2012 Audi Q7 3.0T S line Prestige quattro
(3.0L V6 Supercharger AWD 8-speed Automatic)
What our ratings include
Date Driven: 11/8/2011 (2011 3.0T S-Line gasoline)
The supercharged V6 makes a stout 333 hp (in S-Line trim) and when combined with the standard 8-speed automatic and all-wheel drive, produces a 7-second 0-60-mph time, as quick as a sporty sedan. Only 1-3 mpg improvement with turbodiesel.
Steering is light and precise, grip is plentiful. Getting a 2.5-ton 3-row SUV to feel athletic is no small task, but Audi has managed to do just that with the Q7's rear-biased AWD system. Better than most similarly massive SUVs.
Despite riding on 20-inch wheels with relatively slender tire sidewalls (and lacking the optional adaptive air-suspension), the Q7 S Line still envelopes road-surface imperfections with ease and provides a comfortable ride.
Engine, wind and road noise are all kept at very low levels with only occasional, surface-dependent road grain.
Of course owners will eventually grow familiar with the location and function of the Q7's large array of buttons, knobs and menus, but other automakers have done better jobs of simplification. The Q7 is otherwise ergonomically sound.
Despite commanding forward view, the Q7 has blindspots and challenging rearward sightlines. Top-tier Prestige includes parking sensors, backup camera with guidelines, bi-xenon headlamps with cornering and blindspot monitoring
Seat Access & Space
As large as it is, the 7-passenger Q7 doesn't measure up inside compared to similarly sized SUVs, especially in the cramped 3rd row. First- and 2nd-row seats are easily accessed and comfy, however.
Cargo & Storage
All seats occupied, luggage capacity is only 11 cu-ft. With 3rd row stowed, that figure grows to a useful 42 cu-ft, but max cargo capacity (72.5 cu-ft) is small for its class. Clever 40/20/40-folding 2nd row allows 4-person ski outings.
Few high-quality interiors show as much attention to materials choices and attention to detail; solid construction and flawless paint, as well. However, we've experienced some electronic gremlins in the past.
Standard gasoline and diesel models both rated to 5,500 lbs (550-lb tongue weight) or a maximum of 6,600 lbs (660-lb tongue weight) with optional equipment. Either way, you could conceivably tow one Q7 with another one.
More of an all-weather, snowy-, muddy-, or gravel-road warrior than a true off-roading machine, the Q7's various locking differentials get you out of the slick stuff, but it lacks low-range gears or underbody protective hardware.