Preview: 2010 Audi Q7

August 25, 2009

•    What is it? A mild update of the big Audi sport-ute
•    The basics:
All-wheel drive; V-6, V-6 turbodiesel or V-8 engines; five- or seven-seater
•    On sale:
September 2009
•    Price: $47,725 (V-6); $51,725 (TDI); $61,825 (V-8)

The 2010 Audi Q7 arrives in dealers in September sporting some mild work to its cabin and front end, and a price tag starting at $47,725.

The big five- or seven-passenger sport-utility vehicle hasn't changed much in the new model year. It returns to compete against the BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz ML-Class and even the 2010 Lincoln MKT. A trio of all-wheel-drive editions--V-6, V-8 and V-6 turbodiesel--are offered once again.

The latest addition to the big sport-ute's looks are LED taillights, along with newly reshaped headlamps and rear lamps. Audi also offers LED lighted turn signals and daytime running lights as an option for 2010. Along with them, Audi applies new wheels, and a choice of body-color or contrasting lower paint colors, depending on the model chosen.

Inside, the 2010 Q7 adopts the latest version of Audi's Multi Media Interface (MMI), with a three-dimensional navigation map, Sirius traffic data and joystick control. Voice controls with better spoken-word skills are part of the upgrade: Audi says you can say, "I'm hungry," and the car will point to nearby restaurants.

Five-star crash ratings are unaltered, and the Q7 is a Top Safety Pick, as designated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Audi also points out that the Q7 TDI is eligible for a $1,150 tax credit for new green vehicles purchased within a certain time period.

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