- Rides and handles like a car
- Seating for up to seven
- Elegant exterior
- Warm, well-trimmed cabin
- Diesel's long driving range
- Total cargo a little disappointing in such a large vehicle
- Fuel efficiency isn't great in gasoline versions
- It's heavy, and feels like it
- Prices can rise quickly with options
Though the 2015 Audi Q7 might show a little of its age, there are so few faults here that it's hard not to love this big SUV.
Compared to similar big crossovers, the 2015 Audi Q7 is a smart compromise, as it trades off some off-road prowess in the name of on-the-road responsiveness and comfort. While it's not a serious off-roader, it's one of the most luxurious, family-friendly vehicles that can handle deep snow.
There's plenty to be desired here, from a spacious, premium cabin, to fairly strong towing ability.
The interior is warm and inviting, and it makes a great first impression with supportive front seats that are well-suited to longer-legged drivers. There's plenty of thigh support and just the right of lateral support to hold you in place on backroads and freeway ramps. In the second row, adults will also be happy, and a large panoramic sunroof helps brighten it, keeping the rear quarters from feeling at all claustrophobic. The third-row seat doesn't quite measure up. It's best for children, because space and access aren't very good. Cargo capacity is, and the Q7's rear seats fold down to create an 88-cubic-foot storage bin.
We admire Audi's ability to craft sleek, sophisticated sheetmetal shapes that blend crisp lines with smooth surfaces. The Q7 has great proportions and an excellent cockpit that's among the best in the luxury-SUV class. The controls can be a bit much to digest at first, but clean layout helps drivers figure them out.
Porsche's related Cayenne and the Touareg from VW are related vehicles, but they have more off-road ability than the Audi. With its longer wheelbase and its all-wheel-drive system, the Audi has better ride quality and great all-weather traction, but not enough ground clearance to trek far off pavement.
Audi formerly offered a V-8 engine in the Q7. It's gone now, and a V-6 engine in two power ratings takes its place. The 3.0-liter unit makes 280 or 333 hp depending on its state of tune. There's also a turbodiesel V-6 that almost matches the acceleration of the supercharged gas-powered Q7, while returning 28 mpg highway.
All-wheel drive is standard on the Q7. Outfit it properly, and it can tow up to 6,500 pounds, plenty for jet skis or light boats.
Crash-test data is lacking, but the Q7 has lots of safety technology on its options list: blind-spot monitors, LED lighting, and active lane control.
Other features include an available Bang & Olufsen sound system, a multimedia interface, navigation, and in-car data services that enable a wireless hotspot and in-car Google Earth maps.
In 2015, Volkswagen admitted diesel engines in this model illegally cheated federal tests and polluted beyond allowable limits. As part of unprecedented settlements with federal and state governments, Volkswagen agreed to buyback from owners diesel-equipped models of this vehicle. To determine eligibility for all affected Volkswagen, Porsche, and Audi models, Volkswagen set up VWDieselInfo.com for owners. (Owners of affected vehicles can enter their VIN numbers to see if their cars are eligible for buyback.)