Is an Audi Q7 TDI evil for its emissions? Ask this owner

If you ask nearly anyone one earth about Volkswagen’s or Audi’s diesel emissions scandal, they’ll quickly mount their high horse and tell you about how vile the Volkswagen Group is for lying about diesel emissions. VW/Audi TDI owners quickly rid themselves of their cars, swapping them for anything without a VW or Audi badge and especially without a diesel engine. However, are they really all that bad? Well, let’s hear it from a first-gen Audi Q7 TDI owner, one that just so happens to write for Car and Driver.

While the new Audi Q7 is garnering tremendous amount of attention and various accolades, Eddie Alterman of C&D is more of a fan of the first-gen Q7 TDI, considering he owns one. And, despite media pressure to sell it back to Audi so as to not “pollute” the air with more NOx, he won’t part with his Q7.

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“I’m finding it impossible to summon the level of righteous indignation expected of Audi/Porsche/VW diesel owners these days. My SUV is just too good.” says Alterman. Reason being is that, despite its slightly higher NOx levels in its emissions, it’s such a good overall vehicle. “It does it all. It schleps the kids and their friends and their gear to softball practice, to camp, to wherever the hell kids go to chase Pokémon these days. It charges away from stoplights, drawing on a store of low-down torque that can only be described as elemental. Both its interior and its ride somehow manage to be simultaneously uncomplicated and sumptuous; it’s a no-BS affair built for long, stressless days behind the wheel. I have managed to coax nearly 700 miles from its 26.4-gallon tank.”

It’s hard to argue with all of that. With a torquey, fuel-efficient engine, smooth and comfortable ride and the ability to be both a luxury car and a family hauler, it’s hard to beat the Q7 TDI. We like the newer, second-gen Audi Q7 better than the first-gen, regardless of emissions, as we prefer its looks, its technology and its handling. If only it also came in TDI-spec in America.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.