Audi Q7 Review
Vast on the outside and big enough to comfortably carry seven passengers inside, the Audi Q7 is lavish, well made, and easy to drive
Strengths & weaknesses
The Audi Q7 is a large and luxurious SUV with seven seats and lots of space inside. It’s one of the largest models in Audi's SUV range, and is aimed at people who want a family car that’s upmarket, powerful and packed with equipment.
It’s been on sale since 2015, but there was an update to the range in 2020 with a slightly different look and some changes to the available models. There’s also a sportier SQ7 variant, which we’ve covered in a separate SQ7 article, and the engine options include petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid models.
The range is pretty wide, as you could go for an older model in a low trim level with the least powerful diesel engine, which costs about as much as a new family hatchback or go all the way up to a nearly-new, high-specification model with a more powerful engine for around the price of a new Porsche 911.
There are all sorts of models to consider, as there are also plug-in hybrid versions in both petrol and diesel form depending on the year they were made. Yet all versions have shared traits: the Q7 is really comfortable and quite easy to drive, aside from its large size that makes parking a bit troublesome. It’s also roomy inside, has a big boot and the interior is top-notch.
Read on to find out more about the Audi Q7 and to determine whether it’s right for you.
Should I get an Audi Q7?
✔ Upmarket and luxurious interior
✔ Powerful engines and comfortable drive
✔ Spacious and practical interior
✘ Very large and can be hard to park
✘ Expensive to buy and run
✘ Rearmost seats not comfortable for adults
The Audi Q7 isn’t for everyone. This is mainly because it’s a very large, heavy and expensive car that just isn’t great value for money if you'd rather quantity of car over quality of car. After all, you can buy a seven-seater SUV like the Skoda Kodiaq for a lot less. However, it’s not aimed at people who want to save money, but rather those who want a luxurious, comfortable and high-tech family car.
It does a great job at being luxurious and spacious, and in isolation it’s a fantastic all-round car. It’s worth considering that the BMW X5 is more comfortable, the Volvo XC90 is more spacious and the Porsche Cayenne is better to drive, but the Audi sits in a comfortable middle ground and while it doesn’t excel in any one area next to these rivals, it’s good at just about everything most drivers could want.
- Models explained
- Trim levels
- Plug-in hybrid
- Best Q7 for...
- Boot space
- Should I buy used?
The Audi Q7 is the main model in the range. There’s only one body style, which is a five-door SUV with seven seats, and that goes for the other models mentioned below as well. It means the Q7 is a rival for the BMW X5 and Volvo XC90, among others.
The Q7’s design is smart, and in line with other models in the Audi range, but it’s not as flashy as the Range Rover Sport. It doesn’t look as sporty as the Porsche Cayenne either, but it’s still a very large car and stands out in any car park.
The engine range is good - there isn’t a bad choice in the entire range because they are all large-capacity motors that are really smooth and powerful. Lower-specification models use diesel power, but there are more powerful options with this fuel type too, while the petrol versions are a bit newer and were added to the Q7 range later - as more and more drivers shifted to petrol power over diesel engines, following question marks over diesel emissions.
Audi Q7 e-tron/TFSI e
There are actually two versions of the Audi Q7 that use the e-tron name; an older diesel version and a newer petrol model. Both use a hybrid setup with a battery that can be charged up from a plug, so they are what’s known as plug-in hybrids (PHEVs).
These versions are good for people with a short commute and somewhere to charge up overnight, as - provided you charge the car regularly - you can rely on electric power to travel short distances without even turning on the engine.
This is great for saving fuel if your lifestyle fits, although if you can’t charge up - or regularly cover long distances - then they are far less efficient and potentially less suitable than normal petrol or diesel versions, because of their added weight, cost and complexity.
The Audi SQ7 is the high-performance model based on the Q7, and is covered in a separate buying guide. You can click here to read more about the SQ7 model, which is sportier to drive and features larger engines than the normal Q7, but is otherwise quite similar.
|Audi Q7 SE
|Limited stock: The SE model was available from 2015, but newer ‘facelift’ models aren’t available in this trim level. It came with rear parking sensors, cruise control with a speed limiter and sat-nav.
|Audi Q7 Sport
|Limited stock: Sport is the entry-level trim for later models, and comes with 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive LED headlights, everything from the SE model and a digital dials behind the steering wheel that can show everything from maps to driving data.
|Audi Q7 S line
|From £26,990: S Line models are sportier-looking than SE and Sport, with 20-inch alloy wheels, different bumpers and side skirts, tinted windows and upgraded interior trim including sports seats in leather.
|Audi Q7 Black Edition
|From £39,900: Black Edition is a style-focused model with larger 21-inch alloy wheels, black trim on the exterior and polished oak trim on the inside, but it also comes with clever adaptive air suspension as standard along with four-zone climate control.
|Audi Q7 Vorsprung
|From £42,999: This is the top trim level and it’s very expensive, but comes with 22-inch alloy wheels, upgraded ‘laser’ headlights, special sports seats, a Bang & Olufsen sound system and even four-wheel steering for better low-speed manoeuvrability.
You really can’t go wrong with any of the Audi Q7’s engine choices. Since all the engines in the main Q7 range are 3.0-litre, six-cylinder units, they are smooth and powerful. You just need to make a choice about how much power you want, plus whether you want a more economical diesel or a sportier petrol.
The diesel versions are the pick of the range for our money, as these offer excellent smoothness and strong motorway fuel economy. Even the entry-level version with 218hp is powerful enough for most people, and it’s the best value overall.
The petrol models aren’t a huge amount smoother or quieter than the impressive diesel range, so there’s no huge reason to choose one - though they can be more satisfying to drive if you like to work the engine hard, and feel a bit sportier as a result.
There are two choices of Audi Q7 plug-in hybrid. One is diesel-powered and the other is petrol-powered. The diesel version arrived in 2016, but went off sale when the updated Q7 range arrived in 2020. This means Audi Q7 e-trons built after 2020 are all powered by petrol.
Both use an electric motor setup with a rechargeable battery. Charge up at home every night and you’ll get up to 30 miles of driving range on electric power alone, plus very punchy performance; the latest model in ‘60 TFSI e’ form takes just 5.4 seconds to go from 0-62mph, which is as fast as many high-performance cars from just a decade back.
The older diesel model is an interesting proposition as it allows for better fuel economy on long trips when you aren’t using the electric motors. It might be worth seeking out if you tend to do a lot of long trips but still want a plug-in car for daily driving.
There’s quite a big distance between the entry-level Q7 and the top-specification model when it comes to what's included, especially if you’re also considering older used models. Low-specification models are still very well equipped, comfortable, powerful and have a high-quality interior, but the top-of-the-range versions are laden with high-tech kit that only enhances the best aspects.
For example, the air suspension on high-trim models means the Q7 is much more comfortable - but you’ll pay the price for this and these models aren’t as good value. It’s a similar story with the engine range - the entry-level engine is very nearly as enjoyable to use as the much more expensive and powerful engines at the top of the range.
|Audi Q7 Sport 45 TDI quattro: There really is no need to go beyond the entry-level Sport model in the current range to get the best value. It’s a smooth and punchy engine and Sport trim comes with all the equipment you need. There’s no fancy air suspension but all Q7 models are comfy.
|Audi Q7 e-tron 55 TFSI e: If you take the kids to school each morning in your Q7 and can charge at home, then a plug-in hybrid model is the best to go for. Running on electric power, it will cut down on tailpipe pollution and keep running costs low on the school run.
|Audi Q7 Black Edition 55 TFSI quattro: The ‘55’ is the fastest model in the normal Q7 range, and Black Edition trim adds air suspension that can be adjusted to improve cornering or comfort depending on what you're after. The SQ7 is worth considering if you want a fast car - we’ve reviewed that separately.
|Audi Q7 S Line 45 TDI quattro: This trim will cost around the same as the Q7 in Sport trim with the more powerful 50 TDI engine. We reckon you should get the more powerful engine rather than go for the higher trim level, as the entry-level car has all the kit you really need.
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The Audi Q7’s most immediate rivals include the BMW X5 and the Mercedes GLS - two large SUVs from German car makers with seven seats and plenty of luxury. The BMW is more comfortable and better to drive than both, so it’s an excellent choice.
Other options include the Volvo XC90, which is really spacious - especially in the rearmost seats - and has a minimalist interior. It’s also available as a plug-in hybrid. The Land Rover Discovery and Range Rover Sport are some other options from Britain, offering plenty of luxury and a great driving experience but there are some questions about their reliability over a longer ownership period.
You could also consider the Tesla Model X as a rival - it’s an electric car so the feel from behind the wheel is quite different, but it’s also a seven-seater and is very large and spacious.
Audi Q7 practicality: dimensions and boot space
The Audi Q7 is a very large car. It’s over five metres long, just under two metres wide with the mirrors folded and 1.7m tall, so there aren’t many other models that are larger. It’s generally in line with the size of rivals such as the BMW X5, though - all of these upmarket seven-seat SUVs tend to be very big and a pain to park in typical UK parking spaces.
These dimensions do mean that there’s plenty of space inside, though. The rear seats are easily big enough for adults, even three abreast, and the rearmost seats are pretty good too - the second row can slide back and forth to vary the amount of legroom you have in the two rear rows. The Volvo XC90 is a bit roomier in the rearmost seats, though.
|Length 5,063mm - 5,067mm
|Height 1,741mm - 1,743mm
|Weight 2,140kg - 2,450kg
The Q7 has a very capacious 865-litre boot with the rearmost seats folded down flat. This is the case in all models apart from the plug-in hybrid models, as in those versions the bulky battery packs eat into the amount of space in the back. This means they have 650 litres of space, which is still pretty impressive and more than enough for most people.
With the rearmost seats up, there’s a useful 295 litres of space, and around 2,000 litres when you fold down both back rows, so the Q7 is very practical and has as big a boot as all but the largest cars. A Volvo XC90 is a bit more versatile, though.
|Rearmost seats up 295 litres
|Rearmost seats down 650-865 litres
|All seats down 2,050 litres
The Audi Q7 shares parts with the Volkswagen Touareg and some other models in the Volkswagen Group range of models (as Audi, VW, Seat and Skoda - among others - are all part of the same parent company), so it should be similarly reliable. There’s no reason to think it would be any less reliable than other large SUVs at a similar price, though when things do go wrong with such luxurious cars that are expensive when new, you can expect high repair bills.
Audi didn’t do well in the 2021 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, however. It came in 23rd place out of 29 car makers in the annual survey, hinting that the ownership experience might not be as seamless as you would expect. BMW and Mercedes also did poorly in the survey, however.
The Audi Q7 gets a very standard warranty that covers it for three years and with a mileage limit of 60,000 in the third year (the first two years are unlimited mileage). Virtually all of its rivals come with a similar warranty.
You can buy an extended warranty directly from the car maker, too. One package provides four-year cover for up to 75,000 miles and another adds five-year cover for up to 90,000 miles. They’re not too expensive, so might be worth considering for some people.
AVERAGE REPAIR COST PAID BY WARRANTYWISE: £643
There’s a wide range of choice on the used market for Audi Q7s. Early models are available for very reasonable money now, offering lots of luxury, plenty of space inside and punchy diesel engines. You could also go for a newer model with a petrol engine, but we reckon the best value lies in between those two extremes.
The diesel models make the most sense for most people but a plug-in model could be the answer for some drivers as well. The petrol versions feel a little unnecessary, as the diesels are just as smooth and will be more economical, but the plug-ins could bring really low running costs if you can plug in regularly.
The Q7 is worth a look if you’re shopping for a large SUV but you should certainly also consider the better-to-drive BMW X5 and Porsche Cayenne, plus the more practical Volvo XC90. All these models are excellent, so you have plenty of choice.
A great-value choice in the Q7 range is one of the earlier Audi Q7 3.0 TDI S line models. This version gets all the equipment you need and has a powerful but smooth diesel engine that should manage decent fuel economy as well.
Go for a newer version and the plug-in hybrid could make a lot of sense. The petrol engine means it’s really fast, but thanks to the electric motor and battery packs, this version also has the potential for low running costs - provided you charge it regularly. It’s also really quiet when driving on electric power alone.
The Q7 55 TFSI quattro in Black Edition trim is a sporty model that stops short of being a full-on SQ7 high-performance version. It’s fast thanks to the petrol engine but it’s also comfortable because of the standard-fit air suspension that’s switchable depending on what kind of road you’re on.
*Representative PCP finance - 2018 Ford Fiesta 1.0 ST-Line Hatchback:
|PCP representative example
|APR rates available
|Cash price £12,000
|Value of loan
|Fixed monthly payment £218.12
|Annual mileage of 8,000pa
|Total cost of credit £2,755.55
|Term 48 months
|Optional final payment £4,285.79
|Loan value £12,000
|Total amount payable £14,755.55
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