Fuel Economy / MPG » 6
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GREEN | 6 out of 10
Even with Audi's swap-outs of drivetrains in the 2011 Q7, there's less to report on the fuel-economy front.
No matter which way you slice their power output--whether it's 272 horsepower or 333 hp--the supercharged, gas-powered V-6 earns an EPA-rated 16/22 mpg. Audi's new eight-speed automatic gets the credit for improving gas mileage a great deal over its old six-speed, six-cylinder units, though the numbers still aren't absolutely great.
Much better ratings come with the turbodiesel Q7 TDI. The 3.0-liter V-6 with the slight diesel clatter gets an EPA rating of 17/25 mpg along with its monster torque rating of 406 pound-feet. And like most other VW/Audi diesels, the top highway figure's within easier reach than you'd get on the average gas-electric hybrid ute.On that point, while both its companion SUVs, the Cayenne and Touareg, are now offered as hybrids, the Audi Q7 hybrid that had been planned for sale has been axed, while the company works on a new hybrid version of its smaller Q5 sport-ute.
Given our choice, the diesel Q7 comes out on top every time, with performance near that of gas-engine versions, and far superior fuel economy.