Love my '13 Q7 S-Line Prestige, but freaking hate the brakes. Aside from the insane amount of brake dust, they have way too much initial bike and zero feel.
Recently put on some Hawk Performance ceramic pads. What a difference; no dust and so much better feel. Definitely needs a bit more pedal pressure at the limit, but they stop great and they are so much easier to modulate. Just thought I'd share my opinions in case anyone else is interested.
Exactly what I did two weeks after taking delivery of my '13 S-Line Prestige (came from 20 years of Cadillac - never seen so much brake dust ). Now, every week or so, a quick wipe with Windex & a rag keeps my silver painted 5 spoke 20 inchers spotless .
I went with the LTS pads and have had very little brake dust, and they seem to have better initial bite vs. the ceramics, so I guess it depends on whether you prefer more or less initial bite when the pads are cold.
I had gone with the Hawk ceramics on the Touareg we had prior to the Q7 and found them to be rather poor in initial bite vs. the factory pads & rotors. Even emergency braking with warm pads seemed like it required significantly more pedal effort with the ceramics. The only real benefit was basically zero dust, but overall, not worth the trade-off. Akebono is supposed to make a better performing ceramic pad, though I'm not sure what they have for Q7 fitments.
I did some hard stops yesterday to see how much braking power I "lost" with the ceramics versus stock and I don't think you lose anything beyond the initial overbite of the stockers. The Hawks stop my Q plenty rapidly and the ability to modulate pressure is so much better than the stock pads. I always felt like the stock pads were way too grabby. I agree that with that overbite gone, the initial reaction is to assume the stopping power isn't as good, but I think it's an illusion. Just my $.02.
As a track day moto rider, I've always found that feel and ultimate stopping power were far more important to me than the initial bite in that first bit of lever travel.
Thanks for the replies; from what I've read here and elsewhere, i think i'm going with the LTS pads. Dealer(will NOT be installing pads) has also noted that my front rotors are in need of replacing as they have a lip already. 15k on the odometer!