The 2014 Q7 is offered in three different flavors--each with a different engine and somewhat different performance credentials. All three share quattro all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission, give the buyer a range of choice.
There are no letdowns for performance, no matter which engine you opt for. The 3.0T models get a 280-horsepower, 3.0-liter supercharged V-6; then TDI models get a 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V-6; and at the top of the performance ladder is the S-Line, with its higher-output, 333-hp version of the 3.0-liter supercharged V-6.
Of those, the TDI is our pick, as it returns a solid 19/28 mpg city/highway and is just as quick as the base engine (0-60 in 7.7 seconds). It's fun to drive, and just like the entire Q7 lineup, includes Audi's quattro all-wheel drive. Tow ratings up to 6,600 pounds are available with the right equipment, making it easy to tow the boat or jet skis to the lake.
Upgrading to the 333-hp S line version offers improved performance, along with some upgraded equipment and appearance extras. Audi says the S line Q7 is good for a 6.9-second 0-60 mph run.
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.