A friend of mine finds Audi design bland. I respectfully disagree. Take a look at a 2021 Audi Q7 in Navarra Blue with 22” Audi Sport wheels and tell me it’s bland. Though the Q7 received a comprehensive refresh last year, 2021 brings with it improvements to packaging and additional driver assistance features. The brawny good looks introduced in 2015 remain on the outside while the tech-laden interior and solid powertrain that Audi is known for are built upon inside.
That aforementioned 22-inch rim setup on the Q7 gives this big Audi something of a long roof wagon look. Especially when the optional air suspension is pulled in tight. As a wagon fan, I personally love the look. The “singleframe” grille and matrix laser headlights really dress up the front. Walking around back, look for athletic design lines down the side and a sculpted back end with LED tail lamps. Useful exterior features include powered, soft-close doors and a hands-free powered tailgate.
Audi has a reputation for sumptuous interiors and the 2021 Q7 carries that legacy forward. What does Okapi brown leather seats, a Lunar Silver headliner and eucalyptus natural wood inlays spell? LUXURY. The Q7 can be had with a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated seats plus a power-operated folding third row. The mid-grade Premium Plus comes standard with power-folding side mirrors, a Bang & Olufsen 3D stereo system and customizable ambient interior lighting.
On the technology front, you can go all-out digital starting with the 12.3 inch “virtual cockpit” digital gauge display. In there, you can select various layouts including a 3D look that incorporates Google Earth capability. The center of the dashboard has a 10.1” touchscreen for infotainment controls up top with an 8.6” version below it to manage climate controls and other vehicle settings. Additionally, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, wireless charging pad and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration can be optioned on the 2021 Q7.
You have a choice of motors to move all this metal. The 248-horsepower turbocharged 4 cylinder wears the “45” designation. While the 335-horse turbo six is known as the “55”. This bigger powerplant will hustle the Q7 to 60 mph in 5 seconds flat, impressive considering a curb weight of just over 5,000 pounds. Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive is standard across all trim levels but upper levels receive 4-wheel steering and adaptive air suspension. That 4-wheel system will counter steer up to 5 degrees at low speed to make parking lot maneuvers simpler. At higher speed, it will steer the rear wheels in parallel with the fronts to improve agility.
For 2021, the Audi Q7 comes standard with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts. Active Lane Assist with Emergency Assist uses a blend of audible alerts, steering and braking inputs to ensure the vehicle stays between the lane lines. The other component in the driver assistance department is Adaptive Cruise Control with Traffic Jam and Turn Assist. Like it sounds, this feature works with the cruise control in bumper to bumper situations to give the driver a break.
To wrap up, the 2021 Audi Q7 does a great job improving upon last year’s refresh. A plush ride and good visibility are complimented with excellent steering feel and a quiet interior. The virtual cockpit is outstanding and you’ll find a long list of standard and safety features. Unfortunately, the new Q7 falls behind its rivals in fuel economy for the 55 trim. And it would be nice to have the option for captain chairs in the second row. For more of George’s thoughts on the Q7, please see the video above. Drivers Only scores the 2021 Audi Q7 101, please click here to see how it ranks amongst its peers – Best Midsize Luxury SUVs for 2020 & 2021.
Front-engine, all-wheel drive, 7-passenger, 4-door wagon
16-valve DOHC 2.0-liter, turbocharged inline-4: 248 hp, 273 lb-ft
24-valve DOHC 3.0-liter, turbocharged V-6: 335 hp, 369 lb-ft
Wheelbase: 117.9 in
L/W/H: 199.3/77.6/68.5 in
Curb Weight: 5003 lb
0-60 mph: 5.0 sec
¼ mile: 13.7 sec @ 101 mph
Top speed: 130 mph
EPA FUEL ECONOMY