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The First Look at the 2017 Audi Q7

Image via Flickr by cjmartin

Image via Flickr by cjmartin

U.S. auto enthusiasts will be lining up to test drive the new 2017 Audi Q7 when it makes its American debut. The latest, completely reimagined entry into Audi’s Q-series luxury SUVs, the Q7 has turned heads in Europe. While it won’t be available for sale in the U.S. until early 2016 as a 2017 model-year vehicle, here’s what the pros are saying about Audi’s new flagship Q7.

What Is the New Q7?

In 2007, Audi auto makers introduced this first-generation Q7 as a luxury crossover SUV, and the second-generation model follows closely in its footsteps. The four-door Q7 seats seven in a two-three-two seat configuration, taking the classic boxy station wagon shape of its predecessor. The revolutionary design change in the new Q7 comes in its drastically reduced weight. The 2017 model will weigh between 450 and 575 pounds less than earlier models. 

How’s the Handling and Performance?

The Q7 is the first vehicle to use Volkswagen Group’s MLB platform, which is light and dynamic. Luxury models, such as the Porsche Cayenne and the Audi A4, will use this platform. Combined with the adaptive air suspension, the MLB platform gives the Q7 a supple, responsive feel. Switch from the Comfort suspension setting to the Dynamic one to give the Q7 sharp, confident cornering and steering.

U.S. customers have three engine choices: a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged one with 252 horsepower, a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 with 333 horsepower, and a 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel with 272 horsepower. Audi paired each engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive.

Driver assistance features are in the Q7 as well. These features range from basics, such as adaptive cruise control and rear traffic detection, to highly complex systems, such as traffic-jam assist and turn assist, which monitors oncoming traffic when making a left turn and stops the vehicle if the system detects a potential collision. Exit assist alerts passengers if they are about to open any of the vehicle doors into the path of a bicycle or oncoming car.

Anything New in the Interior Cabin?

Like all Audi SUVs, the interior cabin is luxurious and designed with an eye toward aesthetics and comfort. Plush leather seats combine with richly grained wood trim and luxe Alcantara headliners.

With the optional Audi Virtual Cockpit, a new innovation on the 2017 Q7, the driver can toggle between screens on a massive 12.3-inch instrument panel. One features a large speedometer and tachometer, while the other displays a huge, easy-to-read navigation system.

The 8.3-inch infotainment system screen sits squarely in the center of the dash and features advanced capabilities such as voice and handwriting recognition via the MMI control panel. Add the optional heads-up display for a seamless driving experience.

What’s the Bottom Line?

Audi’s completely redesigned Q7 features bold new exterior lines and a lighter body that ramps up Audi’s already nimble handling and response. Although the car maker has not announced pricing as of June 2015, the current base model starts at around $49,000 in the U.S., which is comparable to other luxury crossover SUVs. Overall, the Q7 promises to be an exciting addition to Audi’s U.S. lineup.