“Popular Audi Q7 SUV: Enhanced for 2014”
In only its second year of production, Audi’s full size SUV – the Q7 offered significant enhancements, while making vehicle selection and ordering a more simplified process. The 2008 Q7 was available three ways: as a base model powered by a 3.6-liter, 280 horsepower, DOHC V6; as a Premium equipped model, powered by the same 3.6-liter V6; and finally by a more potent Premium trim level that draws its motive power from a 4.2-liter, DOHC V8 that generated 350 horsepower @ 6,800 rpm, along with 325 pound feet of torque @ 3,500 rpm. All Q7 examples coupled the engines to six-speed automatic transmissions featuring Tiptronic®. The final motive force was delivered to all four wheels via Audi’s renowned quattro all-wheel drive system. It was rumored that a V-12 diesel powered Q7 was due to appear on the scene in the not-too-distant future – the same engine powering the R8 LeMans concept vehicle. Enter the Audi Q7 for 2014.
Engine choices for this year’s Audi Q7 include two gasoline supercharged V6 engine variants or a powerful yet fuel-efficient V6 turbocharged direct injection TDI® clean diesel engine. All come equipped with an eight-speed Tiptronic® transmission that contributes to improving fuel economy, responsiveness and overall driving comfort. The transmission meters engine power to all four wheels via Audi’s legendary quattro® all-whel drive system, which is standard on all models. The 3.0-liter TDI clean diesel engine, revised last year, delivers 240 horsepower while developing 406 pound feet of torque, while achieving 28 mpg highway fuel economy. The TDI clean diesel produces 20 percent fewer CO2 emissions than a comparable gasoline engine while meeting or exceeding 50 state emission requirements. The 3.0-liter TFSI engine produces either 280 horses or an increased horsepower of 333 for the higher output 3.0T S line version.
In terms of visual enhancements, the 2014 Audi Q7 7 passenger SUV equips all models with Xenion plus headlights as standard fare along with Audi’s instantly recognizable LED daytime running lamps, improving visibility while using only half the energy of conventional bulbs.
The Q7’s styling continues with sophisticated curves, sweeping roofline and signature Audi Singleframe® grille in gloss or matte Black, adding to the Q7’s iconic and powerful design form. The front overhang is noticeably short, while the sill line rises dramatically towards the rear, curving around the distinctly contoured wheel arches. The A-pillar, is optically accelerated by its flat projection angle, forming a harmonious transition area from the hood to the roofline which begins to drop again just ahead of the B-pillar, finally ending up in a coupe-like curve at the flat D-pillar. A spoiler carrying the third brake light provides a nice final touch.
At the rear, the Audi Q7 sports an unusual and dynamic look. The sweeping wrap-around tailgate with its S-shaped shut line offers an optically stabilizing effect while expressing a forward force. The tailgate’s light strip is embedded and carries single-piece lights with an expressive design that extends to the body flanks, accentuating the rear theme of horizontal lines. The body’s shoulder line ends at the top edge of the lights. The twin exhaust pipes are symmetrically arranged, with 3.15-inch diameter tips on V6 powered models.
The lines and forms of the interior match the flavor and image of the exterior, incorporating quality materials and craftsmanship. The cockpit styling and layout of controls is inspired by the Audi A6, and the center console integrates organically into the cockpit, with the main instruments –speedometer and tachometer – featuring dropped-shape surrounds. The Multi Media Interface is located on the center tunnel, and is highly impressive for its ergonomic qualities. There are three seat configurations available ensuring compatibility with consumer needs, with capacity for from five to seven passengers, along with up to 28 loading configurations.
My recent test 2014 Audi Q7 TDI was powered by the 3.0-liter, TDI, DOHC, 24-valve turbocharged, intercooled V6 with variable valve timing and spark ignition direct injection clean diesel.and came in Premium S-Line trim. Its exterior was sprayed in Glacier White metallic, while the interior was executed in Black leather with brushed aluminum trim accents adorning the center console and front and rear doors. The base price was set at $52,900. The final sticker came to $81,395 after adding: the S-Line Package with 3-spoke multi-function steering wheel, 21-inch S-Line 5-tri- spoke star alloy wheels with summer performance rubber, modified front grille, S-Line bumpers and badges, brushed aluminum interior trim, headlight washers; Prestige Package, Technology Package, Bang and Olufsen advanced sound system;Audi Adaptive Air Suspension, Luxury six-seater configuration (first two row captain’s chairs and 50/50 split third row bench); Alcantera headliner; and Destination charge. All of this in addition to a host of standard features and equipment from sound and entertainment to safety technology.
SUMMARY : The Q7 is really quite massive, and even though it weighs in at more than two and a half tons unladen, it is capable of moving from 0-60 mph in a mere 7.7 seconds.
Acceleration is more than satisfactory given the vehicle’s displacement of the atmosphere, and the handling displays an exceptionally agile quality considering its overall mass. The ride comfort level is superlative, especially with the optional air suspension, and the interior surroundings are sumptuous and luxurious. The level and content of convenience features all contribute to joyful travel.
Visually, the Q7 is anything but demure, but the Audi design team has managed to render it as most attractive particularly in Premium S-Line trim, which makes the Q7 more dynamic and exclusive. Kudos to Audi for making such a large SUV as attractive as it is, and fitting well into the rest of their vehicle lineup, and to the heightened level of luxury throughout, as well as the surprising agility. Admittedly, the price tag is somewhat lofty, but it seems that you get what you pay for.
Fuel economy and range enjoy higher numbers than the gasoline versions making the Q7 TDI clean diesel the wiser choice.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2014 Audi Q7 TDI Quattro Tiptronic
|Price as Tested:||$81,395.|
|Engine Type and Size:||3.0-liter , DOHC, 24-valve turbocharged, intercooled V6 with variable valve timing and spark ignition direct injection clean diesel.|
|Horsepower (bhp):||240 @ 3,500 rpm|
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):||406 @ 1,750 rpm|
|Transmission:||Eight-speed automatic with Tiptronic and Dynamic Shift Program.|
|Drive Train:||Longitudinally mounted front engine / Quattro all-wheel-drive system with hypoid gear with electronic locking front differential, torque sensing center differential and hypoid gear rear differential with electronic locking.|
Front – Double wishbone independent steel springs and optional 4-corner adjustable air suspension with five settings.
Rear – Four-link independent steel springs and optional 4-corner adjustable air suspension with five settings.
|Brakes:||Power-assisted four wheel ventilated discs with ABS, EBD, ESP and tandem brake booster.|
|Tires:||Pirelli P-Zero 295/135 R21 107Y mounted on 5-tri spoke “Star pattern” alloy wheels.|
|Length Overall:||200.3 inches|
|Width:||78.1 inches – with mirrors.|
|Height:||68.4 inches – unladen.|
|Curb Weight:||5,412 lbs.|
|Fuel Capacity:||26.4 gallons|
|EPA Mileage Estimates:||19 mpg city / 28 mpg highway|
|Drag Coefficient:||0.37 (0.34 with air suspension which lowers the vehicle at higher speeds).|
|0 – 60 mph:||7.7 seconds – Top speed electronically limited to 130 mph.|
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.