Refining the science of cross over SUV’s
By Cam Benty
If practice makes perfect, then Audi’s Q7 is clearly closing on that level of excellence. The Q7, which debuted in 2007, was a fitting expansion of the Audi line into the cross over SUV arena. Way back then, Audi was reinventing itself with a series of all new vehicles, the Q7 one of the most impressive.
Today’s Q7 features a host of high end luxury features that are accompanied by a significant price tag that can approach $70,000 for the top of the line Prestige edition. The good news is that even the base level ($53K for the Premium model) delivers a nice assortment of luxury-style appointments including LED headlights, wireless smart phone charging pad and 360-degree exterior camera system. Order the Convenience Package you’ll get blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alerts. Optional 20-inch wheels are wrapped with run-flat tires while two other optional 21-inch wheel designs allow you to make your Audi look different from your neighbor’s.
The 2019 Audi Q7 is available with either a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (248 HP / 273 lb. ft.) or a more powerful supercharged 3.0-liter V6 (329 hp / 325 lb. ft.). The four-cylinder version we drove was more than quick enough for around town errand runs or long-term highway cruising efforts – and was slightly better on gas (no surprise there) than it was rated. In reality, both powertrains are capable of seven-seconds 0 to 60mph times despite a vehicle girth of 4,729 lb. What was surprising was that the Q7 carries a tow rating of 4,400 lbs so pretty much anything you can hitch to it will follow along happily. Mileage for the four-cylinder power Q7 was rated by the EPA at 21 mpg combined, city and highway. We did slightly better with an average of around 24 mpg on our 800-mile loop.
One of the features that will attract growing families to the Q7 platform is the third row seating which when trigger cramps the luggage capacity but does allow for added passenger capacity. We should note that if you need third row seating, the passengers had better be small as space it tight. If you are looking to carry full-size humans, a bigger Q-Ship is in order.
For those of you who prefer to ride up front, the interior of the Q7 is sure to please. With a clean instrument panel with clear graphics both on the dash and center-mounted 7-inch display monitor (upper level models enlarge the screen to 8.3-inches), the Audi is a pleasure to operate. Seating is typical Germanic-supportive and extremely comfortable. The console features an assortment of controls and plug in points for the use of Apple Car Play and Android Auto. The Q7 we drove had the 4G LTE available for the Google map functions to help make certain you find your way.
From our research, we determined that Q7 is rated as one of the safest vehicles on the road today. With a five-star consumer rating and high marks from the Highway Safety folks, its no wonder by families love it. In addition, the ride quality of the Q7 is truly stunning, some of the worst roads in southern California finding it difficult to upset us (as they usually do) with their grooved concrete slabs and maze of asphalt patch jobs. We were very impressed.
The Q7 is a super nice vehicle with luxury appointments, high tech features and smooth ride qualities. For up and coming family vehicle buyers or those who like to haul more than a few friends around, the 2019 Q7 is excellent, the newest make over of an old friend.