By Consumer Reports
May 2, 2016
The Audi Q7 is Consumer Reports top-rated SUV.
Courtesy Audi

Want a quick, elegant, nimble, relatively fuel-efficient seven-passenger SUV brimming with useful high-tech features? Based on our extensive testing, the redesigned 2017 Audi Q7 delivers. So much so, the Q7 is now our top-rated SUV. (Learn how Consumer Reports tests cars.)

The Audi Q7 earned an excellent road-test score at 96 points, significantly besting the previous leader, the Lincoln MKX, by 8 points. Likewise, the Overall Score that combines road test performance, reliability, safety, and owner satisfaction trumps the previous benchmark Lexus RX 450h. Underscoring this feat, the Q7 stands well above its tough competition, including the Acura MDX, BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE, and Volvo XC90.

Admittedly, the Q7 is also one of the more expensive models in this category, starting at $54,800, with our typically equipped Premium Plus landing at $68,695. But in this case, you get what you pay for.

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A calm, tranquil cabin shields occupants from exterior ruckus without insulating the driver from a fun cruise down the road.

The Q7 rides comfortably, but some underlying firmness creeps in at low speeds. You can get a $64,300 Prestige edition with an optional $4,000 air suspension system that impressively cushions that slight discomfort, if it bothers you.

As it romped through our test track’s avoidance maneuver, we found that the roomy Q7 handles more like a smaller SUV. Like all Audis, the Q7 is predictable, balanced, and bracing to drive, even under pressure. The 333-hp engine provides plenty of smooth and effortless thrust.

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The Q7 continues Audi’s trend of gorgeous, modernist-luxury interiors. It’s a sensory joy to run your fingers over the matte wood, brushed aluminum, and double-stitched leather. One of the highlights, no doubt, is the optional 12.3-inch instrument panel Audi calls a “virtual cockpit.” It can emphasize the functions you’re using (audio, navigation, phone, trip info) and minimize the main gauges. Plus, showing the vivid Google map in front of you certainly has a wow factor. The infotainment and controls are daunting at first but prove to be logical over time. Our advice: Review the system with your dealer.

Though it carries a big-ticket price, the Q7 is a good reason to spend your children’s inheritance on a car.
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Read our complete Audi Q7 road test.

Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers on this website. This article originally appeared on Consumer Reports.

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