2007 Audi Q7

    (3 Reviews)




    MSRP
    $59,900
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    2007 Audi Q7 Expert Review:Autoblog

    I wasn't home when the media fleet guys dropped off the svelte silver bullet they call the Audi Q7... but my roommate was. Like any car-crazy boy, he just couldn't help himself. He grabbed the key fob and tore out to the driveway -- it was playtime.

    "This thing is STUPID with features," his voice screamed into my earpiece when he called to tell me that the Audi had arrived. "I lifted the rear hatch and saw a button -- when I pushed it, the ass dropped three inches. I thought low-riders were supposed to have switches in the cockpit." There are switches in the cockpit, by the way, but we'll get to that later when we discuss the Q7's Adaptive Air Suspension. The ass-dropper in question is the technology's cargo mode, which makes it easier to load and unload the cargo space of the vehicle.

    Thankfully, my roomie heeded my warning that the Audi loan agreement specifically states that only the operator (yours truly) and the operator's spouse can drive the vehicle, and he refrained from going on a joyride. He did suggest we get married, however, but then I would have to share.

    Welcome to the key audience for the Audi Q7 -- boys (and girls) who love their toys. There are seven -- yes, seven -- owner's manual books for the vehicle's various systems stuffed into the glovebox.

    (continued)


    Exterior

    Like the Mercedes R-class, the Q7 credits coupe styling for its design inspiration, sporting a sweeping roofline and aggressive angles that betray the vehicle's speed and agility. The design is a far cry in the right direction from the bulky, beastly outfits of most SUVs on the market, though the Q7's massive and imposing grille and muscular stance leave enough of the Beast in Prince Charming's demeanor for the vehicle to still claim its SUV designation.

    The proportions of the Q7 elegantly blend function with style. The wheels are placed as close to the corners of the vehicle as possible, giving the SUV a low-slung look that also improves driving dynamics. The length of the vehicle gives the Audi a streamlined appearance while accommodating seven passengers and providing class-leading cargo space. Finally, a subtle rear spoiler provides both character to the rear end of the vehicle and hosts a third tail light.

    Completing the package on our tester were 20-inch cast alloy five double-spoke wheels, which could officially be dubbed, well, "dubs" since their 20 inch diameter meets the definition exactly. While the upgrade from the standard 18-inchers may have altered handling slightly, the suspension and brakes are more than up to the challenge. The result is a more attractive and substantial look, particularly when said wheels are wrapped in 275/45 performance tires, as was the case with our Q7. The absence of run-flats is puzzling, but hopefully the tire pressure monitoring system and inflatable spare will alleviate any problems on that front.

    Interior

    The interior is the epitome of German thoughtfulness in usability, quality and design, making it no wonder that the vehicle snagged Ward's "Interior of the Year" award earlier this year. Based on the A6's interior, the Q7 features brilliant and beautiful jewel-like LED lighting in blue, red and white. The navigation screen is powerfully lit and sports the perfect resolution, whether the driver is changing stations on the Sirius Satellite Radio menu or engaging SquirrelVision (a.k.a. Rear Parktronic and rear view camera) to safely exit the driveway. Our favorite touches include the lights that illuminate the floor space of the vehicle, red illumination of the door handles for easier exit, and screens to cover windows during broad daylight.

    The temperature controls are another plus. Via either the Multimedia Interface (MMI) or the temperature controls on the console itself, driver, passenger and each of two rear passengers can control their own climatic destiny. The modes go from fully automatic to fully manual, where users can dictate direction and amount of airflow, seat warmer intensity and overall temperature. Another benefit of newfangled technology like that of the Audi is that one doesn't have to freeze his or her rear end off while defrosting the windshield -- the defroster works independently of the rest of the climate controls.

    Also of interest on the climate side of things is the Econ option, which allows the user the opportunity to set the climate controls in such a way that the vehicle prioritizes fuel efficiency over comfort.

    The only drawback to the climate controls that we could glean was that, unlike much of the Q7's competition, the seat warmers warm only the bottom, not the back -- a fact that a friend and avid GMC Envoy enthusiast was all too quick to point out.

    The cargo capabilities -- both human and not -- with the Q7 are astounding given how compact the vehicle feels while driving it. With the third row of seats folded down, we were able to fit everything from two 100 lb. dogs to three pumpkins, a bushel of apples, two bags of donuts and enough cider to wash them down happily. With the third row of seats set up for passengers, the space proves to be a little lacking, but then again, the occupants most likely to take advantage of the seating arrangements are kids with little legs who can maneuver easily into the tight space.

    We did have one complaint about the interior aside from the seat warmers, and this one is of more interest to the ladies reading this write-up -- it is downright impossible to maneuver gracefully in and out of the vehicle while elegantly dressed. We're not sure if adding some retractable running boards or lowering the seats would have helped, but getting into the car requires a slinging movement that just doesn't mix with dress clothes. Consider yourselves warned, girls.

    Gadgetry

    Various safety features pepper the list of technology available on the Q7, the coolest of which include the aforementioned rear back-up camera with accompanying warning dings clueing the driver in to how close she is to things behind the vehicle. Make sure to turn the volume down to appreciate this little perk, however, as the dings do not override the most excellent 14-speaker Bose sound system pumping out the optional Sirius satellite radio.

    The blind-spot warning lights integrated into the side mirror assemblies were a welcome addition to the Q7's list of toys as well. Called Side Assist by Audi, the vehicle has sensors that monitor the Q7's blind spot for you, indicating when it is safe to change lanes and when it isn't. The system monitors the speed of cars moving alongside the Q7, and when a vehicle poses a danger, LEDs light up -- but not so bright that the driver is distracted by any means. The system's range is 16.5 feet.

    We were pleasantly surprised about how easy it was to use Audi's Multi Media Interface (MMI) system, particularly with all of the backlash iDrive-like systems are receiving these days. Manipulating the system comes intuitively after just a few trips -- scroll using the knob, push down to select, and use the peripheral buttons to change menus. The latter part of the process is best relegated to when the vehicle is at a stand-still, as that action requires some reading and spacial attention.

    The GPS navigation system itself is also easy to use, and while some folks may disapprove, Audi lets the driver decide whether navigating and driving at the same time is a bad thing by allowing for the system's use while the vehicle is in motion. While the MMI boots up with the obligatory warning label about how dangerous it is to navigate and drive, further examination shows that the system offers up large print that most drivers will be able to read, say, while tooling down the highway at 85 mph. Not that we'd recommend that, of course. An important feature of the navigation and one that is becoming increasingly popular with navigation systems is the concierge function, which labels the map with icons designating ATMs, hotels, restaurants and gas stations close by.

    The Audi is also blessed with Active Cruise Control, which adapts the speed of the Q7 to the vehicle in front to minimize the annoying process of trying to sync up cruise control settings. Other technology offered up on the vehicle include voice-activated phone and navigation, dynamic cornering headlights, intelligent wipers and accident prevention (emergency braking whether you like it or not!).

    Performance

    If we were to choose one thing that is the most striking about the Audi Q7, its that it handles much more like a sports car than its size and weight would suggest. In fact, we would liken it to the linebacker taking ballet class -- and doing a damn fine job at it. Weighing in at a massive 5,500 lbs., the vehicle's agility is surprising despite some understeer. While sticky tires certainly go a long ways, we chalk the handling up to the suspension system, biting brakes and Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system.

    Speaking of the suspension system, the Adaptive Air Suspension is truly an experience. Originally engineered for the 2004 Audi A8, the principle behind the system is to keep driving dynamics high and ride comfort at its peak -- two characteristics that automakers and suppliers building traditional suspension systems must tinker with to find a "happy medium."

    The system is electronically-controlled with sensors on all four wheels linking into a central control system. For smooth roads at high speeds, the car is lowered and suspension stiffened for stability, comfort and fuel-friendly aerodynamics. For bumpy roads like those you'll find along the service drive of almost any highway around Detroit, the vehicle is given more ground clearance and softer damper settings. For these and any other situation, the sensors pick up on rate of acceleration, vertical wheel movements, braking, steering wheel position and turning angle and adjust accordingly to alleviate vehicle roll.

    Based on our test cruising, the system is fantastic. Whether we were taking an exit ramp much too fast or bumping along an unpaved road on the way to the cider mill, we stayed comfortable and in control while still maintaining the fun-factor provided by a good, stiff suspension. There is also the coolness factor inherent in looking back at the vehicle after exiting to see it lower hydraulically back into place.

    We will, however, quibble about the Tiptronic function. Like most manumatic transmission options, we can really take or leave the Tiptronic, quite frankly. The lag between gears is too long to do anybody any good, and the full automatic is responsive enough that the manumatic is really just a toy for drivers who feel the need to shift something.

    The Electronic Stability Program, however, is a nice performance perk. The juice in the 4.2L V8 is enough to get the tires spinning to the glee of almost every driver, ESP on or off. With safety being a big part of what the Q7 is about, however, it's nice to know that Audi is there for us. On one dark and stormy night, we piloted the Q7 along a deserted stretch of I-96 that was apparently prone to slight flooding, and when the vehicle started hydroplaning, the ESP warning lights flashed and we had the distinct and very welcome feeling that the vehicle was stabilizing itself.

    All in all, the Audi Q7 did a great job of winning us over. In fact, the only significant difference between this ride and the Porsche Cayenne is the sheet metal it's wrapped in, the optional 4.5L turbocharged V8 in the Porsche, and $40-50K. The gadgetry, design, handling and interior quality are all comparable enough that we'd spring for the $63,770 4.2L V8 we tested (which comes standard with all-wheel drive, by the way) and use the leftover change on an A3, if we had our choice.

    Competition: (Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg) Cadillac SRX, Mercedes-Benz ML-Class and R-Class, BMW X5 and Volvo XC90

    SPECIFICATIONS:

    TECHNICAL

    • 4.2L V8 350 hp DOHC, FSI direct ignition
    • 6 sp automatic transmission wtih tiptronic and dynamic shift program
    • quattro permanent awd with Torsen center differential and asymmetric torque distribution
    • ESP wtih roll-over sensing hill descent assist
    • ABS
    • 18" alloy wheels with 255/55 all-season tires
    • servotronic vehicle speed-sensitive steering
    • pre-wiring for optional trailer hitch w/towing capacity of 5,500 lbs
    • inflatable spare tire
    • tire pressure monitoring system
    • prewired for satellite radio (Sirius)
    • automatic dual zone climate control
    • 14-speaker bose premium sound system, 6disc in-dash cd changer
    • mmi advanced system w/7" color screen
    • dual 8-way power front seats with four way power lumbar adjustment
    • leather trim
    • tilt and telescopic electrically adjustable steering column
    • wood inlays for center console & doors
    • remote keyless locking with controls in folding key (this is way cool, you just get close to the car with the fob and you don't even have to push anything, it just unlocks)
    • power tailgate
    • memory for driver's seat, mirrors and other adjustments
    • 3rd row seating (sort of pointless -- it's got no room and the seats are kind of tacky)
    • 2nd seating row fully flat folding with easy entry function, 40/20/40 split, fore/aft and seatback angle adjustments (cool!)
    • electronic cruise control

    SAFETY/SECURITY

    • dual-stage front airbags w/occupant sensing for passenger side
    • driver and front passenger side airbags
    • sideguard inflatable curtain airbags, including coverage for 3rd row seating (also cool)
    • Front and rear 3-point safety belts with automatic pretensioning, front belts with force limiters
    • active and passive rollover protection
    • lower anchors and tethers for children (LATCH) -- what's this?
    • side impact protection
    • front and rear impact body crumple zones (pedestrian thing?)
    • anti-theft vehicle alarm system
    • electrically adjustable heated outside rear view mirrors
    • daytime running lights

    WARRANTY/MAINTENANCE

    • 4-year/50,000 mile new vehicle limited warranty
    • 4-year Roadside Assistance coverage provided by a third party supplier
    • 12-month/5,000 mile (whichever occurs first) NO CHARGE first scheduled maintenance
    • 12-year limited warranty against corrosion perforation

    MANUFACTURER'S SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE

    • 2007 Audi Q7 4.2 - $49,000
    • Light Silver Metallic - No Charge
    • Black Interior - No Charge
    • 6-speed Automatic Trans w/tiptronic - no charge
    • Adaptive air suspension - $2,600
    • technology package (rear view camera with rear parktronic, audi side assist, advanced key, voice recognition) - $2,400
    • Panorama Sunroof - $1,850
    • Audi Navigation System - $1,800
    • 20 in 5-twin spoke alloy wheels $1,600
    • 4-zone climate control - $950
    • cold weather package (heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel) - $850
    • Towing Package - $550
    • Sirius satellite radio - $550
    • Front Plate Filter Panel - no charge
    • leather - no charge
    • Destination - $720

    -----------------------------------

    Total - $63,770

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    Audi hits a home run with its first SUV.

    Introduction

    Luxury SUVs have gained widespread popularity in the United States. However, until now, Audi has not had an offering in this segment of the market, leaving a gaping hole in its model lineup. But as the saying goes: arrive late, dress well. And Audi has done just that with its sensational Q7. 

    While the Q7 may be Audi's first-ever sport-utility, its strength and refinement suggest that Audi has been in this game for years, if not decades. As such, the Q7 represents a fresh and beautifully rendered newcomer to the luxury SUV segment. Like other Audis, the Q7 is a paragon of driving elegance and interior refinement. 

    Built upon the same solid architecture shared by the Volkswagen's impressive Touareg and Porsche's high-performance Cayenne, the Q7 is even nicer to drive than its two corporate cousins, thanks to a more compliant ride and Audi's decades of experience with all-wheel-drive systems, which Audi calls Quattro, or quattro. The Q7 is also the longest of the three, and thus is the only one to offer three-row seating. Audi also has equipped the Q7 with many luxury and convenience features not found on the Touareg and Cayenne, including a few not found on any other luxury SUV. 

    With a base price of less than $50,000, the Q7 is priced close to others in the luxury SUV segment, which also includes the Cadillac SRX, Lexus GX 470, and Mercedes-Benz M-Class. With all-wheel drive, a choice of powerful V6 and V8 engines and arguably the classiest interior in the segment, the Q7 deserves serious consideration when shopping for a luxury SUV. 

    Lineup

    The 2007 Audi Q7 line features two engines and two trim levels. Both the 3.6 and 4.2 models are available in regular and Premium trim. All Q7s come with six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmissions and quattro all-wheel drive. 

    The 3.6, available September 2006, is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 that delivers 280 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. It comes standard with five-passenger seating, cloth upholstery, automatic dual-zone climate control, a 10-way power driver's seat, Audi MMI, cruise control, AM/FM/CD stereo with eight speakers, a manual tilt/telescoping multi-function steering wheel, power windows and locks, keyless entry, black roof rails, fog lights, alarm/engine immobilizer system, and 18-inch wheels. 

    Options include panorama sunroof ($1,850), leather upholstery, seven-passenger seating, heated front and rear seats and XM or Sirius satellite radio, privacy glass, auto-dimming rearview mirror, light/rain sensor, and brushed aluminum trim. 

    Premium trim adds leather upholstery, 10-way power front passenger with heating feature and driver seat memory, heated front and rear seats, wider wheels and tires, aluminum roof rails, Bi-Xenon headlamps, genuine wood and aluminum trim, AM/FM/6CD sound system with 14 Bose speakers, privacy glass, auto-dimming rearview mirror, light/rain sensor, an interior light package, and a cargo area cover. 

    Options for the 3.6 Premium include premium Cricket leather, driver's seat memory, six-passenger seat configuration, automatic rear climate control, DVD-based navigation, Rear Parktronic with rear-view camera, Audi Side Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, power tailgate, Bluetooth connectivity, Homelink, voice-activated controls, adaptive front lighting, dual-tone sills/bumpers, keyless engine starting, 20-inch wheels, and a 6,600-pound tow package. 

    The 4.2 ($49,900) is powered by a 4.2-liter V8 that produces 350 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. In addition to the standard equipment found on the 3.6 Premium, the 4.2 features a leather-wrapped power tilting/telescoping multi-function steering wheel, Bluetooth connectivity, side and rear sunshades and a fold-flat third-row bench seat. 

    Options for the 4.2 include premium leather upholstery ($1,000); six-passenger seat configuration ($1,200); four-zone climate control ($950); navigation system ($1,800); the Technology package ($2,400), which includes rear backup camera, Audi Side Assist, keyless engine starting and voice activated controls; a cold weather package ($850) that includes heated front and rear seats and a heated steering wheel; panorama sunroof ($1,850); Sirius or XM satellite radio ($550); a 6600-pound towing package ($550); Trunk tie-down system ($250); rear side air bags ($350); 19-inch alloy wheels ($800); 20-inch alloy wheels ($1,600). 

    The 4.2 Premium ($59,900) adds 19-inch alloy wheels, headlight washers, heated steering wheel, premium Cricket leather, panorama sunroof, rear climate control, the six-passenger seating configuration, keyless engine starting, the navigation system, Sirius or XM radio, rear backup camera and voice activated controls. Options for the 4.2 Premium include 20-inch alloy wheels ($800); Adaptive Air Suspension ($2,600); Audi Side Assist ($500); 6600-pound towing package ($550); rear side air bags ($350); and the seven-passenger seat configuration (no charge). An S-Line package ($3,800), available on all models except 3.6, features more aggressively styled lower body moldings, sport front seats, a sport-tuned suspension and 21-inch alloy wheels. S-Line models are not available with the Adaptive Air Suspension. 

    Safety features on all Q7 models include anti-lock four-wheel disc brakes with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and an electronic stability program with rollover sensing and a tow mode. Passive safety features include front seat belts with pretensioners and load-limiters, dual front air bags, front side seat-mounted torso air bags, side curtain air bag. 

    Walkaround

    The styling of the Audi Q7 offers no surprises, just typical Audi class, as if the A6 wagon experienced an unexpected growth spurt. The blunt front end features Audi's signature bold grille flanked by menacing headlights at the leading edge of the sculpted hood. A heavily stylized front end helps mask the formidable mass of the Q7's nose. Fog lights are set into the lower moldings. 

    Crisp side-view styling with articulated fenders and an arching roofline also do much to lessen the generous dimensions of the Q7. The exterior mirrors are perhaps the largest we've ever seen on a vehicle in this class, which should come in handy when towing. Two stylish, full-length metal rails on the roof provide anchor points for accessory crossbars for securing cargo on the roof. 

    The Q7's rear view is dominated by high-mounted, horizontal taillamps with LED illumination and fiber-optic/LED turn signals. The cut line for the tailgate sweeps outward around the taillamps to become a styling element of its own. 

    Lower moldings are rendered in a durable, unpainted, chip-resistant material that is color-keyed to the paint above. With the available S-Line appearance package, they are replaced by more aggressively styled lower moldings that are painted to match the body. 

    Other notable exterior features that would be particularly appreciable in colder climates include pull-type door handles that are easy to use with gloves, as well as wide-sweeping windshield wipers that, when not in use, rest on an area heated by the interior vents in order to prevent freezing. 

    Interior

    Audi designed the Q7 interior with flexibility in mind, with 28 different passenger/cargo arrangements between three available seating configurations. With the conventional 40/20/40 split second-row bench seat, the Q7 seats five; add the third-row seat and it'll seat seven. Standard on the 4.2 Premium is a six-passenger arrangement with second-row bucket seats separated by a center console, with the third row bench behind it. All second-row seats slide for/aft four inches to maximize legroom, which Audi claims gives the Q7 the most stretch-out room in the class. 

    Most drivers should find the driving position nearly perfect. Getting in and out of the front or second-row seats is easy thanks to large doors and a reasonably low floor. Accessing the third row is not as easy: The second-row seat slides and folds forward to grant access, but never quite enough for an adult to get back there smoothly. To Audi's defense, the seat was designed to accommodate people no taller than five feet, four inches. As with most SUVs, the third row is best left to the kids. 

    Interior trim speaks of high quality, with padded surfaces everywhere one can touch and virtually no hard plastics. Three different kinds of wood are available, as is patterned aluminum trim. The mix of materials conveys a level of luxury that matches, if not exceeds, the Q7's price. 

    The Q7's gauges are clear and bright with an information display between the speedometer and tachometer which cycles through several menus via buttons on the steering wheel. Redundant navigation messages are also communicated through this display, even when the dashboard screen displays something else, a useful feature. The stalk-mounted cruise controls and the switches for the wipers and lights have a supple, expensive feel. 

    As with the A6 and A8, the Q7 combines controls for the stereo, navigation system and other functions into a screen-based system Audi calls the Multi-Media Interface (MMI). Designed to reduce the amount of buttons on the dashboard while adding even more features, MMI adds layers of complexity that require a considerable amount of time and practice to operate smoothly. That said, MMI is clearer in operation than BMW's iDrive system, a source of aggravation for many drivers, and provides dedicated menus for the climate, audio, phone and navigation systems, as well as relevant vehicle system information. 

    Stereo choices for the Q7 include an AM/FM/CD unit with eight speakers and an AM/FM/6CD unit with 14 Bose speakers. Both are ready for satellite radio, and Audi offers a choice of XM or Sirius. While most of the audio adjustment functions are incorporated into MMI, the controls used most often, such as the volume and seek functions, are adjusted with clearly labeled buttons and knobs mounted sensibly and attractively on the center console, just in front of the armrest. Also of note are available voice-activated controls. 

    The front bucket seats are superb: comfortable and supportive with power adjustment in most directions. Leather upholstery is standard on all models, while the V8 Premium array comes with upmarket Cricket leather. Leather also covers the three-spoke steering wheel, which also features redundant audio controls. 

    Dual-zone automatic climate controls are nothing new for this segment, but Audi made an effort to provide ventilation while reducing draftiness when the vehicle is being heated or cooled rapidly. Hence, the Q7 has an abundance of generously sized vents, including a diffused air vent at the base of the windshield in the front, as well as vents in the both the B-pillar and the rear of the center console for second-row occupants. One particularly upscale option is four-zone climate control (two zones in front and two zones for the second-row passengers), though its price is a bit upscale as well. 

    Four full-size adults can enjoy plenty of space in the five-seat array; the 60/40 split rear bench seat allows cargo/passeng. 

    Driving Impression

    On the road, the Audi Q7 behaves much like an Audi sedan or wagon. The fully independent suspension delivers a comfortable ride without sacrificing handling. Road imperfections are managed without being transferred into unbecoming jolts or booming sounds in the cabin. Even at high speeds, interior noise level is low enough for conversation to be held without raising one's voice. Not as pillowy as the Lexus GX 470 nor as stiff as the BMW X5 or Infiniti FX45, the Q7's ride hits the sweet spot many luxury SUV shoppers are looking for. 

    Power from the 280-hp 3.6-liter V6 is more than adequate for most drivers, with plenty on tap for quick, smooth acceleration in spite of its high curb weight of over 5200 pounds. The V6 emits a satisfying growl under full throttle but goes virtually silent when coasting or cruising. The throaty 350hp 4.2-liter V8 offers even more impressive acceleration numbers (0-60 in just 7.0 seconds, according to Audi), but ultimately is more powerful than all but the most aggressive drivers need. 

    All Q7s come with a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission that shifts so smoothly it's almost imperceptible except during full-throttle acceleration. A Sport mode can be selected that provides faster shifts and automatically holds gears a bit longer for more responsive performance. If the driver wants to shift manually, the Tiptronic manual shift feature is selected by moving the shift lever to the right, then tapping it up or down as desired. The multi-information display in the instrument cluster clearly displays the selected gear. 

    The Q7's standard full-time quattro all-wheel drive system requires no driver input. Normally, power is delivered to the front and rear wheels in a 42/58 percent split in order to create a rear-wheel-drive sensation for confident dry-weather handling. When driving conditions become such that traction becomes compromised at, the torque split is automatically adjusted between the parameters of 65/35 to 15/85 percent, front-to-rear. 

    The electronic stability control, or ESP, manages any additional wheel slip by applying the brakes at the slipping wheel without interrupting power deliver to the wheels with grip. ESP helps maintain stability in corners by lightly applying the brakes to individual wheels when the vehicle's path doesn't match the driver's intentions. The Q7's ESP system is enhanced with an off-road mode that can be switched on to allow some slip for smooth power delivery on gravel roads. For steep, slippery grades, a downhill assist function automatically maintains a 12-mph speed by applying the brakes to individual wheels without driver input, allowing him or her to concentrate on steering. 

    Fuel economy for the 4.2 is surprisingly favorable at an estimated 17 miles per gallon city and 23 highway, thanks in part to waste-reducing advancements such as fuel stratified injection (FSI) and electronic throttle control (ETC). This compares well to competitors such as the Cadillac SRX V8 (15/20 mpg) and the Mercedes-Benz ML500 (15/19 mpg). 

    Towing capacity starts at 5500 pounds for all models. Tow capacity rises to 6600 pounds with the optional tow package, available on most Q7 models. The optional Adaptive Air suspension features a trailering mode that helps manage the unique physics of trailering. The Q7 also offers a separate Tow mode for the electronic stability control that is calibrated to counteract swaying motions that can become dangerous when pulling a trailer. 

    The power steering is speed-sensitive, reducing the amount of assistance as the Q7 accelerates to deliver more road feel at higher speeds. On-center feel is outstanding and with steering inputs met by quick response, thanks to just 2.66 turns from lock to lock. Steering isn't as heavy as that in the BMW X5, for example, but nor is it as light as that of the GMC Yukon. 

    Handling is superb. Both of the 4.2 models we drove featured the optional adaptive air susp. 

    Summary

    The new Audi Q7 represent a winning combination of comfort, style and space. With Audi luxury made even more enjoyable by a taller roof and a more commanding view of the road ahead, the Q7 has an interior package that will be an excellent match for today's luxury SUV customer. 

    New Car Test Drive correspondent Steve Siler filed this report from Scottsdale, Arizona. 

    Model Lineup

    Audi Q7 3.6; 3.6 Premium; 4.2 ($49,900); 4.2 Premium ($59,900). 

    Assembled In

    Bratislava, Slovakia. 

    Options As Tested

    20-inch alloy wheels ($800); Adaptive Air Suspension ($2,600); Audi Side Assist ($500); Rear Side Airbags ($350). 

    Model Tested

    Audi Q7 4.2 Premium ($59,900). 

    *The data and content on this web site is subject to change without notice. Neither AOL nor any of its data or content providers shall be liable for errors in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

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    Read 2007 Audi Q7 4.2 Premium 4dr AWD Sport Utility reviews from auto industry experts to gain insight on the Audi Q7's drivability, comfort, power and performance.
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