not have any more accidents.  In thick sheets of ice we would easily turn and if we began to slide, the vehicle would keep us going in the intended course of travel by using braking power and engine acceleration to just the right wheels.  Experience this in our videos. 

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            The exterior of the Q7 looks far more menacing in person than in photos.  The front is just massive with devilish looking headlights and a wide open grill.  The headlights are narrow and thin, unlike the Micky Mouse lenses on the Porsche Cayenne.  The Q7 has a large center grill, and it is very intimidating, like a wide open mouth ready to swallow another car.  We found that many people would move out of the left lane as we approached and the Q7 turned heads everywhere we went.  In person, the Q7 stands tall and has a nice elongated body while, giving the car good presence.  The proportions seem just right, unlike the short rear of the Cayenne, the Q7 has a much longer rear trunk, making the Q7 appear much more substantial.  Standard equipment on the Q7 3.6L are 18 inch wheels and tires, however, our vehicle had the optional wheel package, that featured 20 inch 5-double spoke cast alloy wheels with 275/45 all-season tires.  The massive 20 inch wheels look excellent and there will be no need for anyone to run to their local wheel center to buy aftermarket rims.  Along the side doors are steel running boards with stylish treaded patches.  Nothing was left to look cheap.  The Q7 has a maximum ground clearance of 8.1 inches with the standard suspension and 9.4 inches with the air suspension.   You can also lower the Q7 to a loading height which makes getting in and out very comfortable.    The Audi Q7 makes us want to go out and buy it.  We wish buying a new car was made easier, without all the taxes and fees imposed on us in the east coast.  Then perhaps more new cars would be on the road sooner giving us all a safer commute and more advanced features, enabling us to move forward faster as a country.  I guess till then we must all lease a car.

 

            The rear taillights are a large wrap-around one piece unit, completely colored in red with square brake lenses.  Take a look at our night time photos to see how good these brake lamps look.  We liked the thin wrap around turn signals and fog lamps with dual lamps in back.  The exterior mirrors also feature long thin turn signals which are beautiful at night.  There are also lamps which point downward to light the road around the sides of the Q7 hidden in the rear view mirrors. 

            The interior of the Audi Q7 is large and comfortable.  High quality abounds everywhere from the leather to the genuine wood trim and aluminum accents.  Audi's design is trendy and modern, using wedge shapes and sharp angles.  It definitely stands apart form its German cousins, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche.  Audi focuses more on functionality, leading to a refined and elegant interior that is usable.  Take a look at the doors while sitting inside and you can notice the angular shape of the door handle perfectly set in a natural position for your hand with a soft armrest as well.  There is also a space in the door for a bottle; it's angled deep in the bottom of the front door, thereby using that space more efficiently.  A behind the wheel, the driver feels in control, like the captain of the ship.  We liked the large and thick leather covered steering wheel and shift knob.  The steering wheel features dials which make selecting a station easier, and faster.  There is also a tilt and telescopic manually adjustable steering column.  All switches are of similar style and feel, making for good continuance throughout.  We liked the aluminum ribbed dials on the climate controls and the MMI system.  They give a nice 'click' sound when being turned and feel like they are of very high quality, something like the click wheel in the iPod. 

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            The Q7 is filled with all the gizmos that you could want, some optional and some standard.  In our test car a navigation system was installed, which is one of the best we have ever tested in any car.  Its maps are just beautiful and vivid with quick zooming capability.  The only thing missing is that you cannot select a destination by just moving the map and clicking on it.  Also lacking are destinations by phone number which some other systems offer.  The climate control system is equally impressive and functions with ease.  The fully automatic dual-zone climate control system has seven temperature sensors, a sun sensor and a pressure sensor, making for a very comfortable interior.  Everything is displayed in the large information screen on top of the dash for a graphical view of every function.  The radio, CD changer, and satellite radio are also controlled by way of the MMI control knob.  We could not get the voice control system to function in our test car, perhaps it was an optional item not included in our car.  The telephone system only works with a cradle even though it is Bluetooth capable.  Why have a Bluetooth system when it cannot connect to any phone?  Perhaps this should be changed quickly.

            The interior of the Q7 is very wide giving you lots of room to stretch out.  The Q7 is wider than a Cayenne and offers more legroom as well.  The Q7's wheelbase is 118.2 inches and the overall length is 200.2 inches.  Head room in front and rear is 39.5 inches while shoulder room is 58.7 inches.  Seats are quite comfortable even on long 8-hour journeys.  We had plenty of leg room to stretch out with over 41.3 inches of space in front and rear seats.  In our long haul trip we arrived quite relaxed, without any major parts aching. 

 

Front seats have 12-way electrical driver's side adjustment (including 4-way lumbar) with memory and a less adjustable passenger seat without memory.  The rear seats are capable of folding 40/20/40 and quite easily and offer seatback angle adjustment as well.  The seats in the rear cabin are quite comfortable as well offering deep lower cushions and all seating positions have large grab handles on the doors and an equally comfortable armrest.  In the center console facing the rear passengers are dual heated seat controls, 12v outlets and air vents.  The rear seat center armrest has a slide out dual cup holder which is a nice feature and something you should check out in your test drive is the quality of both arm rests in this Audi Q7.  An essential item is a backup camera or some sort of backup sensor as the Q7 is quite long and in our test car it was not added as an option though we highly suggest it. 

            The sound system in the Q7 surpassed our expectations especially in the Satellite radio mode.  The Bose premium surround sound system with AudioPilot noise compensation featured a total of 14 speakers, a rear subwoofer and a front centerfill speaker.  It produces 270 watts and has a 10-channel DSP and Dolby 5.1.  Also included was an in-dash 6-disc CD changer.  Surround sound modes made the interior feel like a studio with amazing bass and superb volume.  You can easily wake up the whole neighborhood with the Q7.

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            Without the third row of seats trunk space is very large as well, a great benefit in this large SUV.  We were able to fit 4 large suitcases and 2 smaller ones all in back.  Forget buying a Yukon or Expedition from now on, you can have a luxury ride, sports car like handling, and all the space you need.  You will find under the rear cargo floor, which has some very thick carpeting by the way, a dual tray system for storing items out of sight or for storing wet items.  The power tailgate was very useful and could be opened with switch on the driver's door or from the remote control key.  Loading is also made easier by a switch located in the trunk to lower the back end for loading, great for showing off to your neighbor.  Another noteworthy item is the heavy rubber floor mats that featured a tire pattern design.  They were well suited to hold lots of snow, water or mud, without causing a mess of the interior.  The actual carpeting throughout the car was also quite nice.  It was a very heavy berber style of carpeting, much nicer than you find in most other vehicles.

In our tests we averaged 15.6 miles per gallon while on fully highway driving we were able to get 18mpg.  The Q7 is heavy and large thus fuel economy will be low, a hybrid powertrain is needed to get these numbers up.  We felt at times the large doors were a bit too heavy, a elderly person may not be able to deal with such a large and heavy door at times.  Even though we like having heavy doors for a more solid feeling to the entire car, perhaps it was a bit of overkill in this Q7.  Audi also pushes the limits of interior design by having a powered glove compartment, beautiful interior lighting, and high quality exterior lighting.  The dual moving Bi-Xenon headlamps are a great option to have in today's world combined with powerful fog lamps you can really feel safe in night time driving.  Even the outside rearview mirrors fold up at the touch of a button.  Audi is certainly improving everything in their line and having such a high quality car for a daily driver will be a pleasure for owners.

 

            We were lucky enough to have the Q7 in a ice storm.  Therefore testing on ice sheets was easily done and we are very happy to tell you that the Q7 performed quite well.  The stability control system would easily figure out where I wanted to go, by the direction of my steering wheel and brake certain wheels to make sure the Q7 would go in that direction.  The Q7 easily conquered thick sheets of ice in traction as well.  The anti slip regulation provided solid feeling starts on ice making us feel more confident as a driver.  Braking was also done in the icy conditions and the Q7's ABS system made stopping on ice quick, even allowing us to turn and navigate around things relatively easily.  In about a foot of snow with a ice layer below, the Q7 was able to keep moving forward, even on a hilly incline.  Our snow testing alone proves that this Audi is a great vehicle to have, much better than any American SUV, and wider and more stable than most other German SUV's.

            The Q7 has rated the highest possible rating on the NHTSA crash tests and it did this in both front and side impact tests.  A new feature missing our test car was the Audi side assist which lets you know when cars are in your blind spot on either side, a very helpful thing.  Add to this a available large panorama roof which was not included in our options list and you have a unbeatable offering. 

            Once again the Q7 has put Audi ahead of the pack.  Unlike its' cars, with the Q7, Audi has truly surpassed other German automakers by delivering a great product at a very good price.  Though it is not just like the concept car unveiled a few years ago, which we would have truly loved to see produced, the Q7 is a great vehicle to look at in person, and pictures do not do it justice.  So go for a test drive and be wowed.

 

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PRICING

INVOICE

RETAIL

Base Pricing

$42,395

$45,900

Destination

$720

$720

Infotainment Package - Audi Navigation System, Bluetooth phone prep, Sirius satellite radio

$2,548

$2,800

Adaptive Air Suspension

$2,366

$2,600

Convenience Package - Power tailgate, Homelink, Adaptive Front Lighting System, Auto-Dimming & Electrically Folding Exterior Mirrors, Memory front drivers seat.

$1,092

$1,200

PQF  S Line Sport Package

3,413

$3,750

WQB   S Line Sport Package

$2,685

$2,000

PTA   Technology Package

$2,184

$2,400

YNA   Off-Road Style Package

$2,184

$2,400

5KY   Luxury 6-Seater Configuration

$1,720

$1,890

3FU   Panorama Sunroof

$1,684

$1,850

7X7   Advanced Parking System w/Rear View Camera

$728 $800
PPX Convenience Package $1,092 $1,200
N5A Premium Cricket Leather $910 $1,000
9AH 4-Zone Climate Control  $865 $950
PHL Segmented Steering Wheel w/Shift Paddles and Wood Shift Knob $628 $690
5K3 3rd Row Of Seats  $628 $690
QV8 Sirius Satellite Radio   $501 $550
1D6 Towing Package   $501 $550
7Y1 Audi Side Assist  $455 $500
PT1 Bluetooth Phone Preparation w/Comfort Center Armrest  $455 $500
VJ4 Contrast Bottom Paint  $455 $500
4X4 Rear Side Airbags  $319 $350
7D3 Audi Music Interface  $212 $290

 

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COMPARISONS 2007 Audi Q7
3.6 Premium quattro 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
2007 BMW X5
3.0si 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6A)
2007 Volkswagen Touareg
V6 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
2007 Mercedes-Benz M-Class
ML320 CDI 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 7A)
2007 Infiniti FX35
4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
MSRP $45,900 $45,900 $38,110 $43,680 $39,300
Invoice $42,397 $42,230 Being Researched $40,622 $36,126
Basic 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 60000 mi.
Drivetrain 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 6 yr. / 70000 mi.
Roadside 4 yr. / Unlimited mi. 4 yr. / Unlimited mi. 4 yr. / Unlimited mi. Unlimited yr. / Unlimited mi. 4 yr. / 60000 mi.
Rust 12 yr. / Unlimited mi. 12 yr. / Unlimited mi. 12 yr. / Unlimited mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 7 yr. / Unlimited mi.
Base Engine Type & Cylinders V6 inline 6 V6 V6 V6
Base Engine Displacement 3.6 liters 3.0 liters 3.6 liters 3.0 liters 3.5 liters
Valvetrain 24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
Horsepower 280 hp @ 6200 rpm 260 hp @ 6600 rpm 276 hp @ 6200 rpm 215 hp @ 3800 rpm 275 hp @ 6200 rpm
Torque 266 ft-lbs. @ 2750 rpm 225 ft-lbs. @ 2750 rpm 266 ft-lbs. @ 3200 rpm 398 ft-lbs. @ 1400 rpm 268 ft-lbs. @ 4800 rpm
Tires 255/55R18 109H
all season
255/55R18 H
run flat
255/60R17 H
all season
235/65R17 H
all season
265/60R18 V
all season
Liftgate Window Not Available Being Researched manual flip-up fixed fixed
Rear Door Type power liftgate split liftgate liftgate liftgate liftgate
Xenon Headlights Standard Standard Optional Optional Standard
Cornering Lights Standard Standard Not Available Optional Not Available
Navigation System DVD navigation system w/voice activation - Optional DVD navigation system w/voice activation - Optional DVD navigation system - Optional DVD navigation system - Optional DVD navigation system - Optional
Turning Circle 39.4 ft. 42 ft. 38.1 ft. 37.9 ft. 38.7 ft.
Length 200.2 in. 191.1 in. 187.2 in. 188.5 in. 189.1 in.
Width 78.1 in. 76.1 in. 75.9 in. 75.2 in. 75.8 in.
Height 68.4 in. 69.5 in. 68 in. 71.5 in. 65.9 in.
Weight 5049 lbs. 4982 lbs. 5168 lbs. 4817 lbs. 4314 lbs.
Wheel Base 118.2 in. 115.5 in. 112.4 in. 114.7 in. 112.2 in.
Ground Clearance 8.1 in. 8.3 in. 8.7 in. 8.3 in. 7.6 in.
Interior Q7 X5 Touareg M-Class FX35
Front Shoulder Room 58.7 in. 60 in. 57.7 in. 59.8 in. 56.9 in.
Rear Shoulder Room 58.1 in. 58 in. 57.4 in. 59.8 in. 57.4 in.
Front Leg Room 41.3 in. 40 in. 41.3 in. 42.2 in. 43.9 in.
Rear Leg Room 37.1 in. 36.6 in. 35.6 in. 40 in. 35.2 in.

 

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