The first generation Audi Q7 started out as one of the best in the big-ass-luxo-CUV market, but lately it’s been facing heated competition. But fear not, there’s an all-new model fresh of the press for 2017. What do you need to know before you buy a Audi Q7? Don’t worry, we’ll tell you everything right here in our Buyer’s Guide.
The Audi Q7 has been one of the classiest large luxury CUVs since it went on sale in the U.S. in 2007. Its round, sleek styling did its best to hide the CUV’s tremendous size, the interior offered levels of opulence even America’s 1% would feel comfortable in, the powertrain options offered grunt and efficiency, and the handling wasn’t nearly as bad as you’d expect from something weighing as much as a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier.
The Q7 started out with a 350 horsepower 4.2-liter V8 and a 280 horsepower 3.6-liter V6, both mated to a six-speed automatic. Shortly thereafter, a torquey 225 horsepower 3.0-liter turbodiesel joined the mix and in 2011, Audi threw in an eight-speed automatic and two versions new supercharged 3.0-liter V6 making 280 and 333 horsepower. The final major change to the first gen Q7’s powertrain was the addition of an all-new 240 3.0-liter turbodiesel in 2014.
Despite all the updates, the first generation Type 4L Audi Q7 is getting a bit dated, so Audi is ending the Q7’s production run as a 2015 model and skipping 2016 entirely.
The new 2017 model looks promising.
What’s New About The 2017 Audi Q7
The second generation Audi Q7 debuted at the 2015 North American International Auto Show. The big news for 2017 is the new MLB Evo platform, which makes it debut on the 2017 Q7 and will make up the underpinnings of many future Audi products including the A4 and A8.
This new aluminum-rich architecture helped the ‘17 Q7 shed 475 pounds compared to its predecessor. That’s a big number, but don’t think that makes this Q7 light, as its 5,000 pound girth means its still in the same weight-class as a white rhinoceros.
The 2017 Q7 is a bit lighter and narrower than its predecessor, but promises more head, leg and shoulder room for rear occupants. In addition, Audi has thrown in lots of interior tech and driver-assistance gizmos like adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, night vision assist (so you don’t run into a deer at night), vehicle exit assist (so your kids don’t walk out into traffic), Audi pre sense city (so you don’t run over pedestrians), head-up display and 12.3-inch “Virtual Cockpit” display.
Fuel economy figures for the new Q7 haven’t been released yet, but according to Audi, the new second gen Q7’s lighter curb weight along with its low 0.32 drag coefficient work together to make the new car 28% more efficient, so you can probably expect close to 20 MPG combined.
On the looks side, the Q7 gets significant restyling inside and out. The inside looks neat and tidy just like today’s Q7, but the outside is a bit controversial. Either way, the new car’s proportions make it look very wagon-y, and we like wagon-y.
Which One We’d Buy
The Audi Q7 comes in three trim levels: Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige, all of which get the same 3.0-liter supercharged V6 mated to an eight-speed automatic and Quattro all-wheel drive.
All Q7s come with electric power steering, five-link front and rear independent suspensions, 14.8-inch vented disc brakes in the front and 13.8-inch vented rotors out back.
We have yet to drive the new Q7, but a few looks at the configurator show that the base Premium model comes pretty well-equipped. Standard features include: three-zone climate control, xenon headlights, panoramic sunroof, rearview camera, heated power leather front seats, power folding third row, rain-sensing wipers and headlights, 10-speaker audio system and seven-inch driver information display.
That’s a decent amount of standard content for the base trim, and that’s the configuration that strikes us as the best value, though the it would be nice to get Audi’s adaptive air suspension, which is only available on Prestige models.
The 2017 Q7 goes on sale in early 2016. We’re looking forward to getting behind the wheel so we can tell you more about the biggest vehicle in the four-ringed stable.
Important Facts At A Glance:
MSRP: $54,800-$64,300 Top Speed: ~130 MPH
Acceleration: ~5.7s to 60
MPG (CTY/HW/CMB): 19/25/21
Engines: 3.0L Supercharged V6
Max Horsepower/Torque: 333 hp/325 lb-ft
Max Advertised Towing Capacity: 7,700 lbs
Curb Weight: 4,938 pounds IIHS Rating: Not Yet Tested
Transmissions: Eight-speed automatic
Drivetrain Layout: Front engine, AWD
Photo credit: Audi