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2009 Audi Q7 Comfort & Quality

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The 2009 Audi Q7 is a bit roomier than its Volkswagen and Porsche relations; it has three rows of seats and, Audi says, 28 seat/cargo configurations. Yet as TheCarConnection editors and various reviewers find, the third row isn’t all that usable.

The 2009 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.”

An exceptionally rich interior in the 2009 Audi Q7 makes up for a cramped third row and a few missing details.

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 reports, “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. “

MyRide.com calls the third row "a penalty box," echoing sentiments expressed by most Q7 reviewers. “As with many vehicles in this category, the third-row seat is cramped and useful for children only,” Edmunds explains. “Considering the Q7's size, this is a little disappointing.” In a comparison test, the Q7 ranks lowest at Car and Driver with the Cadillac Escalade, since “entry and exit are contortionist exercises in both of them.”

The 2009 Audi Q7 has decent cargo space, but it’s not as convenient as in some other luxury utes. The third-row seats fold flat, and the second-row seats move back and forth 4 inches to create more legroom, as well as fold flat. The power-operated tailgate is skinned in lightweight aluminum for easy access. 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.”

“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.” The 2009 Q7’s interior appointments are lauded by even the most critical reviewers. 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.” Cars.com contends “the cabin features first-rate materials and an attention to detail seen in relatively few mass-produced vehicles,” and Car and Driver sums it up: “Sometimes gorgeous is its own reward, and this is one of those times.”

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