Compact SUVs may be the craze at the moment, but there’s a market for large SUVs that are capable of seating up to seven passengers, which is where the 2018 Audi Q7 comes into play. To keep the SUV party going, Audi’s updated its luxury SUV with new features for the 2018 model year.
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Audi Arlington of Arlington, VA (24 mi)
Audi Arlington of Arlington, VA (24 mi)
2018 Audi Q7 Overview
What's New for 2018
For 2018, the Q7 expands on its luxurious offerings by providing the automaker’s smart key as standard across all of the SUV’s trims, which allows owners to open the vehicle and start the car while keeping the key in their pocket. Premium Plus trims now come with a Bose surround sound system as standard, while the Prestige trim now features power door closers as part of the SUV’s standard equipment. In other words, it's something of a light year for Audi's largest SUV.
Choosing Your Audi Q7
The 2018 Q7's new features add an extra dose of accessibility to the vehicle, while the SUV’s performance remains unchanged with two available powertrains to choose from. The Premium and Premium Plus trims get a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that generates 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque as standard.
The two trims are also available with a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine, which is standard on the Prestige trim. It makes 333 hp and 325 pound-feet of torque. All Q7 trims continue to utilize an eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox with Quattro all-wheel drive for all-year capability.
Despite its large size, the Q7 has received adequate fuel economy ratings from the EPA. Trims fitted with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine are rated at 19 miles per gallon city, 25 highway, and 21 combined. The larger, more powerful 3.0-liter V6 matches those ratings according to the EPA website – we suspect there could be a mistake here, since Audi's own consumer page lists the V6's ratings as "TBD."
Unlike large SUVs from yesteryear, the Q7’s new looks, which are more wagon-like, also translates to the way the SUV performs. With the larger V6 engine, the Q7 performs similarly to a large sports sedan, which can be attributed to a body that relies heavily on steel and aluminum, while Audi Drive Select helps sharpens the SUV’s engine, steering, suspension, and transmission for a sportier feel when in Dynamic mode.
While the 2018 Q7 is a capable all-rounder, it does come at a steep price that has increased for 2018. Last year’s Q7 2.0T Premium trim started at $49,950 (including last year's $950 in destination fees). For 2018, the price has increased modestly, to $50,875 for the same configuration (including a slightly higher destination charge of $975).
The 2018 Q7, which is currently on sale, is available in three different trims:
The base Q7 Premium comes handsomely equipped with high-tech features. For those looking to have the latest and greatest, only the Prestige will do. But we recommend going with the base model and opting for the 3.0-liter supercharged V6, as the engine brings a host of features with it, making the roughly $6,500 different well worth the price.
2018 Audi Q7 Review
The Audi Q7 is a three-row crossover utility vehicle delivering what shoppers want: a roomy, luxurious, and tech-filled model. The 2018 Q7 is one of Audi’s best products, delivering an impressive list of standard and available features.
Audi packages its largest SUV in three trims: Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. A 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is standard on the first two grades, while a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 is available across the range (and standard on Prestige models). We think the V6 offers the right amount of power under heavy loads, which is why it's our engine of choice for our recommended Premium trim.
The 2018 Q7 Premium with the V6 starts at $57,375 (including the $975 destination charge). An eight-speed automatic transmission works alongside this engine. Standard features include Xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights, rear fog lights, a panoramic sunroof, three-zone climate control, leather seats, and a 19-speaker audio system.
- Model: 2018 Audi Q7 Premium
- Engine: 3.0-liter V6
- Output: 333 hp/325 lb-ft
- Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
- Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
- MPG: 19 city/25 highway
- Options: The Audi MMI Navigation Plus Package ($3,000) brings navigation, smartphone interface with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and Audi's connect CARE and connect PRIME & PLUS subscriptions.
- Base Price: $57,375 for the Q7 Premium with the V6 (including $975 destination charge)
- Best Value Price: $60,375
The 2018 Audi Q7 with its standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine produces 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission works alongside this engine. Our recommended engine is the 3.0-liter supercharged V6, generating 333 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. We think this engine works best when tasked with supporting a heavy load. Importantly, the V6 matches the standard engine’s fuel economy numbers with an EPA-estimated 19 miles per gallon in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.
The Audi’s supercharged V6 is powerful, delivering excellent power under all conditions, including when passing and while supporting a full load of people and gear. All models come equipped with Audi’s much-heralded Quattro all-wheel drive system, which is especially useful on wet and slippery roads, sending up to 70 percent of its power to the front wheels or 85 percent to the rear wheels as needed.
The Q7’s standard suspension system is tuned to consume uneven pavement. Steering is light to the touch, yet this crossover stays planted on corners and imbues confidence on curvy roads.
Interior and Exterior
The Q7 projects a bold, yet elegant presence with a strong stance. Its sheet metal is clean and well proportioned. The Q7 upholds the brand’s design language, at least from the outside. LED lights, beautiful wheels ranging in size from 18 to 20 inches, and the expected clamshell liftgate are present.
Audi turns up the elegance on the inside. Even entry-level models come swathed in leather and trimmed in wood, a combination few competitors can claim. If there's a drawback, that'd be its standard cargo space, measuring just 14.8 cubic feet behind the third row. Even with the third-row seat folded, owners are left with 37.5 cubic feet. Behind the first row, there's 71.6 cubic feet of storage space.
The Q7’s cabin seats five in comfort with ample room in the first two rows. As expected, the front seats are best in the house, offering ample support and adjustability. Three adults may sit side by side in the second row, while the third row is best reserved for youngsters – legroom is tight and seat support takes a hit.
The Best and Worst Things
The Audi Q7 may be the best of the best among family-size luxury SUVs, as it offers superb attention to detail and an unmistakable swaddling feel. On the flip side, prices can surge tremendously as buyers work their way up the trim and package chain.
Families who want the luxury, comfort, and eye candy of an Audi utility vehicle. The jump from a fully-loaded minivan to the base Q7 is attainable for many.
Budget-minded consumers. Reasonably-equipped models cost about $60,000 – a stretch for some families. The Volkswagen Atlas is an affordable and even roomier alternative for buyers who prefer to stay with the VW Group.
The Bottom Line
The Q7 holds the banner high for both the brand and the segment. The standard Premium trim should be sufficient for most, although buyers who prefer the highest level of tech features should look to the Prestige trim.
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