2017 Audi Q7 3.0T Windy City Review By Larry Nutson
2017 Audi Q7 3.0T
Sporty, spacious and smooth
By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
Each month we hear how trucks and SUVs outsell cars. The luxury SUV segment is around 5.2% of total U.S. light vehicle sales. And, today there are about 35 different luxury crossover SUVs on the U.S. market.
Not surprisingly, Audi’s May sales results were bolstered by SUV sales, which rose 26 percent. Sales of the Audi Q7 rose 46 percent over last May, to 2,663 vehicles, the second-highest sales month on record for this model, second only to March 2016 sales of 3,004 vehicles.
The Audi Q7 for 2017 has been extensively redesigned. The Q7 has an all-new body that makes extensive use of aluminum. This second-generation Q7 is 250 lbs. lighter than its predecessor. It’s also sportier to drive, helped by also being a bit shorter and narrower. It went on sale in Audi dealers a couple months ago.
The Q7 is a three-row, 7-passenger crossover that only comes with Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Powering the Q7 is a 333HP supercharged 3.0-L V6 mated to an eight-speed automatic.
All Q7s have a 2-panel sunroof, power-fold outside mirrors, heated front seats, leather seating, Audi Pre Sense automatic braking and parking assist with rear view camera and more, including a good array of infotainment.
My media loan driver was equipped with the Premium Plus package as well as a few additional option packages that included adaptive cruise control, topview camera system, four-zone automatic climate control, power adjusting steering wheel, heated steering wheel and rear seats and Bose audio. All total, the priced topped out at $68,925.
I did get in a good bit of miles behind the wheel of the Q7 and was impressed in a number of ways. The overall performance is sporty with quick acceleration, highway merging and passing ability. The transmission shifts smoothly and is not too busy. Like every SUV there’s a slight climb-up to get in but ingress and egress is easy. Once seated outward sight lines are clear and instrumentation and controls are well marked and easy to us.
I was impressed by the quietness on the inside while driving, even on different surface pavements. Often large SUVs can have what I call a drum-effect from the big open interior. Not so at all with the Q7. I also like Audi’s MMI rotary controller knob conveniently located in the center console to control audio, phone, navigation and some other features. I may be the exception, but I’m not a fan of touch screens. With the Audi it was intuitive and easy to scroll through the Sirius radio channel list. I also liked the ability to set a destination in the navigation system while I was underway and driving. Oh, and the display screen can be lowered into the dash out of sight when you don’t need it. What a concept!
The Q7 is equipped with a number of driver-assistance safety features, semi-autonomous if you will, that are making their way into more and more vehicles today. The Audi Q7 has been named an IIHS 2016 Top Safety Pick+, earning “good” ratings in all five IIHS crashworthiness evaluations and a “superior” rating for front crash prevention.
The standard Audi Pre Sense City with automatic emergency braking can detect moving and stationary vehicles as well as pedestrians, at speeds of up to 52 mph and initiates braking when a potential collision is detected. I found the adaptive cruise control to function very smoothly and comfortably on a highway day-trip I took. Some carmaker’s systems are a bit harsh in braking and reaccelerating. The Audi system is smooth and comfortable with its response as I drove with two feet on the floor and just did the steering.
EPA laboratory test-cycle fuel economy ratings for the 2017 Audi Q7 are 21 mpg combined, or 4.8 gallons per mile, with 19 city mpg and 25 highway mpg. On the highway day-trip I mentioned I got slightly better than the EPA test, averaging 26 mpg while cruising at an average 70 mph.
More information and specs on the new Audi Q7 can be found at www.audiusa.com. Search for and compare the Q7 to other luxury SUVs right here at www.theautochannel.com.
The Audi Q7 is quite impressive in what it can do all on its own. The semi-autonomous, driver-assistance features and technology that Audi has packed in to the Q7 will really help drivers avoid accidents. Those long stop-and-go commutes or a road trip on a long stretch of empty highway can become more of a joy as well as much safer.
To help you understand this new driver-assistance technology there’s a great resource to consult when you are car shopping. The www.mycardoeswhat.org homepage lists the 28 technology and safety features present on vehicles today. The National Safety Council and the University of Iowa have teamed up to provide this online, mobile- and tablet-friendly resource to help educate consumers.
© 2016 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy
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