• Interior room; diesel\'s fuel consumption; off-road ability;
  • Ageing design inside and out; jiggly ride; restricted third row access

OUR RATING
6 / 10



2013 Audi Q7 Review
2013 Audi Q7 Review
2013 Audi Q7 Review

The Audi Q7 was3 the German brand’s first foray into luxury SUVs and an all-new replacement for a model launched in 2006 isn’t due until 2014.

The Q7 has since been joined by the mid-sized Q5 and even smaller Q3.

Since its launch, the Audi Q7 has played a pivotal part in Audi’s surpassed goal of reaching one million car sales worldwide.

Initially offered with a single 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine and a 4.2-litre V8 petrol engine, the Q7 has now evolved into a post GFC fuel-miser with the introduction of a ‘clean’ burning revision of the 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine.

The new diesel takes advantage of stop/start technology and an advanced selective catalytic reduction system, which aims to reduce the nitrogen oxide levels emitted by up to 70%, using an additive system in the catalytic converter. More on this later.

Buyers are spoilt for choice with a range of diesel and petrol engines, ranging from eco-friendly, right through to licence-unfriendly with the 1000Nm V12 TDI sports version of the Q7.

2013 Audi Q7 Review
2013 Audi Q7 Review
2013 Audi Q7 Review
2013 Audi Q7 Review

From the outside, the Q7 has changed only slightly since its launch in 2005. A recent facelift saw daytime running lights added to the range, in addition to a revised grille and front bumper bar. The changes followed through to the rear with minor changes to the tail lights and rear assembly.

Audi’s third generation of Multi-Media Interface (MMI) is now easier to use thanks to a higher-resolution seven-inch screen, eight-way joystick and hard disk storage for music.

The interior ambience is relaxing and empowering. The view through the front and rear is exceptional, with a tall field of view offering a 4WD-esque view over other cars. A reversing camera is also welcomed as standard fitment.

While some may scoff at the fact the Q7 is built in Slovakia, build quality and fit and finish is exceptional throughout the cabin.

Surprisingly though, if you opt for the six-disc CD-player – as optioned on our test vehicle – you lose most of the glove box, making it redundant and extremely small when compared with the size of the vehicle. This is in contrast to most other marques that fit an in-dash style six-disc CD-player that doesn’t rob available space from the glove box.

Interior leg and head room is very impressive. Front and second row passengers have plenty of room to work with. The Q7 range is also fitted with a third row of seats that accommodates two extra people, increasing total seating capacity to seven passengers.

As a true test, I attempted to load seven adults into the car. The third row of seats came retracted when I collected the vehicle, so I had to go through the process of removing the cargo blind barrier and erecting the seats.

2013 Audi Q7 Review
2013 Audi Q7 Review
2013 Audi Q7 Review
2013 Audi Q7 Review

After five or so minutes of erecting seats, I discovered that the metal strut used as the cargo blind couldn’t safely fit in the boot space behind the third row of seats. This meant that the cargo blind would need to sit on the floor at somebody’s feet, or be left behind outside the car.

With floating cargo blind aside, the end result is seating for two children or two adults for short distances in the third row of seats. It’s also a tricky task climbing in and out of the third row, as the second row doesn’t fold out of the way to allow easy entry.

Despite being the entry-level Q7 variant, the 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel provides plenty of added punch. The engine produces 177kW and 550Nm of torque. It’s mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox that is the crux of the Q7’s stop/start technology.

Prior to Audi engineering the automatic gearbox for stop/start compatibility, the only stop/start capable vehicles on the market used manual transmissions, which are far easier to stop and start when the engine is disconnected from the drivetrain.

As opposed to an automatic gearbox, which uses a continuous coupling when the vehicle is in a forward or rearward gear, and requires too much time to disengage a gear and re-engage a gear before switching off and switching on respectively.

The developers of this system, Bosch, engineered a powerful electric motor that works in unison with the vehicle’s injection system and transmission to make the process seamless to the driver – well, almost.

2013 Audi Q7 Review

When you approach a stop and have your foot on the brake pedal, the car will switch off until you release the brake pedal again. While the system is technically seamless, you can feel the car shudder slightly as it switches off and likewise when it switches on again.

You certainly get used to the sensation though and it reaps the benefits with up to an eight percent reduction in fuel use.

The end result is a staggering combined fuel use figure of 7.8L/100km. That’s not a misprint, 7.8L/100km. It’s absolutely unbelievable when you consider the vehicle’s fairly portly 2.3-tonne mass. The system is also extremely quick, allowing for fast take off in the event of an emergency or sudden need for acceleration.

While the engine is switched off when stationary, the headlights, windscreen wipers and a temporary reserve of air-conditioning remain operational, meaning the switch between on and off is seamless in the sense the driver won’t notice any difference between the two states, aside from the minor shudder. The automated stop/start system can be switched off using a button on the dashboard.

In addition to the stop/start system, the revised 3.0-litre V6 diesel features an advanced selective catalytic reduction system. As the exhaust gases pass through the exhaust, an additive is added to the stream and absorbed by the catalyst. This helps reduce noxious gases by up to 70%. This results in the Q7’s carbon emissions per km being reduced from 282g/km when the car was launched in 2006, to an impressive 205g/km with the latest revision.

Behind the wheel, the Q7 feels large, but nimble at the same time. The steering feels very direct and offers ample feedback through the wheel. The fairly low centre of gravity means that the Q7 can hold its own during cornering without feeling overly large and cumbersome. Throttle response and brake feel is on par with the best in this segment, with the torque-laden V6 diesel offering plenty of punch throughout the rev range.

To prove how capable the Q7 is off-road, Audi performed a trek across Australia after the car was launched in 2006. It’s a show of force and certainly one that boasts the Q7’s strong points in comparison with its competitors, which are mainly tailored for on-road driving.

A braked towing capacity of 3.5-tonne also means towing almost anything is done with a great deal of ease.

Starting at $88,614, the Audi Q7 3.0TDI represents excellent value for money. With the added surety of off-road ability, seven seats for passenger hauling and a heap of grunt for towing and overtaking, it’s hard to imagine any other choice.

Ratings:

CarAdvice Overall Rating:
How does it Drive:
How does it Look:
How does it Go:


 

A large SUV was one of Audi’s biggest and most obvious segment gaps just before the car’s launch in 2005. Since then, the Q7 has played a pivotal part in Audi’s goal to reach 1-million worldwide car sales.

Initially offered with a single 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine and a 4.2-litre V8 petrol engine, the Q7 has now evolved into a post GFC fuel-miser with the introduction of a ‘clean’ burning revision of the 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine.

The new diesel takes advantage of stop/start technology and an advanced selective catalytic reduction system, which aims to reduce the nitrogen oxide levels emitted by up to 70%, using an additive system in the catalytic converter. More on this later.

Buyers are spoilt for choice with a range of diesel and petrol engines, ranging from eco-friendly, right through to 1000Nm of eco-unfriendly with the V12 TDI sports version of the Q7.

From the outside, the Q7 has changed only slightly since its launch in 2005. A recent facelift saw daytime running lights added to the range, in addition to a revised grille and front bumper-bar. The changes followed through to the rear with minor changes to the tail lights and rear assembly.

Audi’s third generation of Multimedia Interface (MMI) is now easier to use thanks to a higher-resolution seven-inch screen, eight-way joystick and hard disk storage for music.

The interior ambience is relaxing and empowering. The view through the front and rear is exceptional, with a tall field of view offering a 4WD-esque view over other cars. A reversing camera is also welcomed as standard fitment.

While some may scoff at the fact the Q7 is built in Slovakia, build quality and fit and finish is exceptional throughout the cabin.

Surprisingly though, if you opt for the six-disc CD-player – as optioned on our test vehicle – you lose most of the glove box, making it redundant and extremely small when you consider the size of the vehicle. This is in contrast to most other marques that fit an in-dash style six-disc CD-player that doesn’t rob available space from the glove box.

Interior leg and head room is very impressive. Front and second row passengers have plenty of room to work with. The Q7 range is also fitted with a third row of seats that accommodate two extra people, increasing total seating capacity to seven passengers.

As a true test, I attempted to load seven adults into the car. The seats came retracted when I collected the vehicle, so I had to go through the process of removing the cargo blind barrier and erecting the third row of seats.

After five or so minutes of erecting the seats, I discovered that the metal strut used as the cargo blind couldn’t safely fit in the boot space behind the third row of seats. This meant that the cargo blind would need to sit on the floor at somebody’s feet, or be left behind outside the car.

With floating cargo blind aside, the end result is seating for two children or two adults for short distances.

Despite being the entry level Q7 variant, the 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel provides plenty of added punch. The engine produces 177kW and 550Nm of torque. It’s mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox that is the crux of the Q7’s stop/start technology.

Prior to Audi engineering the automatic gearbox for stop/start compatibility, the only stop/start capable vehicles on the market used manual transmissions, which are far easier to stop and start when the engine is disconnected from the drivetrain.

As opposed to an automatic gearbox, which uses a continuous coupling when the vehicle is in a forward or rearward gear, and requires too much time to disengage a gear and reengage a gear before switching off and switching on.

The developers of this system, Bosch, engineered a powerful electric motor that works in unison with the vehicle’s injection system and transmission to make the process seamless to the driver – well, almost.

When you approach a stop and have your foot on the brake pedal, the car will switch off until you release the brake pedal again. While the system is technically seamless, you can feel the car shudder slightly as it switches off and likewise when it starts again.

You certainly get used to the sensation though and it reaps the benefits with up to an eight percent fuel use saving.

The end result is a staggering combined fuel use figure of 7.8L/100km. That’s not a misprint, 7.8L/100km. It’s absolutely unbelievable when you consider the vehicle’s fairly portly 2.3-tonne mass.

While the engine is switched off when stationary, the headlights, windscreen wipers and a temporary reserve of air-conditioning remain operational, meaning the switch between on and off is seamless in the sense the driver won’t notice any difference between the two states, aside from the minor shudder. The automated stop/start system can be switched off using a button on the dashboard.

In addition to the stop/start system, the revised 3.0-litre V6 diesel features an advanced selective catalytic reduction system. As the exhaust gasses pass through the exhaust, an additive is added to the stream and absorbed by the catalyst. This helps reduce noxious gasses by up to 70%. This resulted in the Q7’s carbon emissions per km to be reduced from 282g/km when the car was launched in 2006, to an impressive 205g/km with the latest revision.

To prove how capable the Q7 is off-road, Audi performed a trek across Australia after the car was launched in 2006. It’s a show of force and certainly one that boasted the Q7’s strong points in comparison to its competitors, which are mainly tailored for on-road driving.

A braked towing capacity of 3.5-tonne also means towing almost anything is done with a great deal of ease.

Starting at $88,614, the Audi Q7 3.0TDI represents excellent value for money. With the added surety of off-road ability, seven seats for passenger hauling and a heap of grunt for towing and overtaking, it’s hard to imagine any other choice.


2013 Audi Q7 Review
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  • Piston broke

    $2175 for metallic paint – which rare exotic metal are they using?

    • nickdl

      Something that stays on the damn car. I’ve had to take in one of my Holden Combos twice to get the paint redone after it started peeling.

      There was a documentary on the BMW factory in Virginia. It was really amazing to see that half of the manufacturing process involves painting the bodyshell. They use paint with magnetic ions in it which sticks to the steel bodywork and repeat the process a few times earlier. I’d assume that Merc and Audi would do similar things and hence charge more for paint.

      Put a 15 year old E-Class next to a VS Commodore and you’ll see why one owner paid a four-figure sum for metallic paint.

      • Ham

        Yeah – what is with Holden’s peeling? My sister’s Barina, barely 5 years old is peeling all over the roof. It’s ridiculous.

      • Michael

        I had a 2008 Passat with metallic paint and it started to bubble and peel on all the plastic parts like the front & rear bumper.
        Not impressed and no reason to think this Audi’s paint would be any better.

        • nickdl

          What did you pay for your metallic paint? 990?

          While Audi is owned by VW, they are still largely seperate companies. Audi is widely regarded as having one of, if not the highest build quality in the world. Same could not be said about VW with the number of angry Golf and Polo owners.

          Do you ever hear about the A3 having reliablity issues like the Golf? I guarantee that will be the same with the new A1 and Polo. These are about the only cars similar between VW and Audi. Other than that Audi mostly uses their own parts, including paint.

          And the Combo? It’s peeling where it was before due to poor workmanship but in addition it’s peeling in other places so it really shows a difference between mainstream brands (Opel!) and premium European ones.

          • Michael

            VW Passat made in Germany. Ausi Q7 made in Slovakia.
            Oh the irony……

          • Michael

            Oh and it would surprise me if they had a different supplier of paints. Audi always charges more for options. Metallic paint is no exception.

      • Roger Ramjet

        Paint finish is better on premium brands no doubt as far as visual and the number of coats. But remember car manufacturer’s apply paint according to the paint manufacturer’s recommendations and believe me there are only a few major brands like PPG etc that supply most of the paint.
        The difference most of the time from a Merc and Holden is mainly the owner. Whilst a Merc is more likely to have paint protection, garaged, washed and detailed frequently, the Holden will be exposed to the elements and cleaned less often. Reverse the roles and the result will be similar..

        • Homer

          Bulldust!

  • Shak

    This is probably one of the only 4WD’s that i would consider over the Disco. Quite an impressive package, and with that outstanding Fuel consumption, it seems hard to pass up in this class.

    • Homer

      Lot of good engineering behind this thing, but it is still ugly as sin. Only the BMW X6 is worse, far worse.

    • Michael

      I still don’t see it’s 4WD credentials. If I was seriously hitting it off road, this thing would be very low on the list of preferred vehicles.

  • Sunny

    This is for sure my next car… so much better than white good based toyota parado and co.

    • Joker

      Sunny mate, You for sure can go into the bushland in a Q7..but would you seriously depend on it to ever come back..

  • Chucky

    What I don’t get is why it costs $7,600 to buy the sat nav alone, but $6,700 for the technik package which includes the sat nav plus a further $6,000 worth of options? Am I missing something here?

    Also, the Q7 is a large beast of a car. Unless you needed the extra space, an X5 or ML300 might be a better option.

    • crouchy

      No-one in their right mind would pay those numbers for the individual options but when you consider the package against the individual prices, all of a sudden $6700 seems like tremendous value.

      Its Audi playing on the naivety of their customers. They get $6700 out of them and the customer walks away thinking they’ve scored themselves a bargain.

      Smart play!

  • Nat

    I would have bought one all the features are awesome apart from the lack of storage around the centre area the glove box is tiny as only holds the manuals and thats full, there is a tiny tiny little cubby near the front of the gear leaver and a stupid 6 stack cd player where there should be a huge centre console, i know a mate who had one and put 150kms in 3 years on it flogged it over dirt roads and back tracks and never had a rattle nor squeak awesome awesome car

  • Nat

    Do you remember what the stereo was like?

  • Chucky

    Crouchy, normally when you buy an option package it is more expensive than any individual option on it’s own. Otherwise it wouldn’t make sense to list the individual option in the first place.

    Caradvice might be wrong in that the sat nav included in the Technik package may be different compared to the sat nav purchased on it’s own. Otherwise Audi have either done a misprint or have rocks in their head.

    • Crouchy

      Chucky, I think you’ve missed the point. The only reason for Audi listing the individual prices is to make the package look like a bargain.

      You may well be one of those naive customers I was talking about!

  • nickdl

    It really is a massive car. After a ride in a QE7 I got back in the Territory and it felt like a Mini. It felt really cumbersome around town although all-round vision is good and there are a lot of features in the good-looking interior. This one looks terrible on the standard 18s with the grey bumpers, significantly improved once you fit 20s.

  • Octavian

    7.8 and it’s not even a hybrid, staggering stuff. Hybrid have to do a lot better to beat this.

  • Sunny

    Yeah considering it is a bloody big SUV

  • ron

    Has anyone installed a tuning box or the like onto the Q7? Does it work ok?

  • marc

    I love this comment – made in Slovakia – if you even knew that Slovakian built is for German market and export = highest quality… and spanish, german and other built is for 2nd-dary markets…

  • Mohammed Siddiqui

    Every one thinking to buy Audi be aware of the false commitments and I don’t think they have Quality Control as they claim

    I had very bad experience with Audi Q7, I brought the new car on 28th July 2009 and i found that my car is registered as 2008, I don’t know if they sold me the car2008 as 2009 as in the system of Audi Dealer SAMACO it is registered on 2008, don’t believe about the services they claim on A PLUS as they can come to you any time to say sorry sir it is not included and show a chart which you never say when you singed on A PLUS contract,

    they claim that they will provide you with alternative car when you go to service center for service and you will never get alternative car (sorry sir all cars are with other customers).

    my car is in service center because it is showing 2008 model and you need to wait till they check with there management to get approval and simply this approval takes 11 days, Just to say oh sorry yes it is 2009 give us some time to rectify your problem.

    you need to pay for rental car because they have mistake in there system you should pay for there mistakes.

    you need to pay 8500SAR (USD2,266) to change your shoo pads front and back,  you need to change the drums (A PLUS) included services for 5 years. as claimed

    Sorry guys I don’t recommend to buy any AUDI cars,

    I need to say the car is supper but the services are very bad after sales service is worst service I experienced 

  • Vajra_desilva2003

    I only have to say if something falls in between the front seets and where the cd player is in the middle…. it is like a death trap..
    you cannot reach under the seats easily and there are empty gaps under the plastic under the seats and ive got so many things gone lost under them. it is a nuisance when you got kids.. Hope Audi will do something about this in the future..

  • guest

    I was talking about Audi Q7…

  • mohan

    a new Q7 design is due out this year. does that mean the older designs would be sold cheaper and prices of used Audis will decrease significantly? I am looking to buy a used Q7, looked at two 2010 model with 53Kkm incl sunroof and TV priced 70K and another at 35Kkm without sunroof and TV priced AUD69K. do u think these are good prices? would it drop further once new design comes out

    • death

      obviously not a good idea buddy, you could buy a BRAND-NEW Q7 at 90K! If I were you I won’t pay 80 percent of the brand-new price for a used car-It’s not a virgin!

Audi Q7 Specs

3.0 TDI QUATTRO : 3.0L DIESEL TURBO F/INJ - 8 SP AUTOMATIC TIPTRONIC - 4D WAGON
Car Details
Make
AUDI
Model
Q7
Variant
3.0 TDI QUATTRO
Series
MY12
Year
2012
Body Type
4D WAGON
Seats
7
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
DIESEL TURBO F/INJ
Engine Size
3.0L
Cylinders
DIESEL TURBO V6
Max. Torque
550Nm @  1750rpm
Max. Power
176kW @  3800rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
76.7W/kg
Bore & Stroke
83x91.4mm
Compression Ratio
17.0
Valve Gear
DUAL OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
8 SP AUTOMATIC TIPTRONIC
Drive Type
ALL WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
3.9
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
DIESEL
Fuel Tank Capacity
100
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
7.4L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
2295
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1772mm
Length
5086mm
Width
2000mm
Ground Clearance
204mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:3500  Unbrake:750
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
12
Front Rim Size
7.5x18
Rear Rim Size
7.5x18
Front Tyres
235/60 R18
Rear Tyres
235/60 R18
Wheel Base
3002
Front Track
1653
Rear Track
1695
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Standard Features
Comfort
Automatic Air Con / Climate Control, Power front seats
Control & Handling
18 Inch Alloy Wheels, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Electronic Stability Program
Driver
Adjustable Steering Wheel - Tilt & Telescopic, Cruise Control, Leather Steering Wheel, Multi Function Steering Wheel, Parking Distance Control, Power Steering
Engine & Transmission
Electronic Differential Lock
Entertainment
CD with 6 CD Stacker
Exterior
Fog Lights - Front
Interior
Leather Upholstery, Power Windows
Safety
Dual Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Head Airbags
Security
Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Comfort
Air Con + Climate Control Multi Zone, Comfort Seats Front, Heated Front Seats, Power front seats with memory
Control & Handling
Air Suspension, 19 Inch Alloy Wheels
Driver
Cruise Control Intelligent/Active
Exterior
Metallic Paint
Security
Alarm System/Remote Anti Theft
Other
Service Interval
12 months /  15,000 kms
Warranty
36 months /  999,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
9-H-24
Country of Origin
GERMANY