Audi’s debut in the sport-utility set returns for the 2011 model year still carrying the refreshed exterior and touched-up cabin it wore last year. And this time around, they’re joined by a simplified powertrain lineup that deletes a V-6 and a V-8, and swaps in a supercharged V-6 in their stead.
The Q7 is part of a family of SUVs that includes the Volkswagen Touareg and the Porsche Cayenne, but the Q7 is unique in the trio, in that it comes in five- or seven-seat models.
The Q7 is no brutish off-roader, nor is it a blingy hip-hop street machine. It’s simply stated, elegant while not looking feminine or masculine. Only its high ground clearance gives away its off-road appeal. A vast grille punctures the front end too deeply, we think, but the remainder of the Q7’s body flows from crisp cutline to effortless curve around its athletic profile. The sculptural look sports some jewelry, like LED taillamps and two-tone skirts, depending on the model. Inside, it’s appointed in rich leather, suede, and wood, and attractively styled, with an uncluttered feel save for some of the clusters of switches controlling climate and audio systems.