The 2019 Audi Q7 comes into this new model year retaining its status as a bright star in the premium midsize SUV/crossover sky. Anyone looking to buy this kind of vehicle is spoiled for choice, but the Q7 is a must-drive contender that turns the notion of a 7-seater family vehicle into something extremely desirable.
As plush as a luxury sedan on the inside, the Q7 offers plenty of up-to-the-minute technology features, such as Side Exit Assist (which keeps a virtual eye out for the approach of other road users when an occupant goes to open the Q7’s doors) and even a thundering 23-speaker sound system. As well as providing optimum comfort, the optional adaptive air suspension can raise the ride height if this all-wheel-drive vehicle is ever in a situation where it needs more ground clearance, or can lower it for superior aerodynamics at freeway speeds.
A killer combination of luxury, versatility, driving talent and accomplished execution puts the Q7 front and center of its class.
What’s New for 2019?
The entry-level Premium trim gains navigation as standard. Premium Plus receives Audi’s Virtual Cockpit (a 12.3-in configurable digital driver information display), a 360-degree/top-view camera system, navigation, full LED headlights, wireless charging and an antenna boost. Side Assist and rear collision mitigation are now part of an updated Convenience options package. Parking assistance is included in the optional driver aids bundle (standard in the top Prestige trim). And any Q7 with 20-in wheels now has all-season run-flat tires. There are some new alloy wheel designs as well.
What We Like
Driving manners; technology; clever styling disguises its dimensions.
What We Don’t
Can get pricey once some options are added, but that’s always the way with premium German vehicles.
$54,545 — $69,695
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), estimates fuel consumption at 19 miles per gallon in the city, 25 mpg on the highway and 21 mpg in combined driving.
The optional engine is a supercharged (despite the 3.0T badge that suggests a turbo) 3.0-liter V6 generating 333 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. This is also linked to an 8-speed automatic transmission and an AWD system. The EPA puts fuel consumption the same as the 4-cylinder unit: 19 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/21 mpg combined.
Standard Features & Options
The 2019 Audi Q7 comes in Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige trim levels.
Premium ($54,545) has 18-in alloy wheels or (19-in alloys in the 3.0T), a panoramic sunroof, LED daytime running lights/taillights, keyless entry/ignition, a power liftgate, roof rails, xenon plus headlights with automatic high beams, push-button start, heated/power-folding side mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, forward-collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, drive modes (including an "Offroad" setting), tri-zone automatic climate control, ambient LED cabin lighting, a tilt/telescope steering wheel, leather seating surfaces, heated/8-way power-adjustable front seats (with 4-way lumbar adjustment on the driver’s side, along with memory settings), parking sensors front and rear, hands-free tailgate operation, power-folding third row with 50/50 split, cup holders (6), bottle holders (4), Bluetooth, a 10-speaker audio system, a 7-in display, navigation, HD/satellite radio, two USB ports and an SD card slot.
This trim is eligible for Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration and a power-adjustable steering column.
Premium Plus ($57,895) incorporates those options and adds self-dimming side mirrors, full LED exterior lighting, Virtual Cockpit configurable information display, a 360-degree/top-view camera system, blind spot monitoring and side exit alerts. Options for this trim level include a quad-zone automatic climate control, ventilated front seats and a 19-speaker/558-watt Bose "3D" sound system.
Prestige ($69,695) comes only as a 3.0T model. It has the equipment from the Premium Plus model including those optional features, plus 20-in alloy wheels, a head-up display and an 8.3-in center screen. The Prestige trim may also be equipped with a bundle that pairs an adaptive air suspension with rear-wheel steering. Other extras for this trim level include a 1,920-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system with 23 speakers, night vision with pedestrian/large animal detection, multi-contoured/massaging front seats, power-closing doors and upgraded leather upholstery with a simulated suede headliner.
Premium Plus and Prestige models are both eligible for features bundle that includes adaptive cruise control with upgraded forward-collision mitigation, lane-keeping assistance, semi-autonomous parking function and road sign recognition (Driver Assistance package). All models may be ordered with a towing package, rear seat entertainment system and heated steering wheel/heated rear seats.
Behind the third row of seats is 14.8 cu ft. of cargo space. Behind the second row is 37.5 cu ft. of space. With both rows folded down, maximum volume is 71.6 cu ft.
As well as the mandatory safety equipment (anti-lock brakes, traction control, airbags, etc.) the Q7 also comes standard with forward-collision mitigation with pedestrian detection. Side airbags for the rear seats are optional.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has awarded the Q7 a maximum score of five stars overall. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) named the Q7 a Top Safety Pick after scoring top marks in most categories, except for the headlight test.
Behind the Wheel
Although they are optional, the adaptive air suspension and rear wheel steering features really do make a difference, providing superb comfort and body control, with an uncanny agility for such a large vehicle.
In any conditions, the cabin is quiet and comfortable, with that high-quality/high-tech feel that’s typical of Audi products. There’s plenty of occupant space in the first two rows, but the power-folding third row is still a little cramped for adults of average size or above.
From a cargo standpoint, the second-row seats fold in 35/30/35 fashion, while the third row splits 50/50. The 2.0T is capable of towing 4,400 pounds, and the 3.0T can pull 7,700 pounds.
Other Cars to Consider
2019 Acura MDX — A great cost/equipment proposition with a comfortable ride quality.
2019 BMW X5 — Seemingly capable of everything required from a premium crossover, including keeping a driver involved. The fourth generation debuts for 2019.
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class — An all-new generation of GLE arrives early in 2019, with impressive tech and the option of a third seating row, which is a first for the GLE.
2019 Volvo XC90 — Handsome in its own way, luxurious and spacious.
Used Mercedes-Benz GL-Class — The super-capable GL (now renamed the GLS) has an adult-sized third row. A new GLS, however, is more expensive than the Q7. So consider a certified pre-owned (CPO) GL, especially if space is a priority.
The Q7 is superb in any trim. Even the entry level Premium version is attractive. But for a greater luxury vehicle experience, we would aim for the Premium Plus with the V6 engine and select the Driver Assistance package.