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- Highs Thrilling V-8 engine, great ride-and-handling balance, luxurious interior.
- Lows Too many screens, not enough buttons and knobs, lots of desirable options cost extra.
- Verdict Powerful, practical, and plush, the SQ7 is a luxury SUV that does it all.
With seven seats, a 500-horsepower V-8 engine, and lots of features, the Audi SQ7 is a performance-luxury SUV with many virtues and few vices. It’s great to drive, balancing impressive performance with plush comfort, and looks appropriately premium and aggressive. The interior features three rows of seats and modern-looking display screens that incorporate lots of technology but have largely eliminated convenient buttons knobs. All the best elements of the standard Q7 are here, too, only with more power and presence. The SQ7 competes with other high-performance SUVs including the BMW X5 M and Mercedes-AMG GLE-Class, and has siblings within the Audi family including the sharper-looking Audi SQ8.
Where This Vehicle Ranks
What's New for 2023?
Dual-pane laminated windows are newly part of the optional Executive package, and 22-inch wheels will join the list of extras. They come with summer performance tires and are available either in matte gray or black.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
For a vehicle that already starts over $90,000, we think the better-equipped Prestige trim level is worth the splurge. It offers a $5900 S Sport package that includes desirable upgrades such as a sport rear differential and Audi’s Active Roll Stabilization system.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The SQ7 has a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 engine with 500 horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque that it shares with the mechanically similar, two-row SQ8 SUV. That sounds like a lot, and it is: this is the same engine found in the even higher-performance RS Q8, and it only gives up a bit of power and torque in this application. Quattro all-wheel drive is standard, as is an eight-speed automatic transmission, and at our test track, the SQ7 snapped off a zero-to-60-mph time of just 3.5 seconds. Despite its performance potential, the SQ7 still effortlessly doubles as a family SUV, delivering a faultless ride. Handling is nothing short of heroic considering that it's a veritable heavyweight; it tackles curvy roads effortlessly and rarely feels unsettled.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG (or MPGe)
The EPA rates the SQ7 at 17 mpg combined, 15 mpg in the city, and 21 mpg on the highway which is about as thirsty as you would expect for a V-8–powered SUV. On our 75-mph highway fuel economy test, the SQ7 nailed its rating and delivered 21 mpg. For more information about the SQ7's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The SQ7 offers the same practical interior as the Q7, but with a few special touches including sportier seats with different leather trim. A third row of seats is standard equipment on the SQ7, as it is in the Q7, making it a speedy seven-passenger family hauler. Cargo space is limited behind the third row as it is in the Q7 but drop those seats and the second-row chairs and the SQ7 will likely hold the same 25 carry-on suitcases we were able to fit in the regular Q7.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The Q7 received a refresh for 2020 that included a new touchscreen infotainment system, and the SQ7 shares this same setup. Three digital screens dot the dashboard, one serving as a reconfigurable gauge display, another handling navigation and entertainment, and a third providing access to vehicle settings and climate control. Depending on how you feel about physical controls versus touch-sensitive ones, the SQ7's cabin may delight or infuriate.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Audi offers basic driver-assistance aids as standard on the SQ7, but more advanced tech will cost extra. For more information about the SQ7's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with forward-collision warning
- Standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control with semi-autonomous driving mode
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The SQ7 will be covered by the same warranty as other Audi models, and includes:
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
2020 Audi SQ7
front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 7-passenger, 4-door wagon
PRICE AS TESTED
$99,390 (base price: $80,995)
twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 32-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
244 in3, 3996 cm3
500 hp @ 5500 rpm
568 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm
Suspension (F/R): multilink/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 15.8-in vented disc/13.8-in vented disc
Tires: Continental ContiSportContact 5 SUV, 285/40R-21 109Y AO
Wheelbase: 118.0 in
Length: 199.6 in
Width: 76.6 in
Height: 68.6 in
Passenger volume: 138 ft3
Cargo volume: 14 ft3
Curb weight: 5311 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 3.5 sec
100 mph: 9.1 sec
130 mph: 16.8 sec
150 mph: 28.0 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 4.6 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 2.6 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 3.0 sec
1/4 mile: 12.0 sec @ 113 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 151 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 155 ft
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 14 mpg
75-mph highway driving: 21 mpg
Highway range: 470 miles
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 17/15/21 mpg