The question of whether or not to spend your money on an entry-level luxury car or a fully-loaded cheaper car has been around for decades and will always remain. One current question is between the entry-level Audi Q7 2.0T and a fully loaded, brand-new Volkswagen Atlas V6 4Motion. So which is the better buy? Motor Trend finds out.
For around the same price, you can have a base model Audi Q7 with the smallish 2.0T turbocharged four-cylinder engine and not many options. The small turbo-four makes 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. That’s not bad in the A4 but is sort of week in the big Q7. You do get leather interior and premium wood veneers, along with Audi’s newest MMI system and three rows. All of that costs $49,950.
To get into a fully loaded Volkswagen Atlas V6 4Motion, you’ll spend $49,415. That’s only $535 less but it comes with everything the Q7 does. For that money, you get a transverse-mounted 3.6 liter V6 engine that makes 276 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. So it’s considerably more powerful than the Q7, though makes less torque. But it’s about the same weight as the Q7. The Audi is only a few tenths of a second quicker than the VW, with both doing the sprint from 0-60 mph in just over 7 seconds.
In terms of interior and cargo space, the Volkswagen Atlas is the better car. It has more of both, thanks to its boxier, broader design. The Audi Q7’s swoopier lines impede into its cargo room a bit. The VW also has an easier third row to get into and third-row A/C vents for passengers. So it’s the better car for having small children in the back.
Though, the Audi Q7 has a much better cabin, with better materials and a nicer looking design. While the VW’s infotainment system looks better, Audi’s MMI is the better system. What’s interesting is that both cars have some sort of digital gauge cluster. Though, Audi’s now-famous Virtual Cockpit is only available with an added package and Volkswagen’s “Digital Cockpit” is equipped on this fully-loaded Atlas. So the Audi has to make do with just a small little screen in between its traditional dials.
Overall, Motor Trend claims that most of their staffers would choose the Audi Q7. Its better luxury and superior handling make it the more desirable choice. However, few of them have children and families. So if you do have a family, the VW Atlas might be the better choice for the money.