$21,632 - $27,468

2013 Audi Q7 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 Audi Q7 was new.


Performance: 7.3

The 2013 Audi Q7's handling gets mixed reviews, with some critics saying that the Q7’s substantial weight hurts its handling ability, and others saying it handles well. However, most agree that it feels comfortable over rougher road surfaces. They say all of the available engines have sufficient power, but the optional gas and diesel engines make the Q7 feel faster.

  • "But there are no compromises on powertrains: two brilliant 3.0-liter V6s - supercharged gasoline and turbodiesel - work with an 8-speed automatic and Audi's signature quattro all-wheel drive (AWD) to move the big vehicle around smartly yet efficiently, in any weather, on any road." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "On a recent trip to Munich, we pounded the autobahn in the new Q7 and found nothing lacking." -- Car and Driver (2011)
  • "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 (2011)

Acceleration and Power

The base Audi Q7 is powered by a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 that produces 280 horsepower. The S-Line package ups the power to 333 horsepower. A turbodiesel V6 engine is also available, and it produces 240 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. All engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The gas engine earns EPA fuel economy estimates of 16/22 mpg city/highway, which are about average for the class. The diesel engine manages a better 19/28 mpg city/highway. In fact, the EPA projects that the diesel model will cost $350 less to fuel annually than the gas engine, which requires premium fuel. The diesel model is substantially more expensive, however.

Critics generally agree that while the base engine will likely be sufficient for most drivers, the diesel and S-Line models offer substantially more power. Reviewers say both optional engines feel strong and help move the Q7 with more determination. Many reviewers also appreciate the fact that the diesel engine’s great fuel economy doesn’t come at the expense of power. The eight-speed automatic draws mostly favorable reviews for its responsiveness.

  • "Both the gasoline and diesel engines are smooth and responsive, and provide remarkable thrust and efficiency given the vehicle's substantial mass. The strong new diesel, in particular, feels like a natural for pushing around this big, multi-use family transporter." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The base 3.0T engine will likely suffice for a vast majority of drivers, while the more powerful S line delivers V8-like power without the fuel economy penalty. Our pick remains the TDI turbodiesel, with its prodigious torque and favorable fuel consumption." -- Edmunds
  • "Audi's turbodiesel V6 has more than enough torque to overcome the Q7's sizable heft, so despite mild turbo lag the TDI model furnishes brisk takeoffs and ample highway passing power. The transmission is generally responsive in all Q7s, and steering-wheel shift paddles, available for S line and TDI, enhance driver control." -- Consumer Guide
  • "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 (2011)

Handling and Braking

The 2013 Audi Q7 has comfortable, car-like handling, according to most reviewers. They also like its standard all-wheel drive system, which they say enhances the Q7’s traction and inspires confidence through corners. However, one critic notes that the Q7’s hefty curb weight hurts its handling and overall road feel somewhat. Another reviewer points out that the Q7 has a fairly wide turning radius, meaning it may not be the most maneuverable vehicle in tight spaces.

  • "Of course, Audi's quattro AWD system puts down power in a stable, secure fashion." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Q7 has a more car-like driving feel than most large SUVs. The turning radius is predictably wide--U-turns can be tedious on narrow streets--but the steering itself is quick and slop-free. … Braking is swift and strong, but several testers find the pedal hard to modulate for smooth stops." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Although the 2013 Audi Q7 features full-time all-wheel drive, it is not well suited for off-road excursions. Instead, the Q7 is more at home supplying ample grip on slippery pavement or enhancing cornering prowess. The Q7's large dimensions and ponderous weight put a damper on maneuverability, particularly in tight parking spaces, but the available rearview camera eliminates much of the guesswork." -- Edmunds

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