2011 Audi Q7 3.0T Road Test

An Edmunds.com Road Test Review of the 2011 Audi Q7 featuring reviews of its performance, comfort, function, design and build quality.

Energetic and reasonably fuel-efficient engine; well-made interior; smart electronics interface.

2011 Audi Q7 Review

A review of the 2011 Audi Q7 that covers pros and cons, available options, powertrains and overall driving performance.

The 2011 Audi Q7 is in the unenviable position of being big on the outside but small on the inside. This full-size SUV weighs 5,500 pounds and measures 16.7 feet long, making it roughly the same size as a Cadillac Escalade or Mercedes-Benz GL-Class. Despite this, the Q7 has a cramped third-row seat that struggles to accommodate full-size adults, and a maximum cargo capacity no greater than a humble Toyota RAV4's.

At least the 2011 Q7 is better than last year's model in terms of engine selection. Gone are the underwhelming 3.6-liter V6 and the thirsty 4.2-liter V8; in their place is a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 tuned to two different outputs. The 3.0T Premium and Premium Plus make 272 horsepower, while the 3.0T S line Prestige offers 333 hp. The latter generates less horsepower than the old V8, but it matches that engine's 325 pound-feet of torque and betters its fuel economy by 3 mpg. Shoppers seeking optimum fuel efficiency will be glad to know that the Q7 is still available with a V6 turbodiesel.

The 2011 Audi Q7 continues to impress with a cabin that is beautifully appointed and built, and the Q7's electronics have been updated to the latest Audi spec. As mentioned before, however, the third-row seat is really only suitable for kids. That's expected in a smaller vehicle like a 2011 Acura MDX, but adults can comfortably fit in the rearmost quarters of Q7 rivals like the similarly sized and priced 2011 Land Rover LR4 and 2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class. You also can't get a factory-installed DVD entertainment system in the Q7.

Considering these issues, the 2011 Audi Q7 would not be our first choice for a full-size luxury SUV. If you don't need seven-passenger capacity, consider even the Audi Q5 as well as either the BMW X5 or Porsche Cayenne. But if you're just looking for a luxurious, long-distance cruiser for a family of four (and maybe one more), the 2011 Audi Q7 could be worth a look.