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2012 Audi Q7 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2012 Audi Q7 was new.


Performance: 7.5

The 2012 Audi Q7’s supercharged engines provide enough power and good fuel economy to make the Q7 a top pick, and reviewers say its diesel engine is a great choice. However, critics note that the Audi Q7’s heavy curb weight means it’s not the most nimble SUV in the bunch.

  • “Dynamically the Q7 is an elephant in ballet shoes. Unwieldy looking, but surprisingly light on its feet. In Munich city traffic it drives small, easily squeezing through narrow country lanes and urban byways.” -- Motor Trend
  • “On a recent trip to Munich, we pounded the autobahn in the new Q7 and found nothing lacking." -- Car and Driver

Acceleration and Power

The Audi Q7 is available with two engines: a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 and a diesel-powered 3.0-liter V6. The gas-powered engine makes 280 horsepower in base models and 333 horsepower in S line models thanks to the S line’s software tweaks. The diesel engine makes just 225 horsepower, but puts 406 pound-feet of the torque to the ground, which makes up for the decrease in top-end power with off-the-line oomph.

The Q7 with the gas-powered V6 engine and standard all-wheel drive gets 16/22 mpg city/highway, according to the EPA, while the Q7 TDI diesel model gets 17/25 mpg city/highway.

  • "3.0 TDI models have a lot of torque. They're strong from a stop and pass with ease on the highway, though there is a bit of turbo lag.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "Either way, the TDI turbodiesel should continue to be the engine to get, as its ample torque and superior fuel economy are well-matched to a large SUV like the Q7.” -- Edmunds
  • "The low-output 3.0 TFSI is just powerful enough, while the premium version will keep the absolutely corrupted satisfied.” -- Motor Trend
  • "The 333-hp version is simply superior - not just because it's packing more power (yes, we like power), but because the eight-speed gearbox feels more at home with the additional grunt. Some of the hunt-and-peck gear selection we experienced on the low-output model didn't seem to manifest itself on the uprated variant.” -- Autoblog
  • "The low-power V-6 is, well, slower, but otherwise pretty much the same. Make sure the onrushing Bavarians are further back before attempting the autobahn's passing lane.” -- Car and Driver

Handling and Braking

Though the Audi Q7 weighs a lot, reviewers say it’s more agile than some competitors. But the Q7’s high center of gravity and large size keep it from being one of the sportier SUVs in its class. Still, they think its comfortable ride should make up for its handling shortcomings.

  • "This is the longest of our three-row SUVs on the longest wheelbase, a plus for ride quality that struck a just-right balance between autobahn firm and Michigan back-road compliant.” -- Car and Driver
  • "Q7 is more agile and car-like than most large SUVs. Still, its elevated stance and high weight demand slowing for tight corners despite the modest body lean vs others in this class. The steering is firm and slop-free at highway speeds and usefully light for parking.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "The Q7's size and weight can make it feel a bit unwieldy around town, but the available back-up camera makes parking easier.” -- Edmunds

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