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    By admin


    April 27, 2007


    By: Jason Teller

  • 0 miles to 370 miles

    Last fall AudiWorld was forced to make a very tough decision. The good news was that Audi had approved our request for a long term vehicle; we would be spending 12 months with a brand new Audi courtesy of Audi of America. The bad news was the realization that we would have to narrow down the entire model lineup and choose just one vehicle to come home to the AudiWorld garage.

    Decision, decisions

    Of course some of the choices weren’t really choices at all. While we daydreamed about the new Audi R8 sportscar, we inherently realized that the hand-built, $100,000+ section of the menu was off limits. Similarly, the Mk2 TT was simply not orderable as a long term car back in September 2006. Our soft spot for the superb A8L and S8 sedans remained, however there didn’t appear to be a strong enough rationale for providing 12 months of coverage with one of those relatively low volume cars. With the B8 A4 on the horizon we were unsettled about taking a long look at any of the B7 A4 / S4 variants. Certainly if the A5 / S5 had been available we would have leaned heavily towards that vehicle, but in the end the one model that stood out the most was the Q7.

    Why the Q7? For one thing it is comparatively new in the Audi lineup (2007 is the first model year). For another it offers an exceptionally wide variety of currently available Audi technologies, features and innovations. Probably most importantly, the Q7 is quite simply the most versatile vehicle in Audi’s lineup today.

    While the Q7 will never be mistaken for a sportscar, it can do many of the things that Audi’s other cars can do – and in fact do them quite well. For interior storage or hauling the Q7 provides as much space as any of the Avants, as well as providing towing capability. For a high class night out on the town the Q7 can act as a luxury automobile just like the A8. In terms of performance, the V8 FSI powerplant ensures that the Q7 packs a punch under the hood like many of its Audi siblings. And then the Q7 further differentiates by offering seating for six or seven (depending upon internal configuration), something no other Audi can boast.

    AudiWorld’s editors and contributors are a varied bunch, some with young families and others with exotic outdoor recreation hobbies (as well as everything in-between). The Q7 was the perfect choice since it could be easily utilized in so many different ways.

    Vehicle Details

    Since our intent was to test everyday life with the Q7 in many different situations and locales we decided to configure the vehicle to the hilt. While this decision automatically means that our Q7 is more of a special order vehicle than one that potential owners might be likely to see on the lot at the local dealer, it also means that we will get the opportunity to report on all the various options and features over the course of the next year.

    In terms of those options selected, it is actually easier to talk about what wasn’t ordered – that list is much shorter. In fact the “didn’t order” list consists of only Rear Side Airbags. Every other available option was included in our long term car.

    We started with the Q7 4.2 Premium which includes as standard equipment everything from Advanced Parking with Rear View Camera, Advanced Key and Voice Recognition to four zone climate control, as well as upgraded Cricket leather seats, Panorama sunroof, DVD Nav and 6-passenger seating with 2nd row captains chairs. The Q7 4.2 Premium alone is quite a well done vehicle.

    We were nowhere close to done, however. Next we augmented the overall styling by selecting the S-line Sport Package and the S-line only Daytona Gray color option. This swaps the stock steering wheel for a 3-spoke multifunction wheel which includes paddle shifters. Interior wood paneling is upgraded to brushed aluminum trim. It also materially changes the look of the exterior via massive 21-inch S-line wheels (with high performance summer rubber), a more aggressive front grille and bumpers and full body paint (as opposed to contrasting lower body paint). S-line badges are added for good measure.

    Back to the options – we also checked the box for Adaptive Air Suspension, Adaptive Cruise Control, the Towing Package and Audi Side Assist. Our long term Q7 is about as stocked as they come, which is clearly reflected in the nearly $70,000 price tag.

    Taking Delivery

    As with all special order vehicles, once the decision is made the worst part is waiting for build and delivery. Our order was placed in mid-September and delivery occurred in mid-April, some seven months later. Granted this turned out to be extreme given that Audi’s vehicles built for internal delivery are typically given lower priority, however we know for certain that our Q7 was affected by component shortages which also affected many Q7’s built during this same time period. Specifically the camera for the Rear Parktronic system and the 21” S-line wheels were reported to be in very tight demand globally. We hear that these issues have eased considerably at this time.

    Final delivery of our Q7 was also delayed by a faulty tire which required replacement during the PDI process.

    Once turned over to AudiWorld everything about the Q7 appeared to be in order with the exception of the Side Assist system which simply does not work. The Side Assist button on the driver’s door will not illuminate and there are no available Side Assist settings in the MMI menu. Thus the Q7 is scheduled for some upcoming diagnostic work at the dealer to sort out this issue.

    Expectations

    With so many Q7 options and features to review, readers should expect a healthy dose of Long Term Car coverage over the next 12 months. Expect to see our Q7 travel literally coast-to-coast doing everything from family cruiser duty to towing trailers through the mountains to making the rounds at various enthusiast shows during the summer months. And even though it started life decked out from the factory don’t be surprised to see an upgrade or two along the way too.


    Resources:

  • Main Page: AudiWorld Long Term Audi Q7 4.2 Premium S-line
  • Photo Gallery: Long Term Audi Q7 4.2 Premium S-line
  • AudiWorld Q7 Discussion Forums



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