Audi delivers a choice of three powertrains in the Q7, but our favorite among them earns the best fuel economy of all.
The base gas-powered V-6 offered in the Q7 may come in two power levels--280 horsepower or 333 hp, both via supercharging--but the EPA rates them equally at 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.
Our pick is the Q7 TDI, which sports a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 and effectively makes the much-rumored Q7 Hybrid a non-starter. The EPA gives the TDI a 17/25-mpg rating. And as we've found with other Audis and Volkswagens, 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.