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2014 Audi Q7 TDI Road Test

Diesels are making a comeback.

What It Is
A luxury three-row diesel SUV.
Best Thing
Great amenities and feature for the price.
Worst Thing
Diesel engine was loud and sometimes obtrusive.
Snap Judgment
The 2014 Audi Q7 TDI should be at the top of anyone's list when searching for a luxury SUV.


Diesels have been growing in popularity over the past few years, thanks in large part to the likes of Volkswagen Group brands and some American brands like Chevrolet. The 2014 Audi Q7 TDI is one of the first true luxury diesels that doesn't make you compromise. With better fuel economy than similar gas-powered models, the Q7 TDI jumps to the top of the segment. But it wasn't all roses. There were definitely some things we could have lived without, but on the whole, the Audi Q7 TDI was a solid vehicle. Read on to learn more of what we thought of the 2014 Audi Q7 TDI.

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What We Drove

Our Audi Q7 tester came loaded with added features, but for such a large, luxurious SUV, it has a surprisingly low starting price. You can drive off in a base Q7 for just $47,700 before destination charges, but we had the Prestige model, the top-of-the-line model that starts at $60,900. But opting for that diesel model will set you back another $4,000.

Standard features included automatic adaptive xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights and taillights, aluminum roof rails, automatic climate control, multifunction steering wheel, panoramic sunroof, leather seats, heated front seats, and much more. Our Q7 added on the S Line package ($2,000) that included a brushed aluminum inlay, S Line badging, a black headliner, body-colored doorsill blades, and a few more features. On top of that, our tester came with the Bang and Olufsen sound system ($6,300), an adaptive damping suspension ($2,600), and the Technology Package ($2,400). Throw in the $895 destination charge and our model set us back $79,095.

The Commute

As far as commuter cars go, we prefer something that can zip through slower traffic but still offer decent gas mileage. The 2014 Audi Q7 TDI may not offer that peppy drive, but the luxurious interior and upscale amenities make up for that. When sitting in bumper to bumper traffic, it's nice not to have your back ache or your legs fall asleep. The seats were comfortable and supportive, and easily adjustable for that perfect driving position.

We enjoyed the Bang and Olufsen sound system, whether listening to the radio or streaming music from our phones. But while that was all well and good, the infotainment itself wasn't as intuitive as we would have thought. The navigation system could have been easier to use, but once a destination was entered, the graphics and turn-by-turn directions were top notch. Acceleration could have been stronger, but it got up to speed quickly, and its handling was on point.

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The Grocery Run

Whether heading to the grocery store or heading to the beach with friends and family, there is plenty of room in the Audi Q7 to accommodate almost everything. While space is limited with the third row seats up, folding them down is a breeze and the amount of cargo room gained is perfect to fit plenty of groceries or luggage for a family of four.

Thanks to the backup camera, parking lots were easy to navigate, but because of its larger size, parallel parking was more challenging. While the backup camera and front parking sensors offered a pretty good view and relative understanding of the vehicle's placement, we still needed a little outside help to fit into those tighter spaces. But once parked, it was easy to get in and out of the Q7, and those in the rearmost seat could slide the second row seats forward for extra leg room. We wouldn't recommend taller passengers to attempt long drives in the third row, but those under 5'10 can fit comfortably.

The Weekend Fun

The 2014 Audi Q7 TDI is perfect for almost any occasion, and when you need to load up for that weekend getaway, there's plenty of seat and cargo configurations to meet almost all needs. Heading to the beach with a few surfboards and a cooler full of food and drinks easily fits in the back with the third row seats folded flat, along with half of that second row.

While diesel models have become more popular here in the States as they offer better fuel economy than a regular gas-powered model, some of the irritants of the older diesel models remain. For us, it was louder than we would have liked. Although there is good cabin insulation, you can still hear that distinct hum coming from the engine that you don't get with a gas-powered model. But this could be remedied by turning up the stereo, and with that Bang and Olufsen sound system, we felt it was a good compromise.

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Summary

As far as diesel vehicles go, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better one than the 2014 Audi Q7 TDI. Not only does it offer better fuel economy than similar gas-powered models, it's quieter than other models, although some noise still intrudes into the cabin. Right now, there aren't many diesel vehicles on the road, let alone luxury SUV models, but if you're looking for a luxury SUV, the Acura MDX and BMW X5 offer the best comparison. In terms of price, the Audi comes in thousands dollars cheaper. But diesel models aren't for everyone, but without a hybrid option, the diesel is the next best thing.

Spec Box

Price-as-tested: $79,095
Fuel Economy
EPA City: 19
EPA Highway: 28
EPA Combined: 22
Cargo Space: 10.9 behind third row; 42.0 with third row seats folded
Child Seat Fitment, Second Row: Excellent
Child Seat Fitment, Third Row: Fair
Estimated Combined Range: 580 miles
Intellichoice Cost of Ownership: Above Average

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