Audi has been continuously throwing their hat into the mix when it comes to luxury vehicles. Some of their cars exceed expectations while others fall short. The Audi Q7 TDI seems to fall right in the middle of succeeding and failing. Competing with the Mercedes GL-class and BMW X5, the Q7 has some stiff competition. With a base price of $51,450 and the tested price at $76,925, it fits right in the price range of the X5 and GL-class.
The exterior of the Q7 TDI is attractive to an extent. It has some nice lines, but it seems to be confused on whether it wants to be an SUV or a crossover. Even though the body shape is a bit odd, it makes up for it with those stylish lines. If there is one thing that left me irked, it would have to be the front end. Upon first glance, it looks too busy and cluttered, as if the designers wanted to throw in as much as they could to the front end.
Once inside the Q7, the luxurious lines continue through the car. The lines run across a very stylish interior with gorgeous wooden trim. The center console was lacking in buttons, but this was because those functions are found within Audi’s Multimedia Interface. It takes some time getting used to navigating the MMI, but it is a snap once you catch onto it. With the button missing, the center console seems lacking and bland. While the style is all around the interior, it stops as soon as it hits the center console. If you are looking for a luxurious interior, the Mercedes Benz GL would be the way to go. The front seats and second row could have used some more leg room, while the third row seemed unnecessary. If you have tweens or children, they would fit well in the third row, but I wouldn’t dare try to put a grown adult back there as they would have no room whatsoever.
Powered by a 3.0L TDI clean diesel turbocharged V6, the Q7 has great power under the hood. This magnificent engine produces 225hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. Press your foot on the pedal and you get an immediate reaction from the engine. The Q7 can go 0-60mph in an impressive 8.5 seconds. It features an eight-speed tiptronic transmission with sport and manual shift modes that can be selected. Different drive modes can also be selected in the MMI. The modes include: lift, off-road, comfort, auto, dynamic, and cargo. Each of them changes the steering and suspension, and the changes are very noticeable. However, no matter what mode you select, you are guaranteed a very smooth ride. We took the Q7 on roads that were littered with holes and bumps (Florida road construction never ceases) and yet the Q7 glided over every imperfection on the road in style.
Overall, the 2012 Audi Q7 TDI is a decent car for the price. It is a very stylish SUV crossover and deserves a look. However, if you are looking for a large and luxurious SUV, you may want to look at the Mercedes-Benz GL-class and if you want power, you would be better off with the BMW X5. But that is not to say that the Audi Q7 is worse than these cars, they just succeed in certain points where the Q7 cannot.