2018 Audi Q7 Review

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2018 Audi Q7 Overview

The 2018 Audi Q7 features the sharp styling, composed handling, and cutting-edge technology that’s become synonymous with the Audi brand. The Q7 first leapt into the scene in 2005 and charged ahead with progressive changes and updates until 2015. After a one-year hiatus, the second-generation model was introduced for the 2017 model year, and it carries over into 2018 largely unchanged.

The exterior of the 3-row midsize Q7 hints at the SUV’s family-hauling duties, with its long, almost wagon-like silhouette. Up front, the fascia falls right in line with Audi’s current design language, with a massive hexagonal grille flanked by pronounced headlights.

Inside, the Q7 is a wonderful marriage of form and function, with various controls and displays neatly nestled in the elegant lines of the dash. In the center console are a large dial and toggles that operate Audi’s MMI infotainment system. The MMI system controls everything from navigation to the audio and climate controls, and its boasts intuitive menu layouts and futuristic, easy-to-read fonts and graphics.

The trims for the Q7 are the Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. The entry-level Premium trim is well equipped—it comes standard with 3 rows of seating with a power-folding third row, push-button start, a panoramic power sunroof with a power sunshade, leather seating, and heated front seats. Also included are a 10-speaker stereo, Bluetooth hands-free calling and music streaming, and dual USB ports. The Premium Plus adds a unique interior lighting package, a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, navigation with voice control, and a Bose 3D Surround Sound audio system.

Moving up to the range-topping Q7 Prestige brings handsome 20-inch wheels with run-flat tires, full LED headlights, a premium 19-speaker Bose audio system, and a 360-degree camera system. The Prestige also receives Audi’s innovative virtual cockpit and a head-up display. The virtual cockpit is comprised of a fully digital, customizable instrument panel that can display navigation instructions and other important driving information.

The Q7 comes with three rows of seating. With a 35/30/35 split-fold second row and a 50/50 split-fold third row, it offers room for up to 7 passengers in upscale accommodations. The second and third rows fold flat for a total of 71.6 cubic feet of cargo space.

The base powertrain on the Q7 is a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine good for 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. An available supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine makes 333 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent through an 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission to the standard quattro all-wheel-drive (AWD) system. Audi states that the 2.0-liter engine can tow up to 4,400 pounds and hit 60 mph in 7.1 seconds, while the V6 can tow up to 7,700 pounds when properly equipped and reach 60 mph in 5.7 seconds. The 2-liter powertrain returns fuel-economy numbers of 20 mpg city, 25 highway, and 22 combined and the V6 gets 19, 25, and 21.

You can customize your Q7 driving experience with Audi Drive Select, which recalibrates the throttle response, shift mapping, steering feel, and suspension tuning. Drive modes include Lift/Offroad, Allroad, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic (sport), and Individual (custom). An available adaptive chassis package adds 4-wheel steering and 4-wheel air suspension for an additional $4,000. Together, these features enhance the cornering ability of the Q7 while softening the ride.

Audi offers many high-tech safety features on the Q7. It receives a full suite of airbags, including dual-stage front airbags, side airbags, and Sideguard head-curtain airbags. Also standard on the Q7 are an electromechanical parking brake, anti-lock brakes (ABS), and a parking assistant with a reversing camera. An available Driver Assistance package, which costs $2,400, adds adaptive cruise control, adaptive high beams, Pre Sense front, and lane-departure warning. For $2,500, you can also get the Night Vision Assistant system with infrared that detects pedestrians up to 1,000 feet away.

The 2018 Q7 starts at $49,900 for the base Premium trim. The Premium Plus will cost $53,900, while the range-topping Prestige trim is $65,400. A Prestige with all options selected will cost nearly $88,000.

Updated

From open-wheel racecars to specialty off-road vehicles, George Kennedy has driven it all. A career automotive journalist, George has been a contributor, editor, and/or producer at some of the most respected publications and outlets, including Consumer Reports, the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, Autoblog.com, Hemmings Classic Wheels, BoldRide.com, the Providence Journal, and WheelsTV.

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