Based on responses from 44,230 buyers of '08-'09 SUVs, Audi's Q7
takes top honors in perceived quality, overall value, and environmental impact. Those three criteria have been rolled into a yardstick called the SmartGreen Index (SGI), newly introduced by San Diego marketing research firm Strategic Vision
More than just measuring how environmentally friendly a car is relative to its competitors or brand quality and value relative to others, the SmartGreen Index purports to determine how well vehicles establish "a meaningful emotional connection" with buyers in regard to the criteria above. While trying to quantify things like "a meaningful emotional connection" sounds a bit like fuzzy logic, it's long been known that emotion plays heavily into auto sales, lending value to Strategic Vision's Index (or to its efforts, anyway).
What we can say for sure is that a Q7 4.2-liter V-8, at 13/18 mpg, sounds neither smart nor green. Talk amongst yourselves. In stark contrast, the Q7 3.0 TDI's 31.79 real-world mpg
sounds like 5,000 pounds of sybaritic SUV we could enjoy and afford. Discuss.