Whether you are on icy city streets or a bumpy dirt road traveling to your remote camping destination, you will appreciate the all-wheel drive system in the 2013 Audi Q7. Consumers have a choice of three strong engines, but fuel-economy is nothing to rave about. The 3.0-liter TFSI V6 is an all-aluminum engine that is combined with supercharging and FSI direct-injection to deliver 280 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Zero to 60 mph is achieved in 7.7 seconds, which certainly isn’t bad for a base model. For a little more power, you will want to opt for the 3.0-liter TFSI S line that delivers an impressive 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. This engine improves your acceleration time to 60 mph to 6.9 seconds. Interestingly, fuel-economy for both engines is the same, returning 16 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. Audi is also offering a 3.0-liter TDI clean diesel engine for those needing fierce acceleration and strong towing capacity. It boasts 240 horsepower and an unbelievably 406 pound-feet of torque, and can tow up to 6,000 pounds, when properly equipped. Fuel-economy is a little better at 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, but it is considerably slower, taking 8.5 seconds to 60 mph. Despite its large size, the Audi Q7 hugs corners like it was made for them, but the large turning circle does make maneuvering in tight places and parking a little tricky. Fortunately, the rearview camera is a huge help.
• Sound System - The standard sound system is certainly nothing to complain about. You will enjoy a CD player, MP3 playback capability and 11 speakers. However, for the best listening experience, you will want to upgrade to the BOSE surround sound with AudioPilot noise-compensation and 14 speakers. The Prestige trim also offers a Bang and Olufsen system with 1,000 watts, if you don’t mind spending a lot more.
• Rear Seat Entertainment - Optional on all models is a rear seat entertainment system with 9” screens, individual DVD players and wireless remotes.
• MMI Navigation Plus - Standard on Premium Plus and Prestige, but optional on Premium is Audi’s coveted MMI Navigation Plus with voice control. You will never have to take your eyes off the road to control navigation, audio or your rearview camera.
Crash tests have not been performed as of yet on the 2013 Q7, but it is expected to be given a “Good” rating in front and side-impact crash tests, just like the 2012 model did. This sport utility vehicle has an abundance of airbags, and you can add on thorax side airbags in the second row. A few thoughtful safety features you are sure to appreciate include:
• Anchors and tethers for children on both rear seats
• Electronic stability control
• Emergency braking assist
• Electronic brake-pressure distribution
• Hill-descent control
• Tire pressure monitoring
• Engine immobilizer
• Dusk sensing headlamps
• Turn signal mirrors
• Front seatbelt pretensioners
• Stability control
• Whiplash protection system in front head restraints
• Traction control
It is hard to argue with the fact that the 2013 Audi Q7 is one of the most stunning SUVs on the road. The body screams of sophistication with a fierce grille, contemporary headlamps and stylish rims. A contrasting lower paint finish, dual exhaust outlets and aluminum roof rails finish the look.
Seating for seven is provided in the Q7, but realistically, the third row is only appropriate for children. If you need to utilize the third row for adults, this SUV falls short in comparison to others in this class. Seating is comfortable; you will find that you melt into the leather. Front row seats are heated, and this is an option on rear seats. Rear seat passengers enjoy a sliding and reclining 40/20/40 split with pass-through. As for the styling, Audi never disappoints, and the Q7 is no exception. Top-notch materials are found throughout, and the dash has been built with the driver in mind. Some may feel a little overwhelmed by all the controls, but the layout is thoughtful enough to get comfortable with after a while.
The Q7 offers more than enough cargo room with both rear seats down at 72.5 cubic feet. If you don’t need to use the third row seat, you can leave it down and still enjoy 42 cubic feet. Unfortunately, if you pack a full load of passengers, there is only 10.9 cubic feet to work with behind the third seat, which certainly is not much.