For its second-generation, Audi improved on an already great car. With better looks, a far superior interior, lighter weight and better dynamics, the new Audi Q7 is a superb car. It could also be the best SUV in its class, as we previously tested it back-to-back with the BMW X5 and found it to be a bit better than the Bimmer. But, to clear up any bias we might have, let’s take a look at a review from Digital Trends to see how they feel about the big Audi.
Packing a 333 hp supercharged 3.0 liter V6, the Audi Q7 is quite the powerful SUV. Even though 333 hp isn’t much by today’s standards, where 500 hp doesn’t even get you into the high-performance club anymore, it’s more than enough for the Q7. Paired with its ZF-sourced eight-speed gearbox and Quattro all-wheel drive, the Q7 is capable of 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds. That’s plenty quick for an SUV of its size.
While there are a few SUVs on the market that are capable of similar numbers, not all of them can combine that speed with the Q7’s agility. Having lost 600 lbs since its first-generation, the new Audi Q7 is far more light on its feet than before. Its steering is nicely judged, accurate with nice weighting and its chassis dynamics are superb for a vehicle of its size. You can genuinely have some fun on a twisty road with the Q7. It’s no Audi R8, but it’s definitely not boring. Only the Porsche Cayenne can out-pace the Audi Q7, in terms of dynamics.
But the Audi Q7 isn’t just about speed, it’s about combining performance and dynamics with luxury, practicality and technology. And it does that superbly. The interior of the Audi Q7 is open, airy, filled with rich materials and incredibly comfortable. But the real party trick is that it does so while also feeling secure and cosseting, like the best German sports cars. It feels driver-oriented while also providing a great open feeling. It’s almost magic that Audi’s pulled off here.
Then there’s the impressive technology. Audi’s second-gen MMI system and Virtual Cockpit make the Q7 a step ahead of its competitors by themselves. Only BMW’s new iDrive 6.0 is better than Audi’s MMI and the Virtual Cockpit is second to none, in terms of gauge clusters. It’s just fantastic.
However, there are some drawbacks that Digital Trends found. The autonomous braking system could use some work, as it would consistently slam on its brakes when reversing if it sense traffic at even safe distances away. It’s far too nervous and can actually cause more problems than anything else. There’s also some confusion as to which settings are controlled through the MMI system and which are through the Virtual Cockpit. So, while driving, things can get confusing.
But, overall, DT seemed to really like the Audi Q7. It might not be the most dynamic SUV in the world (Porsche Cayenne) or the prettiest (Volvo XC90) but it combines all things so well that it’s hard to pass up. It’s certainly our favorite SUV in the segment, even if just by a bit.