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QUALITY | 9 out of 10
Third row is a penalty box; second row sits a bit low
The Q7 fits the premium-large SUV bill
The Q7 is a model for high-quality construction and materials
The Audi Q7 is nearly full-size, which means seating for seven is possible. Cars.com says "it's about six inches longer and 10 inches taller than an Audi A6 wagon," which enables the option of a third-row seat.
In both the five- or seven-passenger versions, passengers in the Audi Q7 will find wonderfully supportive seats in the front two rows. TheCarConnection.com's editors find the leather-covered front bucket seats are supportive enough for long rides, with plenty of adjustability for all sizes of people. 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 reports, "though very tall drivers might wish they could move farther back." The second row has adult-sized legroom and headroom, but three across won't be happy after more than an hour or so. "There's generous foot and legroom," Cars.com asserts, and "these seats recline and slide fore and aft." ForbesAutos notes a "Luxury Six-Seater Configuration" can be ordered; it "replaces the center second-row seat with a storage console."
There's an option for third-row seating; it's small, but it's large enough for children. "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." MyRide.com calls the third row "a penalty box." Edmunds complains the "third-row seat is cramped and useful for children only...Considering the Q7's size, this is a little disappointing." In a comparison test, the Q7's third row ranks lowest at Car and Driver with the Cadillac Escalade, since "entry and exit are contortionist exercises in both of them."
The rear two rows also fold flat to open up a significant 88-cubic-foot cargo hold. "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." Accessing cargo is no chore; the tailgate is power-operated, and it's crafted in aluminum.
Audi's interior quality continues to garner some of the best reviews across the Web. "Like other Audis, the Q7 is a model for high-quality construction and materials," Edmunds says. 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."
The 2010 Audi Q7 has ample interior room-except in the third row-and enviable fit and finish.