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QUALITY | 9 out of 10
The Q7 is a model for high-quality construction and materials
Third row is a penalty box; second row sits a bit low
The Q7 fits the premium-large SUV bill
The 2008 Audi Q7 has three rows of seats and, Audi says, 28 seat/cargo configurations—but not all seating positions are created equal, as reviewers from TheCarConnection.com and other respected sources found out.
The 2008 Q7 seats two in the front buckets, three across in the second row, and on most models, two in the third-row seat. “All but the base 3.6 Q7 come standard with a third row,” Edmunds explains, “providing either six- or seven-passenger capacity depending on whether the buyer selects second-row captain's chairs.”
In front, “The seat servos into the posture of your choice,” Car and Driver says. “I was able to get comfortable in the Q7's leather front bucket seats,” Cars.com’s reviewer writes, “though very tall drivers might wish they could move farther back.” In the second row, “There's generous foot and legroom,” and “these seats recline and slide fore and aft.” ForbesAutos notes “a $1,200 'Luxury Six-Seater Configuration' replaces the center second-row seat with a storage console. “
“As with many vehicles in this category, the third-row seat is cramped and useful for children only,” Edmunds says. “Considering the Q7's size, this is a little disappointing.” MyRide.com calls the third row "a penalty box." In a comparison test, the Q7 ranked lowest at Car and Driver with the Cadillac Escalade, since “entry and exit are contortionist exercises in both of them.”
Cargo area is good, but not great. The third-row seats fold flat, and the second-row seats move back and forth four inches to create more legroom, as well as fold flat. Audi says the cargo hold, with two seats up and two rows folded, leaves 88 cubic feet of space for ferry duty. “The seats fold down into an intricately interlocked set of panels, as flat as the deck of a Nimitz-class carrier,” Car and Driver reports. “But you can’t erect them while standing at the tailgate,” ForbesAutos moans. “Instead, you’re forced to walk around to the rear side doors, which can be annoying.” The power-operated tailgate is skinned in lightweight aluminum, though, for easy access.
The 2008 Q7’s interior has good build quality and is made from fine materials. “Like other Audis, the Q7 is a model for high-quality construction and materials,” Edmunds says. “If you buy one for its luxurious interior alone, you won't be disappointed.” Cars.com says “the cabin features first-rate materials and an attention to detail seen in relatively few mass-produced vehicles.” ForbesAutos describes a cabin in which “aluminum trim is mated to a choice of three wood inlays: burr walnut, olive ash or dark, mahogany-like tamo.” Car and Driver sums it up: “Sometimes gorgeous is its own reward, and this is one of those times.”
The 2008 Audi Q7’s handsomely finished interior masks a small third-row seat and one or two unattended details.