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#10

in 2010 Luxury Midsize SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $28,362 - $38,301
Original MSRP: $46,900 - $61,000
MPG: 14 City / 19 Hwy
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2010 Audi Q7 Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The 2010 Audi Q7 offers adequate performance and a quiet cabin, but many reviewers say it's hindered by its heavy curb weight and sheer bulk. Though fuel economy is poor for V6 and V8 models, the turbodiesel Q7 TDI is a much more fuel-efficient option. Best of all, reviewers say the TDI doesn't feel or sound like a traditional diesel.

  • "My 150-mile-plus journey from Miami International Airport to Sebring, Florida, to take in that city's famed endurance race, was in a diesel-powered variant of Audi's Q7 sport-utility vehicle, and what an eye-opener: Cruising at about 75 mph down Alligator Alley, the Q7's cabin sounded as quiet as that of any other luxury midsize SUV. And those funky, old diesel fumes from yesteryear? Nary a whiff." -- Road and Track
  • "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

Acceleration and Power

The 2010 Q7 is available with a 3.6-liter, 280-horsepower V6 or a 4.2-liter, 350-horsepower V8. Last year Audi debuted a turbodiesel-powered 3.0-liter TDI V6, which makes 221 horsepower. The diesel model receives praise because it sounds and performs just like a gasoline engine, but gets better fuel economy than its gas-powered siblings. An automatic transmission comes standard, regardless of which engine you choose. Still, the Q7 is criticized for its sluggish acceleration, especially with the base V6.

According to the EPA, the V6 model achieves 14/19 mpg city/highway, while the V8 model achieves 13/18 mpg. By luxury midsize SUV standards, these ratings are low. Several of the Q7's competitors net more miles per gallon and cost less. 

  • "Like many diesels, the Audi's 3.0 feels a lot stronger than its relatively modest 233 horsepower would indicate. That's because it has 369 pound-feet of torque from 1750 to 2750 rpm. Although it's not as quick as the 3.6-liter gasoline V-6 in hammer-down acceleration runs, the diesel feels far stronger around town where engine speeds are typically lower." -- Car and Driver
  • "In terms of performance, acceleration with the 3.6-liter V6 is noticeably lacking and even the 350-hp V8 struggles to get things moving, but the turbodiesel's substantial low-end torque moves the Q7 off the line and up to speed smartly." -- Edmunds
  • "The 3.6s are pleasantly peppy in around-town driving and cruise with ease, but need a deep stab of the throttle for decent passing power at highway speeds..." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The Q7's 3.0-liter TDI diesel V-6 is a winner. It's so quiet, so smooth, and so powerful. Well, so torquey, I guess I should say, since it has 406 lb-ft, compared with 266 lb-ft for the 3.6-liter gasoline V-6 offered in the base Q7. Cruising at 80 mph on the freeway is effortless, and if you gun it to 90 mph or higher while you're passing, it's as if the engine is not even exerting itself." -- Automobile Magazine

Handling and Braking

The majority of reviewers have noticed that the Audi Q7 has a distinct disadvantage on the road when it comes to handling. Its size and weight may make parking-lot maneuvers difficult (although the standard ultrasonic parking system should help). A plus is that Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive is standard for all trims.

  • "This thing feels every bit the 5,400 pounds it is." -- AutoWeek
  • "A driver will still feel the Q7's weight during quick stops." -- MSN
  • "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, but Q7 still suffers from a large-SUV-typical turning radius." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Handling is good, especially with the available adaptive air suspension. The air suspension's adjustable settings enable the driver to switch between a well-mannered cruiser and a more dynamic people mover that's ready to tackle curving roads." -- Edmunds