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PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10
The supercharged V-6 is mostly a quiet hummer, but when you give it the boot, it sounds the business, emitting the same husky rumble of the S4 only a bit more muted.
Car and Driver
'acceleration is brisk' in TDI
This engine (dubbed 3.0T, despite the fact that it has a supercharger, not a turbocharger) has an energetic nature that the burly V8 never had.
City streets are a breeze, and the freeway is relaxing to drive whether you're coasting with traffic or rushing to the airport.
The low-output V6 is just that – less – but it proved adequate enough to get us up to triple-digit speeds on the autobahn with minimal fuss.
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.
The strong yet fuel-efficient TDI engine is the best fit for the Q7's easygoing character; but it's a smooth operator in any of its guises.