2008 Q7 New Car Test Drive
The Audi Q7 offers strength and refinement in a large, luxurious SUV. It is a paragon of driving elegance and interior refinement.
The Q7 shares its solid architecture with the Volkswagen Touareg and Porsche Cayenne. The Audi rides on a longer wheelbase, however, and the Q7 has a more compliant ride than the Volkswagen and Porsche. The Q7 is the longest of the three, and thus is the only one to offer three-row seating. To make its cabin more luxurious and inviting, Audi has equipped the Q7 with features not found on the Touareg or Cayenne. And when the weather turns sour, the Q7 benefits from Audi's decades of experience with Quattro all-wheel drive.
With a base price of considerably less than $50,000, the Q7 is priced close to others in the luxury SUV segment, which also includes the Cadillac SRX, Lexus GX 470, and Mercedes-Benz M-Class. With all-wheel drive, a choice of powerful V6 and V8 engines and arguably the classiest interior in the segment, the Q7 deserves serious consideration when shopping for a luxury SUV.
For 2008, its second year, the Q7 gets only minor changes. The model lineup has been streamlined and the base model gets more standard equipment. New wheel designs are available, and optional equipment is shuffled. The Q7 was launched as a 2007 model.
The 2008 Audi Q7 lineup features two engines and three trim levels. The base model is the 3.6 quattro and a 3.6 quattro Premium model is offered as well. The top of the line is the 4.2 quattro Premium. All Q7s come with six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmissions that can be shifted manually and quattro all-wheel drive with front, center and rear locking differentials.
The Q7 3.6 is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 that delivers 280 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. It comes standard with five-passenger seating, leather upholstery, automatic dual-zone climate control, 12-way power adjustable front seats, 40/20/40 split-folding rear seat, Audi MMI, aluminum interior trim, cruise control, AM/FM/CD stereo with eight speakers and six-disc CD changer, a leather-wrapped tilt/telescoping multi-function steering wheel, power windows and locks, heated power exterior mirrors with tilt-down back-up aid, remote keyless entry, alarm/engine immobilizer system, cooled glovebox, auto-dimming rearview mirror, rain-sensing wipers with heated nozzles, cargo cover, automatic headlights, front and rear fog lights, roof rails, and P255/55R18 tires on alloy wheels.
Options start with a Comfort Package ($2,900) with heated front seats, 50/50 split-folding third-row seat, Sirius satellite radio, an upgraded sound system, compass, and a power rear liftgate. Also offered as optional for all models are a panorama sunroof ($1,850), rear side airbags ($350), 6,600-pound towing package ($550), and running boards ($1,150).
The 3.6 quattro Premium model ($48,350) adds heated front seats, a 50/50-split folding third-row seat to boost passenger capacity to seven, wood interior trim, Sirius satellite radio, rearview camera, trip computer, compass and outside temperature indicator, universal garage door opener, and front and rear park assist.
Options for the 3.6 Premium include premium Cricket leather ($1000), a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen 1000-watt sound system ($6,300); a Technology package ($4,300) with Audi Side Assist blind-spot warning system, Audi Advanced Key keyless entry and starting, voice control system, DVD-based navigation, and Audi Lane Assist lane-departure warning system; the S line Sport package ($2,950) with sport steering wheel with shift paddles and multicolor stitching, P275/45R20 tires, brushed aluminum interior trim, headlight washers, and unique interior and exterior trim; a Convenience package ($1,950) with Bose sound system, auto-dimming exterior mirrors, memory for the front driver's seat, and bi-xenon adaptive headlights; extended leather upholstery ($3,500); navigation system $(1,800); the 20-inch wheels and tires ($1,600); P265/50R19 tires ($800); six-passenger seating with second-row captain's chairs ($1,500); four-zone automatic climate control ($950); alcantara headliner ($1,500); heated steering wheel and heated rear seats ($850); and a wood and leather-wrapped steering wheel with a wood shift knob ($600).
The 4.2 quattro Premium ($58,600) is powered by a 4.2-liter V8 that produces 350 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. In addition to the standard equipment found on the 3.6 Premium, the 4.2 features a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, four-zone automatic climate control, navigation system with voice recognition, memory for the driver's seat and exterior mirrors, keyless access and starting, remote engine starting, Bose sound system, power rear liftgate, steering-linked adaptive bi-xenon headlights and P275/45R20 tires.
Options exclusive to the 4.2 quattro Premium include adaptive cruise control ($2,100); adaptive air suspension ($2,600); and a version of the Technology package ($1,750) which includes Audi Side Assist, Audi Lane Assist, Audi's Advanced Key, a rear backup camera, and voice recognition.
Safety features on all Q7 models include anti-lock four-wheel disc brakes with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and brake assist, Hill Descent Control, traction control, and an.
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