A quartet is comprised of four singers, each with their own special abilities. Groups like The Highwaymen and The Four Tops made use of harmony and contrasting vocal ranges to make chart-topping hits. Volkswagen has also used a similar formula to build four versions of the same SUV. When we learned our weekly test car would be a new Audi Q7, we were excited. It is the latest version of a familiar friend. The four members of the same band are the VW Toureg, Porsche Cayenne, Audi’s Q7 and the Bentley Bentayga. Sharing the same chassis along with many parts is a great way to save costs. Each one is sold at different dealers, so cross-shopping is not an issue.
We’ve had seat time in the other three examples over the past year, but somehow the Q7 has eluded us, it must have used quattro to escape our grasp. Under the hood is a familiar V6. The supercharged 3.0 liter is the same unit found in the A7 and other siblings. It offers 333 hp and 325 lb of torque, which is plenty of grunt for hauling kids and groceries. To have V8 power and six-cylinder fuel economy is no easy task for AWD, but Audi has delivered a 25 mpg masterpiece.
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On the outside, attention to detail is everywhere. Unique body lines work wonders to make it distinct from its stablemates, so you might not see the resemblance at first glance. The interior is another story. Controls on the steering wheel along with many switches are among all four brands. While not as obvious as Yukon vs Suburban, badge engineering is alive and well on every assembly line. That being said, allow us to indulge you with Audi’s own innovations. All lighting is handled by LEDs. This makes the headlights far more soothing and less likely to irritate oncoming traffic. Audio is handled by BOSE with the latest in 3D sound staging. Black and gray oak inlays are less haughty than bright veneers in other models. MMI touch is a touchpad located ahead of the shifter that is easy use after a few days. The only downside is condensation from both cupholders drips onto the sensitive electronics. A slight spill would be a costly repair bill, so the cupholders are for display only.
The driving experience is more refined than Toureg thanks to extensive sound insulation, but it does without the supple demeanor of the Bentayga. All four have different price points and are aimed at their own target audience. We enjoy giving you the inside scoop so you can choose the one that best fits your needs. For $68,925 you and your family will have safety and utility in a snazzy wrapper. Do your homework and try all four, you won’t be disappointed.