2018 Audi Q7 Review: Rockin’ the suburbs

    Everyone knows the phrase “jack of all trades, grasp of none.” In making an attempt to do the whole lot effectively, some vehicles come up quick. However not the 2018 Audi Q7.

    Now within the third 12 months of its second era, the Q7 is significantly good at the whole lot it units out to do. It handles like an Audi, though it is the most important one on provide. The inside is flexible and engaging, and it is loaded with the newest tech that the automaker has to supply.

    In the event you’re out there for a bigger luxurious SUV and infrequently must name upon a 3rd row of seats, your search ought to begin proper right here. Odds are, it will in all probability finish right here, too.

    Fancy, leaning towards nameless

    Audi’s present exterior design language errs towards subtlety, and the Q7 is not any exception. It is not going to interrupt necks — heck, you may lose it in a crowded car parking zone. However not each automotive on the planet want be a monument to extra. In the event you like being just a little flashy, the Volvo XC90 has higher curb enchantment.

    The Q7’s inside may be very effectively sorted. The dashboard is good and low, which lends to wonderful visibility, and you may cover the infotainment display screen for an excellent clearer view ahead. The entrance row is loads snug, and there is a stunning quantity of area within the second row even with the adjustable seats cranked all the way in which ahead. Flip your head round, and you will find the superb visibility continues rearward.

    The third row is the place issues get tough. It is best suited to pets or youngsters, as a result of even with the second row slid ahead, adults shall be clamoring for added head- and legroom. In the event you do not want it, nice — the third row disappears into the ground with two fast button presses. With all three rows up, the cargo space is nice for 2 or three medium-size suitcases, however when solely two rows are required, the sky is the restrict on what you may shove again there.

    Excellent in your common Sunday journey to… an deserted church car parking zone? Possibly the mall is extra your pace.

    Nick Miotke/Roadshow

    Persist with the two.Zero-liter

    When you can outfit the Q7 with a 333-horsepower supercharged V6, all it does is cut back gas economic system and add to the bottom value. The bottom engine is a 2.Zero-liter turbo I4 placing out 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, mated to plain all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automated transmission. I discover the bottom engine loads sprightly, whether or not slogging by way of visitors or simply blasting round city.

    The experience high quality is excellent, because of clean suspension tuning and chunky 255/60-series all-season Goodyear tires wrapped round 18-inch alloy wheels. You’ll be able to match bigger wheels and tires, however thinner sidewalls lend to a much less snug experience. The Q7’s little little bit of conventional European firmness retains physique roll to a minimal once you’re operating late and want so as to add a couple of mph to nook entry speeds.

    The EPA charges the two.Zero-liter Q7 at 19 mpg metropolis and 25 mpg freeway. With out placing an excessive amount of effort into it, I see freeway gas economic system between 25 and 26 mpg, though my heavier-than-average proper foot cancels that out with metropolis figures nearer to 16 or 17.

    Drop that infotainment system on the dashboard with the press of a button, and you’ve got a wonderful view forward, unimpeded by expertise.

    Nick Miotke/Roadshow

    Borrowing all the most effective tech

    Audi’s complement of in-car tech is essentially the identical throughout its total lineup. That is an excellent factor on this case, as a result of it is easy to make use of and it has nearly the whole lot a purchaser on this section will need.

    My Q7’s Premium Plus trim comes commonplace with navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and all kinds of linked options like climate, visitors and even native occasions. Audi’s MMI infotainment system may be very thorough, and whereas it is easy to get misplaced in a forest of contextual menus, navigation is painless because of a smart dial-and-touchpad mixture. Handwriting recognition enables you to write out addresses, and it is fairly good at choosing up on my admittedly sloppy finger work.

    Digital Cockpit is obtainable, and it is a must-have. A part of a $2,000 bundle, VC mirrors the infotainment system on a configurable gauge cluster display screen. It is easy to govern, because of simple steering wheel controls. Having the infotainment in entrance of my face additionally lets me cover the common infotainment display screen with the push of a button, which provides the inside a cleaner look and improves ahead visibility. Minimizing distraction is essential when there’s this a lot tech concerned, and that is what VC is finest at.

    My greatest gripe is one which is not unique to the Q7. There are solely two USB ports contained in the automotive, and so they’re each situated underneath the entrance row’s heart armrest. Except you’ve extra-long cables useful, rear-seat occupants must make do with a pair of 12-volt retailers. For such a well-sorted household car at this value level, this omission stands out in a nasty approach.

    How I would spec it

    It can save you a good bit of cash by avoiding the extra highly effective V6 engine, which is okay, as a result of the two.Zero-liter supplies greater than sufficient hustle with out hitting your pockets too laborious.

    My most popular spec begins with the Premium Plus trim, which provides $four,000 to the $49,900 base value, however it permits me so as to add Digital Cockpit, which is a part of a $2,000 bundle that features LED headlights and a hen’s-eye view digicam system. I will toss in $2,400 for the superior driver-aid bundle, in addition to $650 for a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats. If all you need is autobrake, that is commonplace, so be happy to avoid wasting a pair grand there, too.

    Sticking with the no-charge white paint and a brown leather-based inside, that places my Q7 at $59,925 together with vacation spot. The one main distinction between my most popular spec and my tester is the $1,600 warm-weather bundle that provides ventilated seats and four-zone local weather management.

    All the way down to brass tacks

    The Audi Q7 competes in a crowded area. Its base value is under that of a equally geared up Mercedes-Benz GLE or BMW X5, regardless of the Audi being a lot newer than both Teutonic competitor. It is about on par with the Volvo XC90, however the Acura MDX has it beat by about Three,000 buckaroos.

    I contemplate the Volvo its closest competitor, as a result of each vehicles pack an excessive amount of tech right into a chassis that is enjoyable with out being punishing. If you need one thing with a bit extra flash (and a Three-mpg enchancment in gas economic system), the Volvo is value a take a look at drive, too.

    However when you’re on the hunt for a demure SUV that has an occasional-use third row, the Q7 presents a really attractive bundle. It thrives at any pace with only a four-cylinder engine, and its tech is on par with the most effective the section has to supply. The 2018 Audi Q7 is the high-water mark in a preferred section, and it is value your consideration.

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