2012 Audi Q7 Review

12 Jun 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on 2012 Audi Q7 Review
Audi Q7

Stylish and smaller alternative

When it comes to style, the 2012 Audi Q7 (Base MSRP: $46,250 to $59,950) has it in spades, according to reviewers. It also delivers a commendable ride and good high-speed handling, making it a nice highway companion. Among large luxury SUVs, it’s one of the few models that isn’t based on a truck platform, and it costs less than the competition. Still, it has drawbacks in the large luxury SUV segment.

The best competitors, such as the 2011 Infiniti QX56 (Base MSRP: $59,200 to $62,300). can tow more, store significantly more cargo, have more passenger space and have more power. So while the Audi Q7 shines in many respects, there are better large (and even midsize) luxury SUVs.

Interesting powertrain mix

The Q7 separates itself from other jumbo-luxe SUVs with its variety of available powertrains relative to the competition. The base engine is a 3-liter V6 that makes 272 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Motor Trend calls this engine just powerful enough.

A more powerful version of the same engine is an option, and puts out 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, and the same Motor Trend reviewer says that this engine option will keep the absolutely corrupted satisfied with its smooth power delivery. There is no V8 engine option available like many competitors have, but a 3-liter V6 turbodiesel is available, and it produces 225 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque.

Edmunds.com calls the diesel the engine to get, as its ample toque and superior fuel economy are well-matched to a large SUV like the Q7. An eight-speed transmission is standard with all available engines.

Turbodiesel offers slight efficiency advantage

The Environmental Protection Agency gives the base 3-liter V6 a 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway/18 mpg combined fuel-economy rating, and the more powerful supercharged 333-horsepower version is equally efficient. The V6 turbodiesel is the stingiest on fuel, producing an estimated 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway/20 mpg combined.

Some reviewers expected the diesel option to offer even greater fuel-economy benefits versus the gasoline options, and they blame the portly weight of the Q7 for the smaller-than-expected differential. All configurations come with Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system, and maximum towing capacity is a modest 6,600 pounds across the board. If heavy towing is critical, other large luxury SUVs are far better suited to the task, with higher maximum capacities.

Sport package makes for a bumpy ride

Handling is secure and relatively agile, but some other luxury SUVs have a more compliant and plush ride quality. ConsumerGuide.com notes that the 21-inch wheels in the S-line package don’t absorb bumps well, making the ride borderline harsh, though the dynamics are generally appealing. Models equipped with smaller wheels and the optional air suspension have more supple rides.

This setup delivers a creamy ride with minimal brake dive and body roll.

Smaller interior, but it’s beautiful

The Q7 offers a smaller interior than most large luxury SUVs, but reviewers say interior quality is one of the Audi’s best features. The front seats are particularly comfortable, though the third-row seats are more cramped than the larger competition. Simply put, the interior is very handsome, high-quality, and well-lit and is trimmed with a tasteful combination of leather, soft plastics, and chrome according to reviews from The Boston Globe and the Detroit Free Press.

Maximum cargo capacity inside is just 72.5 cubic feet, the least among large luxury SUVs. The best-reviewed Infiniti QX56 offers 95.1 cubic feet of cargo capacity, and the well-liked 2012 Cadillac Escalade (Base MSRP: $63,170 to $82,495) has 108.9 cubic feet of storage.

Audi Q7

The lengthy standard equipment list includes all-wheel drive, dark-brown walnut trim, leather seating, rear parking sensors and Bluetooth, among other features. Optional equipment highlights include a Bose surround-sound system, an even higher-end Bang Olufsen audio system, voice control for the infotainment features, self-leveling air suspension and four-zone climate control. Audi’s optional MMI Navigation interface is one of the best in the business, say testers, offering a good interface, high-quality 3D graphics and a 40 GB hard drive for music storage.

Safety ratings and equipment

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hasn’t fully tested the 2012 Audi Q7, but it does provide a rollover-resistance rating; the Q7 gets 4 stars out of a possible 5 here. Standard safety equipment includes antilock brakes, electronic stability control, traction control, front-seat side airbags and full-length curtain airbags for all rows of seats. A rear-view backup camera is optional, as is a blind-spot warning system.

The Audi Q7 comes with a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty.

Stylish alternative with some compromises

Few luxury SUVs are as stylish as the 2012 Audi Q7, and it’s cheaper than much of the competition. That said, it lacks the heavy-duty skills that some of the best large SUVs offer, and it is very big and very heavy, yet not as spacious as you’d hope, according to Edmunds.com. The diesel-engine option delivers better fuel economy than you typically see with large SUVs in general.

Experts prefer the 2012 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class ((Base MSRP: $61,570 to $85,300)) and the 2012 Infiniti QX56 as better options though.

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Audi Q7
Audi Q7
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