Full 2014 Audi Q7 Review
What's New for 2014
Adaptive xenon headlights with LED running lights are standard on all Q7 models for 2014, and the Premium Plus trim gets standard keyless ignition/entry.
The 2014 Audi Q7 must not be broken, because Audi sure isn't in a hurry to fix it. Believe it or not, the three-row Q7 is still basically the same crossover that first reached our shores in 2007, even though its platform-mates from Porsche (the Cayenne) and Volkswagen (the Touareg) have since moved on to second-generation designs. "Broken" would be a strong word for the Q7 anyway, as good fundamentals plus numerous updates over the years have kept it in the hunt among seven-passenger luxury crossover SUVs. Nonetheless, it's hard for us to recommend Audi's venerable SUV given the strength of its newer competition.
One category in which the Q7 remains competitive is performance. On the gasoline-powered side, the supercharged 3.0T V6 is smooth and capable, and it's offered in a 333-horsepower state of tune in case the standard 280-hp rating seems insufficient. On the diesel side, the recently updated TDI V6 moves the Q7 with authority, and it gets 28 highway mpg to boot. Both are paired with an excellent eight-speed automatic, and all Q7s are surprisingly rewarding to drive, somehow managing to impart an athletic feel despite their imposing dimensions.
But the Q7 has some drawbacks in regard to practicality that can only be rectified by a full redesign. Chief among them is the Q7's lack of interior space. Despite having a larger footprint than its main competitors, the Q7 ranks below average for cargo capacity and passenger room in the third row. Furthermore, the Q7 is pretty heavy, and that drags down fuel economy to the point that you have to get the pricier diesel if you want respectable mpg.
In these respects, the Q7's advancing age is unmistakable, and newer alternatives will likely serve you better. To wit, the Land Rover LR4 and Mercedes-Benz GL-Class offer roomier cabins with adult-friendly third rows, while the Acura MDX delivers more space and better gas-powered fuel economy at a lower price. The same could be said of the Infiniti QX60, which can also be had as a hybrid. Then, there's the BMW X5, which is closest in spirit to the Q7, but thoroughly updated for the 2014 model year.
If you find yourself coming back to the 2014 Audi Q7, though, we can't blame you, because even after all these years, it's still a pretty nice ride. There are certainly things that could be better, though, and we'd advise you to consider all your options before going with Audi's large crossover.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2014 Audi Q7 is a full-size, seven-passenger luxury SUV offered in three trim levels: 3.0T Premium, TDI Premium and 3.0T S line Prestige.
The Premium comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, LED running lights and turn signals, rear parking sensors, roof rails, a power liftgate (with programmable opening angle), heated mirrors, automatic wipers, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, eight-way power heated front seats (with four-way lumbar), a manual tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a sliding and reclining 40/20/40-split second-row seat and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Technology features include Bluetooth phone connectivity and an 11-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and an iPod interface. The TDI Premium gets 19-inch wheels and additional exterior chrome trim.
Opting for the Premium Plus package (with either engine) adds a panoramic sunroof, a rearview camera, front parking sensors, auto-dimming and power-folding exterior mirrors, keyless entry/ignition, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, driver memory functions, Audi's Multi Media Interface (MMI) with a 7-inch display screen, Audi Connect (enhanced Web-based navigation, information and WiFi access), a navigation system with voice control and a 14-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system with HD radio.
The 3.0T S line Prestige includes the above equipment and adds 20-inch wheels, special exterior styling details, a blind-spot warning system, ventilated front seats and the Warm Weather package (optional on Premium Plus), which includes a deep-tint panoramic sunroof, four-zone automatic climate control and manual sunshades for the rear doors and tailgate.
The S line Prestige's extra features can be added to the TDI via an essentially identical Prestige option package. Other options for Prestige-equipped Q7s include an adaptive air suspension, 21-inch wheels, adaptive cruise control, a corner-view camera system, a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen surround-sound system and an S line interior trim package.
Some features offered on upper trim levels are available on lower trims. Optional on all trims are rear side airbags, a rear-seat entertainment system, a Towing package and a Cold Weather package, which adds heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel.
Powertrains and Performance
Powering the 2014 Audi Q7 3.0T Premium and Premium Plus is a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 that produces 280 hp and 295 pound-feet of torque. The more potent 3.0T S line version of this engine cranks out 333 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard.
In Edmunds performance testing, a 3.0T Premium went from zero to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds -- an average time for this segment. EPA-estimated fuel economy for both versions of the 3.0T is an unimpressive 18 mpg combined (16 mpg city/22 mpg highway).
The Audi Q7 TDI is powered by a turbocharged, 3.0-liter diesel V6 that produces 240 hp and a robust 406 lb-ft of torque. The eight-speed automatic also reports for duty here. Fuel economy is estimated at a more laudable 22 mpg combined (19 city/28 highway).
Standard safety features on the 2014 Audi Q7 include antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and rear parking sensors. A rearview camera is standard on Premium Plus and Prestige trims, while a blind-spot warning system is standard on the Prestige. Second-row side airbags are optional on all trims.
In Edmunds brake testing, the 3.0T came to a stop from 60 mph in 132 feet, which is long for SUVs in this class. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Q7 the highest rating of "Good" in its moderate-overlap frontal-offset and side-impact tests.
Interior Design and Special Features
The 2014 Q7's interior is par for the course with Audi, which means a tastefully designed dashboard with top-quality materials all around. The front compartment is clearly built around the driver, creating a cockpit-like feel that's unusual in an SUV. The MMI electronics interface boasts logical menus and crisp graphics, although we still prefer BMW's iDrive or Mercedes' COMAND for overall ease of use. Bundled with it is Audi Connect, which provides an in-vehicle 3G WiFi connection, Google Earth data for the navigation system and simplified Google search for POIs.
Adult-sized passengers will have plenty of space in the Q7's first two rows, but the third row is suitable only for kids. Cargo space falls short of the competition, with only 72.5 cubic feet of space with the second and third rows folded flat -- about the same as a Honda CR-V.
The base 3.0T engine serves up respectable passing power in the 2014 Audi Q7, while the more powerful S line version delivers extra punch with no penalty at the gas pump. Nonetheless, our pick is the TDI turbodiesel, which is even quicker in around-town driving and has notably better fuel economy.
The Q7's prodigious weight is evident when you get behind the wheel, and it's not the easiest-to-maneuver luxury crossover SUV in tight spaces. However, if you find yourself on a back road in this large Audi, it rewards you with surprisingly quick reflexes. Some consumers find that the Audi Q7 rides a bit too firmly with its standard suspension setup. Opting for the Prestige trim's air suspension broadens this crossover's appeal, as you can select a ride setting to fit your mood.