“2017 Audi Q7 3.0T quattro”
A Stunning all New luxury SUV
The Audi Q7 has always been a premium luxury SUV (or crossover utility if you prefer that terminology), but the all-new second generation Audi Q7 3.0T for 2017 ranks at the top of its class, leaving its competitors in the dust.
With three rows of seating and weighing in at nearly two and a half tons (4,938 pounds to be more precise), one might probably jump to the conclusion that the Q7 is simply a pricey people hauler lacking in performance attributes like the majority of its competition. Not so my friends, the Q7 has shed a significant amount of weight from that of its predecessor and is capable of moving from 0-60 mph in a scant 5.7 seconds and, it can sprint up to an electronically limited 130 mph.
The Q7 is based on the Volkswagen Group’s MLB II platform and is lighter, thanks in part to the high-strength steel construction and the extensive use of aluminum for body panels and in the revised front and rear multilink suspension, as well as with the standard eight-speed automatic gearbox integrating the quattro all-wheel-drive system’s transfer case.
Power is delivered by a healthy, longitudinally mounted 3.0-liter, TFSI, DOHC, 24-valve supercharged V6 engine with a Roots-type blower. The horsepower rating is 333 in a range between 5,500-6,500 rpm, and the pound feet of torque generated amounts to 325 from 2,900-5,300 rpm. The Q7’s towing capacity is 7,700 pounds. The fuel capacity is 22.5 gallons and the EPA mileage estimates are 19-mpg city / 25 -mpg highway. A 272 horsepower 3.0-liter TDI diesel is also available.
The engine’s motive force reaches the quattro all-wheel-drive system with hypoid gear and electronic locking front differential, torque sensing center differential and hypoid gear rear differential, also with electronic locking (EDL)and Torque Vectoring through a Tiptronic® eight-speed automatic transmission with Dynamic Shift Program and steering wheel mounted paddle shifters.
Suspension componentry consists of a Five-link independent setup with steel springs and optional 4-corner adjustable air suspension with multiple settings up front and is also a Five-link independent arrangement with steel springs and optional adjustable air suspension in the rear.
The Q7 rolls on Goodyear Eagle Sport 285/45 R20 112H All-Season tires mounted on 10- grooved spoke alloy wheels –(alternating long and short spokes) with machine faced outers and Graphite metallic painted inners. Braking duties are managed by power-assisted four wheel ventilated discs all around with ABS, EBD, ESP and tandem brake booster.
The exterior dimensions of the 2017 Audi Q7 are slightly less overall than its predecessor except for height where is has gained one tenth of an inch. The wheelbase is now 117.9-inches, the overall length 199.6-inches, width measures 77.5-inches with mirrors, and the height is 68.5-inches unladen. The drag coefficient is 0.32. It is still a big vehicle, but somehow manages to come across as more wagon-like in both its appearance and handling characteristics.
Visually, the newest Q7 Audi’s exterior exhibits, a bold, new Q model 3D Singleframe design trapezoidal grille leads off, flanked by the latest in adaptive LED headlights, that flood the road ahead with bright white light. In profile, the Q7 displays an extended coupe-like persona with its blacked out “B” and “C” pillars and bright glass area surround trim. A strong character line runs around the entire vehicle from headlight to headlight, and wheel wells sport pronounced arches front and rear. The tail end wraps up with wraparound LED tallamps with a double arrow design and a lower character line. The rear diffuser showcases integrated twin-trapezoidal exhaust outlets and wide wraparound marker lights that emphasize the Q7’s broad stance. The roof contains a large standard two panel panoramic sunroof.
The cabin or interior is a virtual living room full of technological marvels and luxurious appointments. Adding to comfort, convenience and connectivity are: Audi Drive Select with up to seven modes; Audi Virtual Cockpit; available full color HUD; MMI all-in-touch; available 4G LTE in car Connect care and Connect Prime infotainment, security and service features; available Bang & Olufsen 3D Advanced Sound System or a Bose 3D Sound System; standard 3-zone and available 4-zone climate control system.
My test 2017 Audi Q7 3.0T Quattro tiptronic premium CUV wore an exterior finish of Orca Black metallic and featured an interior executed in Nougat Brown with Charcoal contrasting trim and Polished wood trim accents. The Base price was set at $54,800. Options and extras increased the final total to $72,875. Extra costs included: the metallic paint; the Prestige Package; Bang & Olufsen Advanced 3D Sound system; Adaptive Chassis Package with real four-wheel steering and adaptive air suspension featuring five different ride heights; Titanium-black optic Package; and the Destination Charge, bringing the final total to $76,325.
SUMMARY: As already suggested, piloting this latest iteration Audi Q7 3.0T is more like driving a premium luxury sport sedan. This impression relates to its incredible agility despite its bulk. Handling characteristics reveal minimal body pitch or roll during more spirited maneuvers, thanks to a combination of attributes provided by the Adaptive Chassis Package with real four-wheel steering and adaptive air suspension featuring five different ride heights, Quattro all-wheel drive system and Audi Drive Select with customizable performance levels.
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 outstanding, especially with the optional air suspension, and the interior surroundings are sumptuous and luxurious. The level and content of convenience features all contribute to the ultimate in enjoyable travel.
The Q7 is capable of performing some of the dynamic exercises via its innovative and instinctive adaptive cruise control that teams with the navigation system and Google Maps initiating braking and acceleration through approaching curves while even adding non-intrusive steering inputs. Switching from the Dynamic to the Auto or Comfort mode tones down performance levels to a more relaxed state for extended road trips.
Visibility is good all around with the low cowl and hood and thin “A” and “B:” pillars. Steering is on center and instantly responsive. The second row folding seating is in a 40/20/40 configuration and the dual 40/40 third row seats are power folding, but on the snug side for any but small adults.
There are two off-road modes for assistance in modest off road excursions allowing for raising the ground clearance to 9.6-inches, but remember, the Q7 has no low range transfer case, so rock crawling is out of the question.
Audi has succeeded in making such a large SUV as visually appealing as it is, fitting well into the balance of their vehicle offerings, and in achieving such a
heightened level of luxury throughout, as well as delivering pleasing agility. Yes, the price tag is on the high side of the scale, but you definitely get what you pay for.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2014 Audi Q7 3.0T quattro Tiptronic
|Price as Tested:||$76,325.|
|Engine Type and Size:||3.0-liter, TFSI, DOHC, 24-valve, supercharged V6 with Start/Stop efficiency system.|
|Horsepower (bhp):||333 @ 5,500-6,500 rpm|
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):||325 @ 2,900-5,300 rpm|
|Transmission:||Eight-speed automatic with Tiptronic and Dynamic Shift Program.|
|Drive Train:||Longitudinally mounted front engine / quattro permanent all-wheel drive system. with hypoid gear and electronically self-locking differential (EDL).|
Front – Five-link independent with steel springs and optional 4-corner adjustable air suspension with five settings.
Rear – Five-link independent with steel springs and optional adjustable air suspension.
|Brakes:||Power-assisted four wheel ventilated discs with ABS, EBD, ESP and tandem brake booster.|
|Tires:|| Continental ContoiSportContact 285/40 R21 Y XL mounted on 5-“V”-spoke painted alloy wheels.
|Length Overall:||199.6 inches|
|Width:||77.5 inches – with mirrors.|
|Height:||68.5 inches – unladen.|
|Curb Weight:||4,938 lbs.|
|Fuel Capacity:||22.5 gallons|
|EPA Mileage Estimates:||19 -mpg city / 25-mpg highway|
|0 – 60 mph:||5.7 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 and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.