Vital Stats

Engine:
3.0L Turbodiesel V6
Power:
225 HP / 406 LB-FT
Transmission:
8-Speed Auto
0-60 Time:
7.7 Seconds
Top Speed:
130 MPH
Drivetrain:
All-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight:
5,291 LBS
Seating:
2+3+2
MPG:
17 City / 25 HWY
Audi's first-generation Q7, introduced more than six years ago, already has one foot out the door and the oil-burning engine in its TDI model recently met its successor – but that is no reason to discredit this soon-to-be-replaced seven-passenger sport utility vehicle. I recently spent a week with a 2012 Q7 TDI and found myself awfully impressed.
  • The huge TDI stickers on the front doors were a bit garish, but they called to attention the 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel under the hood (it is rated at 225 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque). Mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, and forced to lug around 5,291 pounds, the heavy Q7 TDI accelerated to 60 mph in about 8.5 seconds.
  • While the diesel Q7 is quite a bit slower than its supercharged 3.0T sibling, the payoff is impressive fuel economy (EPA 17 city and 25 highway). I averaged 18.3 mpg overall in mixed driving, which aligns well with the official numbers, and never found its power or torque a shortcoming.
  • Base price for the Q7 TDI is $51,450 (plus $875 destination), but our Prestige model was bundled with two different S line performance packages which added a whopping $18,300 to the bottom line bringing its as-tested price to $70,625. That's a lot of money, but the Q7 delivers a solid mix of luxury, utility and envious on- and off-road prowess.
  • The six-mode adaptive air suspension (lift, off-road, comfort, auto, dynamic and cargo settings) delivered a comfortably firm ride while doing a fine job masking the weight of the 21-inch alloy wheels (each wearing wide 295/35R21 tires). The Q7 is heavy, but handling limits were surprisingly high. This equated to a fun-to-drive experience from behind the wheel.
  • The interior ergonomics are far from optimal, from a confusing array of buttons and switches to duplicate user inputs (there is a fully functional ignition key slot, a redundant start button and a completely separate stop button). However, and in typical Audi fashion, the interior fit, finish, upholstery and appointments are top-notch and passengers will feel pampered in the front two rows - leave the third row for the kids.
  • Audi's biggest SUV faces some stiff competition as other automakers introduce lighter and more fuel efficient diesel models. Nevertheless, the 2012 Q7 TDI has aged particularly well and few can match its sporty, yet still very fuel efficient, demeanor. It's a sweet ride.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 40 Comments
      guyverfanboy
      • 2 Years Ago
      I hope the Q7 gets the biTDI for the next generation.
      a.romeo2
      • 2 Years Ago
      I own a V12 TDI and daily drive it since 2 years. Can't really say that it's fuel efficient. I need 18-19 ( dint know in gallons) litres diesel on average if u drive smooth, so I need to fuel up every 3 days. When clarksson revued this car he said "saying that a V12 diesel is efficient is like keeping your house warm by burning Rembrandts". Still I love this car, its not nearly as sporty as a Cayenne or X5M but the amount of torque makes you forget everything. Probably one o the best cars for the autobahn.
        Ernie Mccracken
        • 2 Years Ago
        @a.romeo2
        By "V12 TDI", I think you mean I4 Toyota Echo with 190,000 miles.
          Jim
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ernie Mccracken
          I'm guessing he is european as he uses Litre capacity instead of gallons and his few grammar mistakes. So chances are he has actually driven the V12 TDI. Regardless of what people think about that Q7 it would be a great experience to drive one of the few diesel V12s in the world.
          neilyadig
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ernie Mccracken
          Ernie, dude, why would you automatically just berate this guy?
      Keith
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think Audi have a different impression of the EPA numbers for the TDI than you quoted in your review... City 19 mpg Highway 28 mpg Combined 22 mpg The 3.0 TFSI numbers appear to be what you're using here: City 16 mpg Highway 22 mpg Combined 18 mpg
        a.romeo2
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Keith
        Sorry I got a bit confused with mpg stats. Nevertheless Audi quoted I lower fuel consumtion than the actual numbers. My point was that This V12 can't really be called efficient. I remember when the car wasn't run in the display would show 25 litres per 100 km. Thats what probably a supercar would consume. The 3.0 TDI should be way more efficient and probably is the better choice for a rational choice. One odd thing is that the V12 does come with the facelifted LED backlights but without the front like the one on the picture.
          a.romeo2
          • 2 Years Ago
          @a.romeo2
          Appologies belongs to the upper comments I posted before
        Michael Harley
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Keith
        EPA says the 3.0 TDI does 17 City / 25 highway / 20 Combined. http://www.fueleconomy.gov/ - Mike
      wanderlust
      • 2 Years Ago
      Still looks good, but agree less LED's would be nice. Two rows is too much.
      thedriveatfive
      • 2 Years Ago
      Something must be wrong with the numbers here. It must do better mpg then that. My current X5 35d weighs the same, has 40 more horsepower, is almost a second faster to 60mph and gets an epa city of 23mpg and a real world of 24mpg city/ 29mpg highway (measured cross country with an average speed of 66mph through mountain terrain). The numbers are almost certainly wrong in this article.
      artshark
      • 2 Years Ago
      the 0-60 in the excerpt and the chart do not match up...
      FIDTRO
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Hybrids store electric energy on board in large battery packs. The packs are warranted for eight to ten years, depending on the manufacturer, but it's uncertain what the cost will be for replacing old battery packs down the road. Current prices are about $3,000." WOOT HYBRIDS, YEAH!
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Dean Hammond
      • 2 Years Ago
      when exactly did 18 mpgs become considered fuel efficient? seriously? Are we witnessing the german hallpass again?....
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dean Hammond
        [blocked]
          dreadcthulhu01
          • 2 Years Ago
          The Tesla Model S can carry 7 people (granted the 2 rear jump seats are really only suitable for children) at 89 MPG-E, for 623 person-miles per gallon gasoline equivalent. And the EPA's mpg-equivalent formula isn't voodoo; it assumes that a gallon of gas = 33.6 kw-hrs of electricity, which is pretty much the amount of energy a gallon of gasoline contains.
      desinerd1
      • 2 Years Ago
      VW should change the brand name from Audi to Vanilla.
      Alex740
      • 2 Years Ago
      It would have aged much better if Audi hadn't covered the front in LEDs when they refreshed it
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
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