Audi Q7: Hoop Dreams?

January 27, 2010

Say you're an NBA pro who is Cadillac Escalade weary.  After all, it's a rolling cliché.  What should a hoop tender do?

How about heading center court in the four-hoop logo mobile--an Audi Q7 3.6 Premium?  It's packed with electronic wizardry and bucks the V8 trend with a snorting bull, 280-hp, six-piston powerplant.  A six-speed Tiptronic transmission directs power to all wheels.

In this class, bling is king.  Audi jazzes it up with Air Jordans: chrome-plated 20-inch wheels wrapped in ultra-wide, 275/40, Vette-ready tires.

For sun worship, the sky's the limit; a panoramic glass roof crowns the first two court-side rows.  The aft-most gets a fixed skylight.  Audi's onboard entertainment: a distinctive dash scoreboard called a Multi-Media Interface.  There's a built-in referee--a blind-spot warning system with backup camera.

The MMI is a maze.  It's Larry Bird, play-book thick with menus for radio, seating, sound, navigation and lighting controlled via the MMI's rotary knob with pushbuttons.

Overall, Audi's Zeppelin is sleek.  Even the glove box has electronic release.  Audi crafts interior panels with aesthetically restrained, luxurious materials.

Dynamically, the Q7 shines on  court-smooth roads.  Its snubbed suspension dribbles your head on choppy pavement.  Push this Q ship hard and it presses you into its leather seats.

There's a hook though.  Price.  The Q7's Premium's premium is $48,350.  Add options and Audi asks $61,000.  So, a sports-star salary helps.  At the pump, this rig netted 17 mpg overall.  EPA numbers: 14 mpg city and 20 highway using premium.   A less thirsty turbo-diesel power plant is available.

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