2014 Audi Q7 TDI S-line - Driven

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Seeing a line of pristine Carrera White Audi ’s from across the paddock at Autobahn Country Club was almost enough to make a guy start jogging to get the first seat time. The brand-new S Q5 was on the pre-event list of attendees, and the new grille finish of the Q5 in brilliant white was very promising.

Within closer range, the “TDI clean diesel” script was visible on the side of almost all ten Audi ’s on offer for the car writers to sample. The A7 and A8 were common sights leaving the club gates, but at least one car writer was mildly disappointed.

Not only was the S Q5 not present, but diesel engines all around? Eek. One bright spot was visible: a gigantic white Q7 with some snazzy fender flares on anthracite grey alloys.

Also... a diesel, but this was more TopSpeed style.

A quick blast up to my gravel road photo spot was enough time to fall head-over-heels for the big Q7, even as its replacement is firmly on the horizon for 2014 or 2015.

This Audi is a creamy beast with torque for days even in the 3.0-liter TDI specification. The real clue to its fresher-than-average looks is the S-line trim worn by the tester, which brings along a host of sporty programming options and décor inside as well.

When a Cayenne is too bouncy, and an Escalade is too soft, look no farther than the Q7 TDI S-line for a seven seats and a ride that is ’juuusst riight’.

Click past the jump for all the beautiful sunny photos of the 2014 Audi Q7 TDI S-line, plus some first-hand observations on how the small-capacity diesel engine performs.

Exterior

Audi Q7 TDI S-line - Driven

All the Q7 variations feature the must-have LED and xenon lighting as standard for 2014, with the extremely high-tech-looking lower blinker a sharp line of LEDs for the turn signals.

2014 Audi Q7 TDI S-line - Styling Analysis

Audi Q7 TDI S-line - Driven

The matte grey wheel and grille treatment is blended with more painted bodywork down low than seen on the cheaper Q7 models for 2014.

Slight sill extensions come with the larger wheels, and are standard on the S-line with its huge and gorgeous alloys seeming just the right size to match the tires and fill the Q7’s alloys.

The Q7 S-line comes as standard with the otherwise-optional adaptive air suspension and a very sporty focus to all the bumpers and even the roof-mounted cargo rack.

Everything is sleek and lean with the Q7 S-line in Carrera White, with the air suspensions’s kneel settings and adjustable ride height allowing for an even more tough and lowered appearance than shown in these photos at normal height.

Styling Detail

Audi Q7 TDI S-line - Driven

2014 Audi Q7 TDI S-line - Exterior measurements

Wheelbase (in) 118.2
Length (in) 200.3
Height (in) 68.4
Overall width with mirrors (in) 85.7
Overall width without mirrors (in) 78.1
Track front (in) 65.0
Track rear (in) 66.0
Curb weight (lb) 5,412
Drag coefficient (Cw) .37/.34 with Audi adaptive air suspension

2014 Audi Q7 TDI S-line - Exterior Features

  • Audi Singleframe grille
  • Xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights
  • Automatic headlights
  • LED taillights
  • Power-adjustable, power-folding, auto-dimming, heated exterior side mirrors with memory
  • Front and rear fog lights
  • Flat-bottom dual exhaust outlets with polished tips
  • Body color lower body paint finish with chrome accents
  • Aluminum roof rails
  • Power tailgate open/close
  • LED turn indicator lights integrated into the exterior side mirrors

Interior

Audi Q7 TDI S-line - Driven

The Q7’s cabin feels exquisite, with all the classic Audi touches in the best places, like the stainless and alloy accents for the starter button, the pillow-soft and adjustable headrests, and an honest 70-plus cubic feet of cargo room with all the back seats down.

With the Escalade’s new fold-down seats, it is only about 20 cubic-feet larger in back than the nimble and posh Q7.

2014 Audi Q7 TDI S-line - Interior measurements

Head room with sunroof (in, front) 40.0
Head room with sunroof (in, middle) 37.2
Head room with sunroof (in, rear) 35.2
Head room (in, front) 39.5
Head room (in, middle) 39.0
Head room (in, rear) 35.6
Leg room (in, front) 41.3
Leg room (in, middle) 37.1
Leg room (in, rear) 29.2
Shoulder room (in, front) 58.7
Shoulder room (in, middle) 58.1
Shoulder room (in, rear) 48.6
Cargo volume (cu ft, cu ft, rear seatbacks up/folded) 10.9/42.0/72.5 (behind third row/behind second row/behind first row)
Seating capacity 7

2014 Audi Q7 TDI S-line - Interior Features

Audi Q7 TDI S-line - Driven
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Four-spoke multifunction steering wheel
  • Power tilt and telescopic adjustable steering column
  • Power windows with one-touch up/down operation and pinch protection
  • Decorative interior inlays
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Dual front sun visors with lighted vanity mirrors
  • Auto-dimming interior rear view mirror with digital compass
  • Aluminum door sill inlays
  • Leather seating surfaces: Twelve-way power front seats, including four-way power lumbar adjustment
  • Sliding 40/20/40 split folding rear seatbacks with pass-through and adjustable recline
  • Heated front seats , Driver seat memory

Cargo Area Detail

Audi Q7

2014 Audi Q7 TDI S-line - Infotainment Technology

  • Audi MMI Navigation plus with voice control system
  • Audi connect with six-month trial subscription
  • BOSE Surround Sound System with 14 speakers and AudioPilot noise-compensation
  • Color driver information system
  • HD Radio Technology
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio with 90-day trial subscription, SiriusXM Traffic with four-year subscription
  • Cruise control with coast, resume and accelerate features
  • BLUETOOTH wireless technology preparation for mobile phone
  • BLUETOOTH streaming audio
  • Garage door opener (HomeLink)
  • Audi advanced key—keyless start, stop and entry
  • Parking system plus with rear view camera (front and sensors)
  • Rain/light sensor for automatic windshield wipers and headlights
  • Xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights
  • Body color lower body paint finish with chrome accents
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • BOSE Surround Sound System with 14 speakers and AudioPilot noise-compensation
  • Audi advanced key—keyless start, stop and entry

Performance Feel Analysis

Audi Q7

The Q7 drives with a great lightness and nimble feeling from the steering at low speeds, which is remarkable on the 21-inch rims of the S-line trim. The diesel is absolutely silent, as was cirtually inaudible on the summer test day. Colder weather may bring more gruffness than summertime, but the Q7 is exceptionally isolated and refined inside.

Power feels good and plentiful enough for Audi’s claimed 7.7 second sprint to 60 mph, but the top speed of 130 mph takes a large hit versus the previous 155-mph Q7 TDI V-12.

Air suspension takes much of the kudos for the Q7’s beautiful slow-speed ride as well, with was - honestly - one of the smoothest of a day that also included the air-sprung Ram Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG. There really is no touching the smoothness of air springs versus even the latest magnetic and electronic active dampers.

The Q7 displayed slight hesitation at step-off from a stop, but this is immediately gone with one of the Q7’s many dynamic settings.

One piece of the Q7’s incredible engineering package that cannot go unsaid are its brakes. These are huge, firm under pressure, and halt the Q7 without any of the extreme nose squat that defines most Escalades and Range Rovers under heavy braking.

2014 Audi Q7 TDI S-line - Mechanical Details

Engine 3.0-liter TDI Turbo-Diesel V-6
Fuel Diesel
Transmission 8-Speed Manual
Powertrain Layout Front-engine, All-wheel-drive
Power (Horsepower) 240 @ 3,500 rpm
Torque (Torque) 406 @ 1,750 rpm
0-60 mph (Seconds) 7.7
Top Speed (MPH) 130
EPA Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined) 19/28/22

Safety

Audi Q7 TDI S-line - Driven

2014 Audi Q7 TDI S-line - Standard Safety Features

  • Driver and front passenger dual-stage airbags, front thorax side airbags and Sideguard head curtain airbags
  • Front passenger occupant detection—for airbags
  • Power central locking system with safety unlock feature if airbags deploy
  • Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution (EBD) and brake assist
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Off-road mode and traction control (ASR)
  • Anti-theft alarm system with immobilizer
  • Tire-pressure monitoring system
  • Safety belt reminder for driver and front passenger
  • Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) in second- and third-row seating positions
  • Hill descent control

Pricing and Availability

Audi Q7 TDI S-line - Driven

The Q7 TDI is available now nationwide from Audi dealers in a variety of flavors and prices. The tester’s TDI S-line trim is not yet on the price books, but is expected to come in a few thousand above the already-loaded $65,000 Q7 TDI Premium Prestige specification.

The gasoline-powered Q7 starts from just $48,000, which is great value versus the Buick Enclave and BMW X5.

Conclusion

Audi Q7 TDI S-line - Driven

Among the Three Bears from the little storybook that is the Cayenne, Q7 and Touareg: Goldilocks would head right for the Q7.

Not too soft, not too hard. But still looking cool and great to drive even with a replacement on the way.

LOVE IT
  • White Carrera paint is really beautiful versus dull silver
  • S-line painted lower trims and grey wheels look the business
  • LED lighting and cabin comfort still very current and - whisper it - perhaps class best still
LEAVE IT
  • A bit lethargic on throttle in regular settings
  • Infotainment looking very yestertech in the central dash
  • Not enough charge ports and USB outlets in back

What is your take?

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