The Audi Q7 TDI (Turbo Diesel Injection) diesel SUV is the German automaker’s diesel-burning, higher-efficiency version of its luxury Q7 SUV series. Audi has introduced an eight-speed automatic transmission, coupled with a scaled-down 3.0 liter diesel engine. Let’s see what auto reviewers are saying about the 2011 Q7 TDI.
Automotive Addict says the Q7 TDI “is one of the best looking, comfortable, luxurious, fuel efficient and safe full-size sport utility vehicles in the segment.”
Regarding the engine, the reviewer states that “using a combination of direct-injection and turbocharging, the 3.0 liter diesel engine delivers 225 hp at 3,750 rpm and a remarkable 406 lb.ft. of torque at just 1,750 rpm.” The reviewer was also impressed by the Q7’s fuel economy. Automotive Addict says that the model they reviewed got 17 mpg/city and 25 mpg/highway, which is also the figure that the EPA gave it.
Automotive Addict also gushes over the Q7’s eight-speed automatic transmission, saying that “shifts are quick and precise without sacrificing the smooth action of the Tiptronic automatic.” They also like its braking power and praised its unitized body structure, which reduces vibration and noise. They love its handling abilities, combining an independent suspension with an Electronic Stability Control system. The reviewer notes that the emergency maneuvering is surprising, given the Q7’s size.
On the interior, the reviewer comments that it has been “upgraded substantially” with many luxury options now standard. The cabin is spacious, and the second and third rows both fold down, creating a “cavernous” cargo area.
All in all, Automotive Addict couldn’t muster a lot of negatives about the Q7. This will become a theme. Reviews have been very warm regarding this SUV.
MotorTrend says that the Q7 TDI “gets even better for 2011” and that it is “fast, efficient, quiet, and handles well.” They called it “a pleasure to drive.”
About the new engine, the reviewers say that the noise is “barely noticeable,” even with a cold start and that it gets quieter when the engine warms up. They continue:
“Thanks to the 406 pound-feet of torque at a low, low 1750 rpm, it takes very little throttle to accelerate or pass in traffic. Braking is precise, and the discs respond seemingly instantly to driver input. Steering is typical Audi: plenty of accuracy without feeling nervous. While the ride is very firm on highways and straight roads and communicates bumps, the big payoff is in the canyons. This is where the large SUV feels more like an athletic sedan, but with tons of torque.”
They note that acceleration is a bit slower from previous, gas-fired models. They call the braking “impressive,” saying that from 60 mph, the Q7 TDI stopped in 124 feet. They added “not bad for a 5400-pound vehicle.”
MotorTrend was similarly impressed with the interior, saying that the seats “feel like La-Z-Boys.” They noted, however, that the interior did have a few quirks, such as an unusual way to open the glovebox. They also noted the A-pillars (on the sides of the windshield) are thick and slightly restrict the driver’s peripheral view.
One drawback they mention is the price tag: around $58,000 nicely loaded. But for a fuel-efficient, high-performance, luxury SUV, you can see where the money goes.
Car and Driver usually offers the most blunt reviews. Their assessment of the Q7 TDI? “We’re crushing on it pretty hard.” They go on to say that they appreciate its “manners, daily usability, and menacing looks.” They’ve added it to their fleet of long-term cars, which they periodically update, to chart its performance over a longer period of time.
They mentioned the new engine and transmission, reviewing it favorably, saying that, to them, it lacks horsepower, but that its torque makes up for it. They measure its 0-to-60 time at 8.3 seconds. They liked the gear ratios of the automatic transmission and say that its gas mileage “compares very favorably against that of any gas-fired SUV this size, and as we noted in that 2009 test, it’s a damn sight better than the 16 mpg we achieved in the now-discontinued 4.2-liter V-8 version of the Q7.”
They also gush for the load of luxury extras and options, saying that “This is definitely the hottest SUV to ever pass through our long-term fleet.”
Their only complaints come with brake and steering responsiveness that they felt was a little soft. The model they test-drove also had some brief, minor electrical hitches, such as the stereo and navigation systems failing to boot, none of which required repair and eventually righted themselves. In an update to their first review, they do mention the high cost of its first service check at 15,000 miles, which cost just under $600.
But overall, Car and Driver loves this SUV.
Automobile Magazine praises the Q7 TDI as a “fuel miser.” The reviewer states that he was able to exceed the EPA’s fuel mileage estimates, saying “That’s an excellent performance for a big boy like the Q7.”
The reviewer rates the horsepower and torque as adequate with light throttle application, but feels that trying to floor the truck doesn’t produce as much as similar turbo-diesel SUVs in its class. The reviewer gives the Q7 TDI passing grades for its suspension.
The reviewer is also lukewarm to the interior, stating that it “doesn’t quite live up to Audi’s vaunted reputation. Everything seems well put-together, but the design is fairly bland and the details unspectacular. There is no wow factor.” He was unimpressed with the backseat room, especially that of the third row.
He concludes by stating his preference for this truck’s smaller version, the Q5.
So there you have it. Three glowing reviews for the 2011 Audi Q7 TDI, and one that was underwhelmed.