The Q7 has now been with us for a full 12 months, during which it has seen every conceivable situation. Whether it's slogging through mud on its way to the ranch or stuck in hideous L.A. traffic, this machine has proven to be virtually unstoppable, possessing the durability of an Abrams tank.
A year gives enough time to properly 'know' a car, learn its strengths, its shortcomings. The Q7 has an exceedingly long list of strengths, stuff it does not just well, but exceptionally.
Much of its technology is invisible, like the hill-holder feature. On steep inclines, the Q7 will remain motionless sans brake pressure until it's prodded. Grip is balanced among all four wheels and the sensation of control is hugely reassuring. The navigation system is both easy to use and possesses a comprehensive catalog of restaurants, hotels, hospitals and ATMs. Unlike some nav systems, the Q7's computer is extremely fast, drawing and redrawing each map in milliseconds. This is especially nice when there are nagging passengers who insist on reassurance that you're not lost.
Although we initially found the Adaptive Cruise Control somewhat scary, it has become indispensable in traffic. imply turn it on, select a following distance and let the Q7 do all the work. Crazy as this sounds, Adaptive Cruise gets you looking forward to slow-and-go traffic, the same way Disneyland's Autopia does for kids. You have to wonder how long it will be before every car has some form of adaptive cruise capability. It would certainly make freeway speeds more stable, which in turn could do wonders for traffic congestion.
And while the Q7 has enough features to satisfy the most ardent techno-geek, its on-road behavior is superb. The Q7 is the epitome of smooth, the zenith of solid. According to James Hickerson, a suspension evaluator at Eibach Springs and some-time ec test driver, the Audi's airbag suspension is one of the best.
"A properly developed airbag suspension will do everything conventional springs do and more," says Hickerson. "It's simply a matter of cost-coil springs are cheaper right now. Chances are that will change." It's no wonder so many Q7s are converted to executive limousines. You could probably cut diamonds in the back seats while driving.
In regards to overall durability, the entire car has held up admirably. Every button, switch, knob and dial functions as though it's brand new. And with the exception of the plastic front undertray (damaged during an aerial maneuver), the exterior is perfect.
Our 15,000-mile service included a full replacement of fluids and filters, plus a minor update to the automatic rear hatch. Maintenance is not included in the purchase price of the Q7 and we shelled out $350. According to Audi's maintenance schedule, won't be seeing another dealer for a long time. We can live with that.
Yes, the Audi Q7 4.2 is an outstanding vehicle. We've said it before and we will say it again: if you need a car that can do the proverbial 'everything,' check it out.
Tell them ec sent you.