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SAFETY | 9 out of 10
"Good" scores for front and side impact protection
Four stars, rollover protection
a rearview camera in the back and proximity sensors all the way around
The Audi Q7 has been ranked among the safest SUVs on the road, but changes to the two most important crash-test ratings have clouded the picture somewhat.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2010 Q7 its highest ratings for front and side impact protection. It also awards the Q7 four stars for rollover resistance. While the rollover score remains the same, the NHTSA hasn't yet published a new rating for the 2011 Q7. We'll update this review when more information is available.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), meanwhile, gave the 2010 Q7 a rating of "good" in front, side, and rear impact tests, and called it a Top Safety Pick. Since it's added a new roof-crush standard to its equation, the crash test ratings remain the same, but the Top Safety Pick award hasn't been renewed yet.
The Q7 still is rife with standard safety equipment. It has dual front, side, and curtain airbags, as well as anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control.
Rear seat side airbags are a rare option for any American-market vehicle. Among the other safety options are a rearview camera, a lane-departure warning system, and a blind-spot warning system. Even though visibility is good from inside the Q7, the camera's recommended since the view out over the rear corners can be diminished by the thick roof pillars.
The 2011 Audi Q7 doesn't carry over all its top safety scores--but that's largely due to test changeover, rather than to fundamental safety differences.