Audi sets a new standard with 2017 Q7

The Audi Q7, the German automaker’s flagship SUV, has been updated for 2017, and everything – and I mean everything – has been improved.

2017 Audi Q7

Rating:Star5 Star Star Star Star

The Audi Q7, the German automaker’s flagship SUV, has been updated for 2017, and everything – and I mean everything – has been improved. Miles ahead of other luxury car makers, Audi has shifted its focus from Baby Boomers to tech-crazed Millennials without skipping a beat. With striking design and lightweight construction, the Q7 sets a new standard in the luxury SUV segment. The second generation of the seven-passenger SUV also adds benchmark connectivity, infotainment systems and driver assistance technologies.

Through a combination of clean and simple lines, and innovative technology, the Q7 interior offers drivers and passengers alike an exceptional driving experience. Expertly-crafted double inlay dash design, available customizable ambient interior LED lighting and available segment-exclusive Bang & Olufsen sound system further enhances the luxury of the interior. The Bang & Olufsen system delivers an impressive, life-like musical experience through 23 speakers. A Bose sound system is also available, which includes 19 speakers and a 15-channel amplifier.

While the exterior dimensions have remained similar to the outgoing model, the all-new Q7 offers substantially more interior room for passengers with seating for up to seven standard. There’s more headroom, legroom and shoulder room in the second and third rows. Competing with the likes of the Volvo XC90, BMW X5 and Mercedes GLE in the very crowded luxury SUV segment, the thoroughly reexamined Q7 holds its own and then some. Handling curves like a champ, even at high speeds, the SUV’s, with its adaptive air suspension, is just plain comfy. A “comfy” driving mode adds to that feeling, but even the sport and eco modes offer a smooth, almost perfect ride. And two off-road modes give Q7 a beefy edge that will appeal to outdoor enthusiasts.

With a base price of $54,800, Q7 packs a ton of value. Add one some of the pricier luxury packages – the $4,000 premium plus package, which add heated power folding mirrors, navigation and smartphone integration, for example – and the price can skyrocket up to $70,000. The test Audi, which included several add-on packages retailed for a cool $68,925, including destination. For that price you get the driver assistance package with adaptive cruise control and active lane-keeping system; the vision package with LED headlights and birds-eye-view overhead camera view; and the warm weather package, which includes four-zone auto climate control, cooled front leather seats and sunshades for the rear windows.

The Q7, with Audi’s Quattro Tiptronic technology, comes loaded with a 3-liter, 333-horsepower V6 and eight-speed transmission. Gas mileage on the SUV was decent, averaging about 21 mpg overall. Government estimates put Q7’s fuel efficiency at 19 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.