The 2021 Audi Q7 Premium is the most family-friendly of Audi's athletic lineup of tech-laden luxury cars and SUVs. Despite its three rows of seats and slightly stodgy styling, the Q7 retains the fun-to-drive quality that distinguishes an Audi.
Buyers can select between two turbocharged engines: a 248-hp four-cylinder or a 335-hp V-6, both of which provide adequate power for everything from local errands to highway cruises. Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive system is standard, but the sportier models in the lineup benefit from an optional four-wheel steering system and adaptive air suspension to provide even more agile handling.
Following a thorough refresh for the 2020 model year, the 2021 Q7 comes with few changes. Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert is now standard, and the Convenience package on the Premium model now includes a heated steering wheel and a 360-degree exterior camera system. The mid-tier Premium Plus receives an optional Executive package, which combines the contents of the 2020 model's Cold Weather, Warm Weather, and Driver Assistance packages into one. Prestige models now have leather-wrapped armrests and centre consoles as standard, as well as heated rear seats.
We believe the turbo-four "45" powertrain is more than adequate, and we recommend pairing it with the Premium Plus trim level. The Premium Plus adds a surround sound stereo system,20-inch wheels, a wireless smartphone charging pad, power-folding exterior mirrors with memory settings, ambient interior lighting, and illuminated door sill inlays to the base Premium.
We'd also get the new Executive package, which includes adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, four-zone automatic climate control, heated and ventilated 12-way power-adjustable front seats, heated rear seats, and all-weather floor mats, among other things.
Audi kept the old 248-hp turbocharged four-cylinder but added a new turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 with a 48-volt hybrid system to produce 335 horsepower for 2020, and these powertrains will remain unchanged in 2021. We measured a brisk 5.0-second zero-to-60-mph time in a 2020 Q7 with the new turbo V-6, which was slightly faster than the mechanically similar two-row Q8 SUV.
The V-6 powertrain, unsurprisingly, has a lower fuel economy. The EPA fuel-efficiency ratings are 17 mpg city, 21 mpg highway, and 18 mpg combined, a 2 mpg decrease from the turbo four-cylinder model. We'll put a 2021 Q7 through its paces on our 200-mile highway fuel-economy test route once we get our hands on one.
With its minimalist, contemporary design, tonnes of technology, and excellent comfort and build quality, the Q7's cabin is one of a kind. The interior of the Q7 is distinguished by beautiful materials and design, as well as an intelligent control layout and comfortable seats with plenty of support and adjustability.
The entry-level Premium models are well-equipped, and the amount of upscale features available in the higher trim levels can be extremely luxurious. The Q7 comes standard with a 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen as well as a smaller 8.6-inch touchscreen for climate control and vehicle settings.