The German luxury brand is back with their 3 row / 7 passenger hauler for the year 2018. The Q7 is Audi's flagship mid-size SUV that was redesigned last year and returns more refined and with more customizability. 2018 Audi Q7 is a perfect amalgam of style, luxury, and swiftness. And with a new, smaller engine added to the itinerary, Q7 is now affordable, too.
Q7 offers three trim levels, with a 4 cylinder engine available for Premium and Premium Plus trims. This lowers the starting price to $49,900 to make Q7 affordable to a larger audience. The top trim starts at $65,400 and can further go up depending upon what optional packages you opt for.
The other engine is Audi's supercharged V6 that better suits the persona of Q7. 3 trims, 2 engines, and a plethora of optional packages make sure that you can truly make Q7 your own. Audi's largest crossover SUV packs so many features and optional upgrades that at the end of the day, its price seems like a bargain.
2018 Audi Q7 Features
The 2018 Audi Q7 comes in three trim levels. Even the base trim is loaded with features that would satisfy most buyers. The base I-4 engine is available in the Premium and Premium Plus trims which further reduces their starting price.
Audi pre sense® basic and Audi pre sense® city1
Xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights
Panoramic sunroof with sunshade, power tilt, and slide features
Audi advanced key (keyless start) w/ handsfree tailgate open/close2
Power folding 3rd row
3D Bose Surround Sound System
MMI® Navigation plus with voice control system3
Audi side assist with Audi pre sense® rear (includes rear cross-traffic assist and vehicle exist assist)1
LED interior lighting package
Electric tilt/telescoping steering column
20” 10-spoke-star design gray/polished-finish wheels with run-flat tires
Full LED headlights
BOSE® 3D Sound System with 19 speakers, BOSE® Advanced Sound Staging Technology, 15-channel amplifier, and 558 watts
Audi virtual cockpit with Head-up display
Top view camera system
Although the entry-level Premium trim is high on standard features, it has a very limited access to optional upgrades. The Premium Plus trim adds a few more features and buyers have many options to upgrade and customize it. Finally, the top level Prestige trim adds more features and has access to some exclusive optional upgrades. The base I-4 engine is available in Premium and Premium Plus trims and the supercharged V6 can be had with any trim.
So if your garage is longing to play home to an Audi, consider Q7’s Premium Plus trim. Not only does it add features like MMI Navigation Plus package, an upgraded Bose sound system, and an electric tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, it has access to many upgradable options to choose from. The driver assistance package is also available which adds many active driver aids. Those in extreme weather conditions can opt for Cold/Warm weather packages. There is also an option for the base I-4 engine in premium Plus, which would reduce the cost, but don’t opt for it in hopes of a higher fuel economy.
2018 Audi Q7 Engine
“For a big three-row SUV, the Q7 is surprisingly agile. Comfort mode trades away some sharpness in the name of comfort, while Dynamic mode generates quick reflexes and tighter roll control that makes the Q7 more willing and able on winding roads” – Edmunds
Engine and Transmission
The 2018 Audi Q7 has two engine options. A new base 2 liter 4-cylinder engine is added that generates 252 horsepower and 273 lb. ft. of torque. This engine is available in Premium and Premium Plus trims and is aimed to reduce the starting price. The engine is powerful for everyday drives, but when the car is loaded with a few passengers and their luggage, it tends to struggle. It’s not a deal breaker, but a struggling Q7 is a juxtaposition in our eyes!
The other engine option is the 3-liter supercharged V6 producing 333 horsepower and 325 lb. ft. of torque. Both engines are paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission, with Quattro AWD standard. The V6 also raises the base engine’s 4,400-pound towing capacity to 7,700 pounds. For those planning to get the base engine for better fuel economy must note that the I-4 only raises the combined mpg by 1.
Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4 2.0 L/121
Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-6 3.0 L/183
Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4 2.0 L/120
Premium Unleaded V-6 3.5 L/212
252hp @ 5000 rpm
300hp @ 5800 rpm
250hp @ 5600 rpm
290hp @ 6200 rpm
273 ft-lbs. @ 1600 rpm
300 ft-lbs. @ 1300 rpm
258 ft-lbs. @ 4500 rpm
267 ft-lbs. @ 4700 rpm
Amongst the competition, the BMW X5’s base I-6 engine produces more power and torque than other rivals. Q7’s V6 can outperform X5’s base engine but doesn’t hold a candle against X5’s V8.
The base engine of 2018 Audi Q7 is good for everyday drives and does well to easily pass other cars and merge on the highway. It has enough punch to push Q7 to 60 mph from a halt in under 7 seconds. But Q7’s supercharged V6 engine brings out the true Audi experience. Not only does it provide wings to this mammoth, but does it with the quietness of a mute mouse.
Q7 may be Audi’s largest midsize SUV, but in no way is it the tardiest. Its V6 engine displays better acceleration times than most of the competitors. BMW X5’s and Volvo XC90’s base engines may be lagging behind Audi’s V6, But their higher engine options perform better than Audi’s. But numbers aside, Audi produces great accelerations with minimum noise, enhancing its luxurious experience.
Handling and Steering
Audi’s Quattro AWD system is standard on all trims. Audi’s drivetrain along with their highly praised Drive Select makes driving dynamic and tailored for the driver. The four drive modes included in Drive Select are Comfort, Dynamic, Auto, and Off-road. Comfort setting decreases the sharpness for a better ride quality, and dynamic increases Q7’s agility and response time. Audi Q7 is surprisingly agile for a vehicle its size. The eight-speed transmission shifts seamlessly and always seem to be in the right gear. For extra stability, buyers can upgrade to four-wheel steering which makes the 2018 Audi Q7 easy to maneuver even at tight spots.
Being a family hauler that can swiftly rise to great speeds, it was imperative for 2018 Audi Q7 to have confidence instilling braking capabilities. Panic stop from 70 mph required just 166 feet, which is surprisingly low for a vehicle this size.
Brake pads Rear(in)
Curb weight (lbs)
The brake pedal feels firm and responsive, and there is negligible nosedive even during panic stops. This is reassuring for anyone who wants to use Q7 to its maximum capabilities. The ride remains firm and controllable at all speeds.
2018 Audi Q7 Fuel Economy
The choice of engine does not affect the fuel economy of the 2018 Audi Q7 much, with the base I-4 getting 1 mpg more in the city than the supercharged V6. No matter which engine you choose, you get above average fuel economy for this class.
A score of 20 mpg in the city is amongst the top numbers in this class, except for Volvo XC90, which displays awe-inspiring 22 and 29 mpg in city and highway respectively.
2018 Audi Q7 Interior
“The 2017 Q7's modern and luxurious interior is a great place to spend time. It's attractive without being gimmicky, and everything is thoughtfully designed, placed and executed. The only real downside is its relatively small cargo space” – Edmunds
Seating and Comfort
The name ‘Audi’ is synonymous with luxury and comfort, and Q7’s cabin is no exception. Audi’s flagship SUV comes standard with leather upholstery and a recast dash with a double inlay design, quite reminiscent of A8. The controls are logically placed, and after an initial learning curve are pretty easy to understand. The new 2018 Audi Q7 is dimensionally smaller than previous Audis, but the interior is much more spacious thanks to Q7’s new platform. The 2018 Audi Q7 is a seven-seater, and despite the third row being a little cramped for full-sized adults, the front two rows provide exceptional room and comfort. Two person memory seats are standard in all trims. The seats are 8 way adjustable in the base trims, and the prestige trim gets 12 high power adjusting seats.
Passenger Volume(ft cube)
Front (Head/Hip/Shoulder/Leg (In.)
Second (Head/Hip/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)
The second row also offers ample legroom. The seats can slide and recline, which further increases comfort. The third row is powered in all trims, which makes them easy to fold and unfold. The children will have no problem in the third row, but the same can’t be said about adults. While we are on the topic of children, those planning a big family should know that Audi offers 5 child seat latch points.
The base suspension absorbs most of the road undulations, and opting for the air suspension brings the ride quality at par with luxury sedans.
Audi Q7’s cabin uses standard leather. Buyers get an option of choosing among black, gray, beige, or brown. The leather upholstery is complemented by wood trim, available in terra brown walnut, layered walnut, or grey oak. Prestige has a luxury package that adds Val Kona leather seating and a unique cedar brown color.
The door-side armrest and upper part of the dash are made of soft-touch plastic with a grainy feel. Another feature to impress your friends is the retractable display screen that comes out when you start the car.
The prestige trim gets standard virtual cockpit, which marries the traditional instrumentation with navigation, infotainment, and vehicle information. Prestige also gets a heads-up display, so you never have to take your eyes off the road.
The Audi Q7 comes standard with 10 speaker sound system. As you move up, you get 19-speaker Bose 3D sound system in Premium Plus and Prestige trims. The prestige trim can also be upgraded to a 2,000 watt 23 speaker Bang and Olufsen sound system.
The Premium trim gets a 7-inch retractable display screen that pops up when you start the car. The size is increased to 8.3 inches in Premium Plus and Prestige trims. The display is controlled by a joystick knob in front of the center console. The premium trim can optional upgrades like a gesture control pad with handwriting recognition and a rear seat entertainment package.
And if the display screen seems too far off of your periphery, you can opt for the virtual cockpit, which changes your instrument panel to a digital screen that shows maps, infotainment, and the vehicle information.
The new Q7 is dimensionally smaller than its predecessors. But once you’re inside, you’ll notice that passenger space was not compromised for this leaner size. In fact, there is more room for the passengers. The thing that did pay the price for the smaller size is cargo space. Be it the small or large cargo storage, Q7 struggles with both.
Cargo Volume behind front row (Ft.3)
Cargo Volume behind second row (Ft.3)
Cargo Volume behind third row (Ft.3)
The center console in Q7 is a bit too small. Although it provides a good place to keep your phone, with direct access to USB ports, it is still too small for a vehicle this size. The cup holders and the glove compartment also struggle with this problem. One cool feature in the glove compartment is the air vent, to keep things cool and ventilated inside.
With all seats up, the cargo space is 14.8 cubic feet, which is below average. The third row is power folding which makes loading and unloading easy and increases the space to 37.5 cubic feet. After folding the second row, Q7 displays its maximum capacity of 71.6 cubic feet. The power folding third-row seats and hands-free optional liftgate, along with a low floor height makes cargo storage easy.
2018 Audi Q7 Exterior
"Although exterior dimensions and wheelbase on the latest-gen Q7 have decreased marginally, this latest iteration puts a more sophisticated visual spin on the SUV formula while imparting an even sleeker character that brings an impressively low 0.32 coefficient of drag. Up front, the Q7's prominent Singleframe grille portrays strength and premium appeal, while edgier fascia treatments, bolder front/rear lighting elements and sporty-looking twin tailpipes in back bring it all together. On the practical side, the tailgate is power-operated, and the standard xenon headlights make night driving easier."-KelleyBlueBook
The Q7 was redesigned in the year 2017, so there are not many changes to the design. As you reach the car, the first change you would notice is that the intelligent entry is now standard in all the trims. This means you get an Audi advanced key fob that operates your Audi.
Q7 wears an aluminum architecture, which sheds hundreds of pounds from Audi’s weight. This improves handling and engine capabilities. Although Q7 continues to be heavier than many of its competitors, it suffices to say that this is because of premium features, rather than sheer body weight.
Track width(in) F/R
The Q7 looks rather sleek from the rear, an effect further highlighted by its double arrow designed taillights. The dual horizontal exhausts inside a silver diffuser add to a powerful look. On the top, there are silver roof rails, which turn to black in the black optic package.
The standard headlights on the lower trims have xenon HID with LED daytime running lights and headlight washers. The top prestige trim has a full LED setup which gives an elaborate and engaging feel. Audi is 8.1 inches above the ground, which can be increased to 9.6 inches in Prestige trim if you opt for the air suspensions.
If you opt for the I-4 engine, you get 18-inch alloy wheels. The V6 engine gets you 19-inch alloy wheels. The Prestige trim has standard 20-inch 10 spoke alloy wheels with an option of two different 21 inch Audi sport wheels to upgrade to.
All Q7s get standard heated and power folding mirrors along with LED turn signals, with auto dimming function available only in Premium Plus and Prestige.
2018 Audi Q7 Safety
The aluminum framed Audi Q7 performs exceptionally well in every test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It has various standard and optional safety features that provide superior crash prevention.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Safety Ratings
Moderate Overlap Front Test
Side Impact Test
Rear Crash Protection
Roof Strength Test
Moderate Overlap Front Test
Crash Avoidance & Mitigation
Front Crash Prevention
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Safety Ratings
The list of safety features available in Audi Q7 is impressive, to say the least. It comes with standard features like forward collision warning with automatic braking and pedestrian detection, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, and a system that prepares the car to better protect occupants if it detects an impending collision.
Some optional features include
adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability
a head-up display
active lane keep assist
traffic sign recognition
active collision avoidance
rear cross traffic alert
360-degree camera system
night vision camera with pedestrian and animal detection
2018 Audi Q7 Competition
Audi Q7 vs BMW X5
Among the two SUVs, the Q7 feels more comfort and luxury oriented, while BMW X5 tends to lean on the sporty side. BMW’s base I-6 engine and the V8 engine both deliver more powerful performance than Q7’s engines. X5 is also more reliable than the Q7.
But what Q7 lacks in engine power and cargo space, it more than makes up for it in terms of luxury, features, passenger space, and a smoother and quieter ride. Q7 has a more lavish interior, and the cabin is better insulated. In the price range in which X5 and Q7 lie, Q7 delivers a better value for money experience.
Audi Q7 vs Volvo XC90
Volvo XC90’s advantage lies in its spacious and comfortable interiors. Its roomy seats and comfort level are the finest in the class. Even in the third row, passengers have enough room. XC90’s 90.7 cubic feet of max cargo space is one of the highest in the class.
Audi Q7 takes the lead in engine performance, while Volvo’s engine feels stressed and noisy, Q7 provides with a smooth experience, even with the base engine.
Audi Q7 vs Acura MDX
The Acura MDX does well in being an affordable seven-passenger SUV. But it doesn’t go much further than that. MDX has a spacious and comfortable cabin, but when you are walking amongst giants like BMW and Audi, the definition of luxury becomes, well, more luxurious.
The infotainment system is one of the strong suits of Audi Q7, while Acura MDX suffers from a rather confusing interface, thanks to its two screens with divergent inputs. MDX is the least expensive seven-seater in the competition, but it lacks the value for money equation which Q7 delivers so effortlessly.
2018 Audi Q7 Final Verdict
Q7 is Audi’s flagship mid-size SUV that lives up to its name in all grounds. The drive quality is more fun and dynamic than you’d expect from a vehicle this size. The interiors are spacious and comfortable in the first two rows, although the last row is best suited for children. If you are willing to compromise with the engine power a little, then the base 4-cylinder engine option would save you a lot of money, while still providing Audi’s superior luxury experience.
The Q7 lacks a little when it comes to cargo volume. Acura MDX and Volvo XC90 easily surpass its average cargo space. Otherwise, the Audi Q7 delivers a superior ride quality, high-tech infotainment system, and a plethora of safety features to choose from.
If you’re looking for a sportier SUV, the BMW X5 has a better array of engines to choose from. Choose the Volvo XC90 if cargo space is your priority. It provides a good ride quality with spacious interiors. If these luxury cars seem a little out of your budget, then go for Acura MDX, which provides a decent experience in an amazing bargain.