Three available engines, all sharing quattro all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission, give the buyer a range of choice with the 2013 Audi Q7.
The base option, a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 rated at 280 horsepower, is potent enough to secure 7.7-second 0-60 mph times. Gas mileage is just 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway--not terrible for a full-size, three-row crossover, but not particularly impressive.
Upgrading to the 333-horsepower S line version of the supercharged V-6 comes at no gas mileage penalty, though it will cost $13,000 extra--but offers a wide range of upgrades to equipment, appearance, and other features. Audi says the S line Q7 is good for a 6.9-second 0-60 mph run.
The diesel Audi Q7 TDI's 3.0-liter turbocharged engine is a much milder $5,000 upgrade from the base model. The real story with the diesel, however, aside from the improved fuel efficiency, is the 407-pound-foot torque rating, which gives the big Q7 plenty of acceleration and pulling power, feeling as strong or stronger than the higher-power gasoline engines in most circumstances.
Whichever engine you choose, the Audi Q7 is surprisingly nimble for its size, driving more like a car than an SUV. Standard quattro all-wheel drive gives the Q7 good all-weather capability and dependable traction in general. The power steering is well-weighted and confident, with better feedback than you'll find in some sedans. Ride quality is very good, thanks to the suspension design and air ride system, which allows the driver to select comfort, dynamic, or automatic modes to suit the mood and road conditions.