2017 Audi Q7 Review


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2017 Audi Q7 Overview

The second-generation 2017 Audi Q7 full-size crossover may be new all the way down to its platform, but its mission has not changed. Sedans have jumped the shark, as they say, and now each brand’s largest crossover/SUV has become its flagship model. The Q7 is still larger than life, still one of the most luxurious 3-row production vehicles available, and still clearly an Audi--but much about it has changed.

Outside, the newly styled body looks like all Audis do. The design language is very strong, but Audi fans will see a bit of the older sedans in the flanks. The body creases add character and do away with the jellybean sides. Although the look is overall a conservative and classy one, the front grill sports a bolder treatment (as tends to be the case with new vehicles these days). Audi worked hard to make the 2017 Q7 look a bit different from the first generation, but after you start seeing the new models, you'll likely forget what changed.

Inside, the big news is the available (not standard) thin film transistor (TFT) display located in front of the driver in place of the traditional gauge setup. Audi calls this gorgeous new display the “Virtual Cockpit.” Being fully digital, it can display pretty much whatever the driver wants. The updated navigation system is integrated into the Virtual Cockpit, and reviewers who have had pre-production test drives are raving about being able to better see the information we use while driving. There is still a dash-mounted screen, but it can made to go blank to avoid distracting the driver from the main display. The user interface has now evolved into a touch-pad surface that can recognize handwriting, and the top-two trims integrate Apple Car Play and Google Android Auto. Top View, which gives drivers a view of all sides of the Q7 when maneuvering in tight spaces, is also available.

Like all Audi vehicles, the Q7 is at the top of its class in interior fit, finish, and styling. Extensive glass makes the Q7's cabin bright and airy and provides good outward visibility. Interior trim is available in wood, brushed aluminum, or a combination of the two. A panoramic sunroof and power-operated third-row seats come standard, and there are even ten cupholders. Notable options include massaging front seats and soft-close doors.

All 2017 Audi Q7s will feature the company’s legendary Quattro all-wheel drive system, and some trims also offer 4-wheel steering and an air suspension (4-wheel steering means easier low-speed maneuverability and more stable high-speed lane changes). The new Q7 will only use the company's 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine, a torque monster with over 300 lb-ft of torque available at very low RPMs, similar to a diesel. Unlike a diesel, however, the engine also provides excellent power, with an expected output of more than 325 hp. A large vehicle with such an engine will drink a lot of premium unleaded fuel, of course, but probably no more than competing models from Mercedes-Benz.

A diesel Q7 was planned, and would seem like a logical choice, but, as you may know, Audi (or, more accurately, its parent company Volkswagen) is currently digging itself out of a self-dug hole so far as diesels are concerned. At the time of this preview, Audi’s 3.0-liter diesel had been added to the list of engines VW intentionally outfitted with emissions-cheating software. If you're hoping for a diesel in your Q7, you may have to wait a while--or forever, depending upon how the scandal gets resolved. We would not be surprised if a plug-in hybrid powertrain and low-power (for the class) 2.0-liter turbo four were eventually added as options in order to give buyers a choice with better fuel economy.

Audi’s list of safety features and active driver aids could fill your hard drive. They might also save your life or that of a pedestrian. The base Premium model has limited forward-collision and pedestrian-impact mitigation, and the Premium Plus adds rear cross-traffic alert and exit assist. A safety package includes traffic-sign reading (with notices that alert you to slow down), high-beam assistance, and adaptive cruise control with Traffic Jam Assist.

Audi says it will price its 2017 Q7 Premium at $54,800 without options. The Premium Plus jumps to $58,800, and the Prestige starts at $64,300. A fully-loaded Prestige with options like the Cold Weather Package, Luxury Package, Driver Assistance Package, Bang and Olufsen audio, and Night Vison Assistance will cost about $85,000.

It would be easy to call the 2017 Q7 Audi's flagship model. It's also easy to see why many consider the Q7 to be the benchmark for 3-row luxury crossovers.


John Goreham is a life-long car nut and recovering engineer. In the early 1990s, he was part of a team that built a solar-electric race car from scratch. In addition to his work at CarGurus, John covers automotive news at Torque News and GM-trucks.com and is a contributor to CarTalk and BestRide. Aside from all things automotive, John loves fishing and hockey, preferably in the company of his two boys.

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