The 2012 Audi Q7 rides on as flagship of Audi's SUV lineup with minor modifications designed to keep it at the forefront of the luxury SUV category. Though late to the game, the Audi Q7 has acquitted itself with unflappable style and swagger. In the interest of simplifying product lines, environmental impact, and overall image, Audi dumped the 3.6-liter V-6 and 4.2-liter V-8 from the Audi Q7 option list last year in favor of the supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 in two levels of tuning. The 3.0-liter diesel V-6 remains an option. Both engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and standard quattro all-wheel drive.
While the 2012 Q7 has style down to a science, there's still room for improvement elsewhere. The steering offers little in the way of feedback and the rear load floor is exceptionally high and deep behind the tailgate, making cargo loading difficult. Further hampering cargo loading are awkward release handles for the third-row seats that can make folding them difficult. Despite these faults, the 2012 Audi Q7 offers plenty of style and luxury, and is still a contender in the luxury SUV segment, even against newer competition.
Body style: SUV
Engines: 3.0-liter supercharged V-6, 3.0-liter diesel V-6
Transmission: eight-speed automatic
Models: Premium, Premium Plus, Prestige
The supercharged V-6 introduced in the Audi Q7 last year gets an 8-hp boost to 280 hp. New 19-inch wheels are standard on the TDI and optional on the 3.0T. An S-line Plus model upgrades the Prestige trim, and adds 21-inch wheels and matte black exterior accents. Two new paint colors are added for 2012.
The 2012 Audi Q7 is a clean, stylish, luxury SUV. Already a style leader, the Q7 boasts slick LED running lights in addition to other upgrades for 2012. New 19-inch wheels are standard on the diesel and optional on the 3.0T. An S-line Plus model upgrades the Prestige trim, and adds 21-inch wheels and matte black exterior accents. Two new paint colors are added to the palette for 2012: A metallic white and a non-metallic replacement for Ibis White. Ground clearance and towing capacity are class competitive in the unlikely event they're called upon.
With high-quality materials laden throughout the cabin, the 2012 Audi Q7 gives the impression of a premium pleasure cruiser. Like any good luxury SUV, the Audi Q7 features standard leather, wood trim, heated seats, multi-function steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a power tailgate. Second-row seat heaters and four-zone climate control are optional.
Performance & Handling
The Q7 offers SUV practicality, but also proves Audi's trademark performance isn't limited to its cars. The 2012 Q7 offers relatively sporty handling for its large frame, especially on the Prestige trim, and excellent traction with its quattro all-wheel-drive system. The Q7 also provides ample acceleration, good for passing situations on the highway. While the turbocharged diesel V-6 is a carryover, last year it was mated to a new eight-speed transmission. The Q7's newer supercharged gasoline V-6 produces 280 horsepower in the base model and 333 horsepower in S Line trim.
Front and side airbags are standard for front seat passengers, as are side curtain airbags for all three rows. Side airbags for second-row passengers are optional. A host of stability technologies, including quattro, electronic stability control and traction control are all standard, as well as antilock brakes.
EPA Fuel Economy
3.0T V-6: 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway
3.0T S V-6: 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway
TDI: 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway
- Great styling
- Diesel option
- Great handling
- Sliding second row
You Won't Like
- Numb steering
- Hard to fold third-row
- Tall load floor
A tech-laden rolling sculpture.
If You Like This Vehicle
- BMW X5
- Mercedes-Benz GL
- Infiniti QX56
- Cadillac Escalade
- Lexus GX