What Is It?
2016 Audi Q7
What's New About This Model?
An all-new replacement for the company's midsize luxury SUV, the new Q7 has slimmed down considerably, yet offers more room on the inside compared to the current model.
When Does It Go on Sale?
Expect the new Q7 to arrive in Audi dealers by spring of this year.
What Is the Chassis Like?
The new Q7 sheds a lot of weight compared to the outgoing version thanks to a new chassis built with a mix of steel and aluminum. There's still all-wheel drive, though weight was saved by simplifying the drivetrain hardware and not offering an optional eight-cylinder engine.
It's slightly smaller on the outside, shedding 1.5 inches of length and a bit of width, yet offers more head-, shoulder and knee room. Despite this vehicle's focus on mass reduction, a rear-wheel steering system has been added.
Depending on configuration, up to 715 pounds were shed, bringing the new Q7's curb weight to around 4,400 pounds. Still not a featherweight, but then, this is still a large car. Er, SUV. Definitely not a wagon. Yeah.
What Engines Will Be Available?
Two V6 engines and a four-cylinder will be slotted into the new Q7, and each is backed by an eight-speed automatic transmission. A 252-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline four-cylinder will be available, though it's not yet clear if both the 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 (272 hp, 443 lb-ft) and the 333-hp, 3.0-liter supercharged gasoline engine will find their way Stateside.
There will be a turbodiesel hybrid, too, though it's not clear if it will be coming to the States. Called the Q7 E-tron, this hybrid generates a combined system output of 373 hp and 516 lb-ft while delivering a big increase in fuel economy. Expect it to be expensive. There's an awful lot of cost in hybrids and diesels, even before you combine them into one vehicle.
How Much Does It Cost?
No official pricing has been released yet, but we expect the price to rise somewhat over the outgoing Q7.
What Models Will It Compete Against?
BMW X5: The X5 offers three rows of seating but it's on the small side compared to its competition. It excels in the performance department. It's slightly less impressive when it comes to utility.
Land Rover Range Rover Sport: There's not much room in the third row but it sure looks good. This Land Rover also offers everything from a six-cylinder diesel to a supercharged V8.
Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class: This is the new name for what used to be called the ML-Class. It's set for a redesign this year, too, so expect plenty of new features to go along with its new look.
Should You Wait for It?
If you are considering the current Q7, this redesigned model is well worth the wait time. It will deliver far superior mileage along with more room on the inside and the latest safety and connectivity features. If you just need a midsize luxury SUV, there are plenty of worthy competitors to consider now.