- Sophisticated interior
- More standard safety tech
- Improved touchscreens
- Standard virtual cockpit
- SQ7 performance model
- New engine is less efficient
- V-6 is about $6,000 more, depending on trim
- Third row for children only
- Third-row access should be easier
features & specs
The 2021 Audi Q7 three-row SUV features more standard safety and convenience features, an excellent infotainment system, and a soft, luxurious ride.
After a major update for 2020, the 2021 Audi Q7 carries on as a three-row crossover SUV that can haul families in style, comfort, and with technological sophistication.
Updated this year with more driver assistance features and some upgraded packages, the 2021 Audi Q7 gets a TCC Rating of 7.2 due to its exceptional interior and standard features. The biggest knock against this big crossover SUV is fuel economy, which is not a strong trait of the class. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
With all-wheel drive and 19-inch wheels standard across the lineup, the Audi Q7’s starting price of about $56,000 is compelling. Available in Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige trim levels, every Q7 gets dual touchscreens for infotainment and climate controls, heated leather front seats, and standard safety features. The third row can be cramped, so if it’s not necessary consider the roomier five-seat Audi Q8.
The base engine is a 248-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-4, but the popular engine is a 335-hp 3.0-liter turbo V-6 that costs about $6,000 more, depending on trim. It’s the only engine on the $72,995 Prestige model. If that’s not enough, consider the blistering 500-hp 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 in the SQ7, which starts at about $86,000 and reaches six figures as quickly as it hits 60 mph. The Q7 can tow up to 7,700 pounds.
Most Q7s provide a smooth, comfy ride thanks to a four-wheel independent suspension that can be upgraded to an even chiller air suspension.
The seven-seat Q7 can fit two kids in the way back, but cargo space is limited until you start playing musical folding chairs. With the seats folded flat, there is more than 70 cubic feet of space.
The 2021 Q7 comes with standard automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, active lane control, blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high beams, and a driver-attention monitor.
The wealth of standard features include leather upholstery, power-adjustable heated front seats, panoramic sunroof, power-folding third row seats, and a 12.3-inch digital instrument display that is one of the best on the market. A 10.1-inch touchscreen for infotainment and a 8.6-inch touchscreen for vehicle and climate controls take over the center stack.
Options abound, ranging from adaptive cruise control that can stop and restart to massaging seats.
2021 Audi Q7
Neither daring nor dull, the 2021 Audi Q7 won’t go out of style any time this decade.
Following last year’s refresh, the 2021 Q7 carries on in its attractive, unassuming path. It carries on as a 7 on our style scale, too.
Audi touched up the three-row crossover SUV with updated LED headlights and taillights, a modified grille and bolder wheel choices that start at 19 inches. The trapezoidal grille features vertical slats over a broader lower bumper for a more muscular presence in rearview mirrors.
From the rear, the quad tailpipe design suggests the three-row crossover means much more than just family business. The Q7 doesn’t look as large or overgrown as the Volkswagen Atlas, say, and strikes the right balance between form and function.
The inside best defines the Q7’s lap of luxury. Standard leather upholstery complements real wood trim and a two-touchscreen layout to balance texture and tech. High-gloss and high-smudge piano black plastic is kept to a minimum, and the cabin overall reflects the appealing, unassuming design mentality.
2021 Audi Q7
Plush, powerful, and pretty, the 2021 Audi Q7 hits the trifecta.
More potent, less efficient, and as comfy as a float in a lazy river, the 2021 Audi Q7 is a cool family hauler.
With all three engine choices, its acceleration is brisk and the ride is exceptionally composed thanks to a four-wheel independent suspension. Opt up for the adaptive air suspension and be prepared to float on the highway or cut through corners for more aggressive driving situations. The 2021 Q7 gets an 8 for performance, even without the optional air suspension.
Last year, Audi swapped out a supercharged V-6 for a turbocharged V-6 that boosts performance but sacrifices efficiency. On either side of that V-6 is a peppy turbo-4 and a blistering V-8 in the SQ7.
The 248-hp turbo-4 returns as the fuel-efficient choice but it is not offered in top Prestige trim.
The turbo V-6 makes 335 hp and 369 pound-feet of torque, which is an improvement of 6 hp and 44 lb-ft compared to the old supercharged engine. The turbocharged V-6 comes standard on Prestige trims, and it represents the best balance of value and power. It’s the engine of choice for most Q7 buyers, as are optional 21-inch wheels. Turbo lag can be diminished by toggling the paddle shifters to hit that sweet spot in the rev range, so even when you’re going uphill to pass that listing RV, there’s plenty of punch. From a stop, it’ll take a beat. On flatter patches, the V-6, or 55 TFSI engine, hits 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, which is impressive for a family hauler that tops 5,000 pounds.
For more performance, look to the 2021 Audi SQ7, which starts at $85,995 in Premium Plus trim. It uses a 500-hp 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 that makes 568 lb-ft and hits 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds. The adaptive air suspension that comes standard on the Q7 Prestige is standard on the SQ7, as is all-wheel steering and larger front and rear disc brakes.
An 8-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive come standard with all three engines. The turbo-4 45 TFSI can tow up to 4,400 pounds; the V-6 and V-8 engines can tow up to 7,700 pounds, when properly equipped.
2021 Audi Q7
Comfort & Quality
Napping is welcome for everyone but the driver in the 2021 Audi Q7.
Families of more than four can still ride in style, comfort, and luxury without needing to size up to a full-size SUV or—egads—a minivan. The 2021 Audi Q7 swaddles all riders in comfy confines, but the third row is best for those that have yet to grow into their heads, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes.
The Q7 is a 9 for comfort.
(For those who like the Q7 but don’t need the third row, check out the five-seat Q8.)
Heated leather front seats with power lumbar adjustment make and natural wood trim are a good starting place. An optional adaptive air suspension, heated and cooled Valcona leather seats with more power adjustments than a chiropractor with an ego take the options into the six-figure luxury realm. We’re not sure the kids would appreciate it as much.
The second row seats three in a 35/30/35 split. They can recline for more comfort or for more acrimony with the third-row riders. A cold weather package heats the rear seats. The second row has nearly 39 inches of leg room and good enough head room for 6-footers, but wedging in a third passenger should be left for a pinch or for the third row.
The power split-folding rear seats accommodate one kid better than two, or two kids better than any adult. Leg room is a narrow, knee-eating 29.2 inches, and even if you were to fit all seven seats, there wouldn’t be much room to store their stuff behind the third row. The 14.2 cubic feet of cargo space is smaller than the trunks of many mid-size sedans.
Power-fold that 50/50-split third seat and cargo volume expands to more than 35 cubic feet, and with both rows of seats folded the Q7 tops out at nearly 70 cubic feet. Most mainstream three-row SUVs exceed 80 cubic feet but few look as good inside as the Q7.
2021 Audi Q7
The 2021 Audi Q7 comes loaded with standard safety features, but hasn’t been tested by the NHTSA.
The Audi Q7 was refreshed for 2020, and has few safety updates for 2021. In 2020 crash testing, it earned “Good” marks in all the IIHS tests, and its standard automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection rated as “Superior.” That’s good for two points above average, with a third added for a bunch of advanced safety options.
It earns a TCC Rating of 8 for safety, and that could improve with a five-star rating from the NHTSA once it gets tested.
For 2021, the Audi Q7 comes with even more standard safety features. In addition to automatic emergency braking, the family crossover comes with active lane control, blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high beams, and a driver-attention monitor that can slow the Q7 to a stop and turn on hazards if the driver becomes unresponsive.
Extra safety features include a surround-view camera system, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, and traffic jam assist that provides brief periods of hands-free driving in slow traffic up to 40 mph.
2021 Audi Q7
Loaded with even more standard features, the 2020 Audi Q7 might be considered a value compared to other three-row SUVs.
The biggest update for the 2021 Audi Q7 is its revamped infotainment system. It is faster to process commands, comes with more features, and has more frequent updates. Combined with large, bright touchscreens and display screens, as well as the kind of creature comforts expected in a luxury car, and the 2021 Audi Q7 is a showcase of new tech and sumptuous comfort.
An advanced infotainment system, a solid roster of standard features, and a slew of extras each earn a point for the Q7, which gets an 8 for features.
The Q7 is available in Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige trims, and starts at about $56,000, including $995 destination. The 2021 SQ7 Prestige tops $90,000, and the sport package or other options get it into six-figure range.
In addition to the standard safety features listed above, the base Q7 Premium comes with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster that is an excellent use of real estate. It renders the 10.1-inch touchscreen in the center stack as a toy mainly for the passenger. Beneath it is an 8.6-inch touchscreen for vehicle and climate controls. There’s a lot to touch there. Bluetooth, USB connectivity, and smartphone compatibility are standard fare. It has 19-inch wheels, power liftgate, panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, three-zone climate control, power-adjustable heated front seats, power-folding third row seats, and a split-folding second-row bench.
That honors the adage that you get what you pay for. The top Prestige model comes with more everything, from better leather to more speakers and safety features. An adaptive air suspension really softens the deal, as well, and since it comes with the larger V-6 engine, it’s only about $8,000 more than the Premium Plus model. Arguments could be made, but we’ll stick with the base Premium as the best buy.
Audi’s warranty is 4-years/50,000 miles, but doesn’t include free service visits.
2021 Audi Q7
Fuel economy is the most disappointing thing about the 2021 Audi Q7.
The 2021 Q7 with a turbo-6 gets 17 mpg city, 21 highway, 18 combined, according to the EPA, and requires premium fuel. That’s a 3 on our fuel-economy scale. It does have a mild-hybrid system that helps around-town efficiency, though that isn’t reflected in the EPA’s test cycles.
The turbo-4 gets 19/23/21 mpg. That’s less than the outgoing supercharged V-6 model, which had an EPA-rated 19/25/21. The EPA hasn't rated the twin-turbo V-8 but we guarantee it will be even less efficient.