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STYLING | 8 out of 10
sleek and elegant
sharp interior design
The overall design is a spitting image of most Audis, though our test car's black interior was a little dour.
Inside, the Q7 is first-class luxury all the way
A big unsubtle grille aside, the Audi Q7's one of the sleeker crossover shapes on the planet. Mind you, it's nothing like the monstrosities on some of the American-made monoliths, but that front end spoils what's otherwise a sophisticated shape that rivals the Range Rover for its well underplayed details and its enduring elegance.
Does the floor to ceiling grille kill it all? We don't think so, but certainly, the Q7 looked better when it was new in 2007, when its softly curved roofline melded almost seamlessly with its mildly tapered body. The grille's just out of whack with everything else that's restrained in the Q7's silhouette. At least since last year, it's framed by headlamps graced by Audi's more convincing design motif: LED "eyelashes" that call out the brand in a more significant, more high-tech way than the enormous grille ever could or will.
The Q7's richly appointed interior wears leather, suede, and wood in abundance. The overall shape is attractively styled and tightly integrated, mostly uncluttered except for some clusters of minor switches. Audi's gone to great length to match color and texture inside the Q7, which you'll notice when you touch the faux-suede headliner and drink in the sumptuous browns and tans in some of the more daring combinations.
Its sleek outline and its rich, detailed interior help the 2011 Audi Q7 break out of the sport-ute pack.