Audi has developed a strong reputation for building vehicles that are fun to drive, stylish and sleek, and packed with high-end amenities. With the 2021 Q7, Audi gives its customers an SUV with three rows. It's a smart move, since it seems like so many potential buyers are looking specifically for models that offer extra seating.
The Audi Q7 comes with two available engines. More on that will be included in the trim versus trim comparisons found below. All of the models are equipped with quattro all-wheel drive, which allows them to exhibit excellent handling. This all-wheel-drive system works well in slippery conditions, as it can send power to the wheels that have the most traction. It's useful in dry conditions as well. When the SUV is accelerating and turning, the Q7 can improve performance by adjusting the power delivery to certain wheels. Since the system is always on, drivers never have to worry about turning it on or off at the right time.
With three rows, the Q7 can appeal to a large subset of customers. It's important to know, though, that the third row is pretty small, and it has room for only two people. Leg room in the front row is 41.7 inches, and it's 38.8 inches in the second row. In the third row, it's only 29.2 inches. This is why most would agree that the third row is best suited for children.
When the third row is in its proper position, there's 14.2 cubic feet of space in the storage area behind it. This is on par with the size of the trunks in many sedans. To make more room, the third row seatbacks can be folded down. This creates 35.7 cubic feet of cargo space. When the second and third seats are lowered, cargo capacity increases to 69.6 cubic feet, which is fairly spacious.
Compare the 2021 Audi Q7 Premium 45 TFSI vs Premium 55 TFSI Trims. What is the Difference?
The biggest difference between these two trims is related to what's under the hood. The 45 TFSI model uses a two-liter engine, and the 55 TFSI runs on a three-liter engine. The two-liter engine has four cylinders while the 55 TFSI has six cylinders.
This size differential is important. With the smaller engine, the Audi has almost 250 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. This is much less the 335 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque that the larger engine delivers. People will have to ask themselves whether 248 horsepower is enough for them when deciding which type of Q7 to get.
A few other statistics can shed some more light on which model would suit a particular customer better. The Premium 45 TFSI can tow up to 4,400 pounds, and it can go from a standstill to a speed of 60 miles per hour in just under seven seconds. These numbers are great, but not as amazing in comparison to what the 55 TFSI can do. It can hit that 60-mph mark in only 5.7 seconds, and it can tow up to 7,700 pounds. The 55 TFSI does have a mild hybrid system built into it to help it with performance and efficiency.
Both models use an eight-speed automatic transmission that's responsive and delivers the right amount of power at various speeds. With the Tiptronic feature, drivers can manually shift when they want to. It's easy to switch back and forth between manual and automatic shifting. Available in the 55 TFSI is an adaptive air suspension system. This allows the SUV to make instantaneous adjustments to make the ride even smoother.
When looking at the other areas of these Q7 trims, it's clear that these vehicles have high-quality components everywhere. Inside their cabins, they both have panoramic sunroofs, three-zone climate systems, leather seats, and a virtual cockpit. They also have navigation integrated into their infotainment systems so that drivers will always know which turns to take.
On their exteriors, the Q7 45 TFSI and 55 TFSI have 19-inch wheels. LED headlights are slightly angled and help the SUV look modern. Also helpful in this regard are aluminum roof rails, aluminum trim, and a spoiler on the tailgate. In the back, the LED taillights have dynamic indicators that are easy for others to spot.
Compare the 2021 Audi Q7 Premium 55 TFSI vs Premium Plus 45 TFSI. What is the Difference?
A number of advanced components are included on the Premium Plus Q7s. The Premium Plus 45 TFSI has a 3D Premium Sound System with Bang & Olufsen speakers. The sound quality is much better than that of the standard system, and this may sway some music lovers over to the Premium Plus.
While the Premium models have standard smartphone compatibility, navigation, and Bluetooth, the Premium Plus models have even more features. The Audi phone box feature in the Premium Plus is much more than meets the eye. It may look like a convenient place to store a phone, but it's actually a wireless charger and a signal booster. Through Bluetooth, it can also open up a connection between the SUV's infotainment system and another mobile phone.
Another impressive feature on the Premium Plus SUVs is the 360-degree camera view. There are four perspectives from which drivers can take a look at their vehicles, giving them all the information they need to safely maneuver around tight spaces. One of those camera views gives a top-down perspective, and this can prove very handy at times.
There are more similarities than differences when looking at the interior amenities of these trims. For instance, they both have power-adjustable steering wheels, gray oak wood interior trim, and rear view mirrors that can automatically dim when they sense bright lights. The Premium Plus has a few extra elements, to include ambient LED lighting and illuminated door sill inlays, that add more sophistication to the atmosphere.
The Premium 55 TFSI (and Premium 45 TFSI) and the Premium Plus 45 TFSI have several driver-assist technologies in place to protect passengers. The Audi Q7 can predict when certain types of collisions are imminent. In these situations, it can hit the brakes, close the sunroof and windows, and start to tighten the seat belts in anticipation of an impact. In an effort to prevent accidents from occurring, the Q7 can alert a driver to the presence of vehicles in the blind spots and vehicles that may be crossing behind the SUV when it's in reverse.
Compare the 2021 Audi Q7 Premium Plus 45 TFSI vs Premium Plus 55 TFSI. What is the Difference?
This comparison again highlights the difference between the two available powertrains on the 2021 Audi Q7. The 55 TFSI has the more advanced engine, so it's able to do a little more than its counterpart. Its engine black is made with aluminum alloy instead of the cast iron material used in the 45 TFSI's engine. Further, it has a 24-valve system as opposed to the 45 TFSI's 16-valve system. Both engines can hit a top speed of 130 miles per hour; it's just a matter of how fast they can get to high speeds.
The 55 TFSI, with its six-cylinder engine, is estimated to have a combined fuel economy of approximately 18 miles per gallon. This is about two miles per gallon less than what the 45 TFSI can achieve. The difference is minimal, but it may matter to some people, and it can add up to a significant cost increase when calculating the cost of fuel over a year's time.
Compare the 2021 Audi Q7 Premium Plus 55 TFSI vs Prestige Trim Level. What is the Difference?
The jump from the Premium Plus 55 TFSI to the Prestige is a big move. It's associated with a price increase of around $8,200, so one would assume that the Prestige has all that one would expect a high-end vehicle to have.
Unlike some other luxury brands, which reserve very powerful engines for exclusive use in their most expensive trims, Audi has given its top-of-the-line Q7 the same 3.0-liter engine as the other 55 TFSI trims. What the Q7 Prestige has that the others do not is a standard adaptive air suspension system for both the front and rear. It can adjust the level of the vehicle depending on what type of driving is being done. Highway driving typically calls for a lower height to reduce drag, and off-road driving requires higher ground clearance.
Optional on the Prestige is all-wheel steering. Depending on the situation, the rear wheels can be turned by up to five degrees to boost stability, agility, and cornering. The driver doesn't need to worry about the details of how it works or when to use it because the vehicle can make those decisions on its own when it senses that it's the right time to make an adjustment.
There are other ways in which the Prestige sets itself apart from the other trims. Rather than just having LED headlights, it has headlights with a special matrix design. This design gives the lights a layer of depth and texture, similar to how gems can shine brighter depending on how they're cut.
Passengers in the Prestige will appreciate that it has a temperature control system with four zones. From each corner of the vehicle, people can have a say over what temperatures their zones are set to. Contributing to the elegant atmosphere in the cabin is a configurable ambient system. It comes in a few different colors and helps the SUV feel very modern. Another feature that treats people to a nice ride in the Prestige are the heated and ventilated front seats. This is a big improvement over the heated front seats included with the other trims. The rear seats are even heated in the Prestige so more people can be cozy in the colder months.
From a technology standpoint, the Prestige has a few more amenities than the Premium Plus Q7 trims. It has the ability to read signs on the side of the road, and it can display that information to the driver in an unobtrusive manner. It does so through the head-up display, which is positioned right behind the steering wheel where it doesn't get in the way of anything.
Audi's adaptive cruise control program is standard in the Prestige. It can monitor the speed of traffic on the highway and adjust the speed of the vehicle accordingly. It's advanced enough to be able to be used in heavy traffic and stop-and-go conditions. With the Traffic Jam assist feature, the Q7 can even provide some steering input when the road is especially busy and traffic seems to be inching along.
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Which Trim to Choose?
It's important to consider the prices of each of these trims when deciding which one to purchase. The Premium 45 TFSI starts out around $55,000, and the Prestige 55 TFSI sits at the top of the lineup with a starting cost of $72,000. This is a pretty significant difference, and the reality is that anything over $70,000, or even $60,000, will be out of many customers' reach.
Given the economic factor, along with the quality and number of amenities offered on each Audi Q7 trim, the Premium Plus 45 TFSI is recommended. While it's not as spirited as the 55 TFSI, it's still a lot of fun to drive, and it can certainly handle any situations that the average drivers might find themselves in. Coming it well under $60,000, the Q7 still gives drivers a treat with a 360-degree camera, high-tech systems, and sophisticated stylistic touches. It does a great job of representing what a luxury SUV should be.
Of course, if people can afford the nicer engine and would love for their next vehicles to be able to race ahead of others, the Premium Plus 55 TFSI would be a smart choice. It has those elements mentioned above, and it has the higher quality engine to make driving a thrilling experience.
• Compare the 2020 Audi Q7 Trim Levels