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August 25, 2013

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By Andrea

These days, shoppers are baby with abounding affluence crossover choices. The options ambit from sprightly, quick, baby ones to large, three-row beasts. The Audi Q7 TDI is absolutely in the closing group. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that if the affluence crossover acreage were a hockey team, the Q7 is the one you’d accelerate over the boards to fight. It’s imposing, able-bodied and abiding on its feet.

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I like all those attributes, but not anybody enjoys hockey fights — which is why the Q7 TDI ability be the amiss car for affluence buyers. It has its faults, alignment from a loud agent to an autogenous with added buttons than any added car I’ve seen. And it’s a car you’ll accept to accomplish allowance for, because, like an enforcer, it’s added acceptable to change you, than be accommodating to change for you.

The Q7 I activated came with a array of ample decals announcement its agent engine, but abandoned because it’s a press-fleet car; approved Q7s won’t accept them. Otherwise, the Q7 looks absolutely good. It has a nice appearance with aloof the appropriate bulk of bottle — not bankrupt with tiny windows like some SUVs are — and, best importantly, doesn’t accept any barmy anatomy pieces. Whoever absitively the Q7 did not charge the affectionate of asinine front-fender vents apparent on abounding added cars deserves a medal.

It allegedly looks tough, too. I apperceive that because I got cut off in cartage beneath while active this SUV than in any added car I can remember. That’s acutely not a accurate study, but it was a nice benefit. (Maybe the agent agent afraid added drivers.) I additionally had a abundant appearance aback cars started to cut me off, again scurried aback to their lanes. Afterimage was excellent.

Audi has done able-bodied with the interior, abnormally the atramentous covering in the analysis car, the acceptable anchor of the council caster and, weirdly, how affluent the autogenous looks at night. All the controls and buttons are lit in red (except the all-overs on the gauges), and the aftereffect is absolutely nice. It fabricated me feel underdressed.

Ah, yes, the buttons. This will booty a bit. The Q7 has all the accepted buttons to lock doors and lower windows. Again you accept the buttons for the multimedia and aeronautics systems. Again there’s the engine-start button, an engine-stop button and a button to run a analysis of the car’s analytic systems. My favorite, though, is the button that opens the cuff box.

Are all these buttons a affliction to accord with? No. I aloof don’t accord with them aback I’m driving. My approach on German cars is that they apprehend you to do one affair aback you’re abaft the wheel: Drive!

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That agency you use the council wheel, brake, gas, gearshift (if necessary) and clamp pedal (ditto) — and that’s it. If you appetite to change CDs, acquisition a new destination or whatever, you should cull over and do that, again resume driving.

If you appear to the Q7 cerebration you’ll aloof breeze bottomward the alley alteration radio stations, switching from AM to FM, you’re activity to be disappointed. It’ll booty you added than a anniversary to become chatty with all the buttons all-important to do those simple tasks, let abandoned article complicated — and it shouldn’t. And, really, the bigger affair to do is aloof drive. Don’t action the Audi; you will lose.

That’s not to say the Q7 is absolutely after options. Like abounding affluence cars, you accept the best of Drive and Sport modes. In Sport mode, the Q7 bliss bottomward apparatus bound aback you charge to pass, and there’s appropriate agent braking, as well. The abandoned absolute analysis was a bulky aback aboriginal accessory was engaged. If you like, there are additionally paddle shifters, but they acquainted bargain in my hands.

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In regular, Drive mode, the Q7 feels abundant smoother overall, and there’s beneath agent braking. I usually backward in Drive while canoeing through the city.

Whichever approach you choose, the all-embracing consequence — both as the disciplinarian and as acclaimed by my cartage — is that the Q7 feels actual powerful. It feels acclimatized on the alley and actual sure-footed, giving you a defended feeling.

The botheration is that the Q7 is loud — too loud for affluence buyers. I like to apprehend the agent aback I drive, but I’m in the minority; I’d be abashed if any affluence client capital to apprehend a chatter from the engine. It’s not that the agent sounds like a blast agent agent of old, it’s aloof that you can apprehend the motor. That’s out of abode for this segment.

Simply put, the Q7 drives abate than it is. It’s accessible to drive on attenuated roads, and the accomplished afterimage simplified casual and amalgamation on the artery because it’s accessible to adjudicator distances. The drivetrain additionally fabricated it effortless. I haven’t apprenticed the gasoline-powered Q7 abundant to actuate if the agent is better, but both accept abundant ability to be fun artery cruisers.

The agent adaptation I activated gets the best breadth of any Q7, with an estimated 17/25 mpg city/highway. That compares with 13/18 mpg for the 4.2-liter gasoline V-8 and 14/20 for the 3.6-liter V-6.

I acclaim accepting the parking abetment affection — but then, I accept a actual adamantine time anticipation absolutely area the advanced of any car is. (I run into parking blocks a lot.) The Q7’s sensors are set actual low in the bumper, so they active you to parking blocks and save you embarrassment — or worse. The alternative sensors are decidedly account the amount in this car.

The Insurance Institute for Artery Assurance gives the Audi Q7 its accomplished rating, Good, in both advanced and side-impact blast tests. See a account of its accepted assurance appearance here.

Consumer Reports predicts the Q7’s believability will be abundant worse than average.

The Q7 TDI (Audi’s agent designation) that I activated came loaded with a cardinal of extras, best of which were arranged into advantage packages. The Prestige Amalgamation ($5,900) included a parking abetment arrangement with a advancement camera, a aeronautics system, driver’s bench anamnesis and a voice-control arrangement for the navigation. The S Line Amalgamation ($1,200) brought brushed aluminum autogenous inlays, 20-inch auto and an S Line council wheel. It additionally had a three-panel across-the-board sunroof for all rows of seats ($1,850), four-zone altitude ascendancy ($1,150) and a towing package.

Accepted appearance accommodate acrimonious advanced seats, an cyberbanking adherence system, eight-way power-adjustable advanced seats, four ability outlets, rain-sensing wipers, an iPod-only interface, a ability liftgate, a host of assurance appearance and speed-sensitive steering.

While not a complete list, you get the idea: The Q7 has the accepted book for a affluence crossover these days. (For added details, analysis out our allegory of the 2008 and 2009 models here.) Based on its features, it acutely belongs in the ritzy-crossover neighborhood. It stickered at $62,375.

For me, the Q7’s poor predicted believability is a killer. Activity aback to the hockey analogy, what acceptable is an apache if he’s consistently injured?

Added bodies don’t counterbalance predicted believability as heavily, of course, and to them I say the Q7 has article abounding affluence cars lack: a personality. Again, it’s muscular, sure-footed and able in a way that distinguishes it from every added affluence crossover I’ve driven. It’s got a loud agent for this segment, but accustomed the best amid that and the banal whisperings of some added crossovers, I’d booty the bark of the Audi every time.

The autogenous is, to my eye, apparently the best of the affluence crossovers I’ve driven. It’s adequate and it looks like it’s account the amount of the car.

In the end, added than any added car I’ve driven, the Q7 is what it is — and it’s not activity to acclimate to accomplish you happy. Because I like a lot of what it does, I don’t accept a botheration with that, but it’s a car I acclaim demography for a continued analysis drive afore buying, to be abiding you can alive with it.

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