Are you looking to buy an Audi Q7 luxury SUV? If that is the case, then my friend, we must say that you have excellent taste in automobiles. The Audi Q7 is the pinnacle of luxury and performance engineering and has consistently been setting benchmarks in its class.
However, there have been numerous iterations of this beloved SUV since its launch, and it is sometimes quite hard to figure out which year model is best for you. But worry not, as we have done all the research and compared the various models for you. And since you are planning to buy a preowned model, we’ve also looked at how you can keep maintenance expenses under budget with an Audi Q7 manual. Indeed, these manuals come with loads of troubleshooting tips and tricks that will help you fix things on your own and prevent unnecessary visits to the repair shop.
With that being said, let’s dive in and figure out which Audi Q7 model would give you the most bang for your bucks.
Most Reliable Audi Q7 Engines
The Audi Q7’s varied engine options are spread across its two generations. The first-generation offered two petrol engines — a 3.6 FSI Quattro and a 4.2 FSI Quattro that secured a decent 75/100 in quality and reliability.
However, things started to get much better after Audi replaced both mills with two 3.0 TFSI supercharged engines, increasing the 2011 model’s overall JD Power rating of the 2011 model to 83/100. As a result, both engines quickly earned quite a name for being some of the most reliable mills in the Q7 lineup — which is definitely not to neglect.
On the other hand, the second-gen Q7 saw a myriad of varying engine lineups with mixed reliability ratings. But among these, the SQ7’s V8 twin-turbo petrol engine boasts both power and reliability and is often the go-to engine option for Q7 buyers — and for good reasons; the V8 produces 429 horsepower and is ideal for towing heavy loads.
Still, that doesn’t mean the much-beloved V8 is devoid of any problems. For instance, it frequently faces issues with the ignition coil packs and spark plugs. Moreover, there have been many reported cases of timing chain tensioner failure — which is never a good thing. Fortunately, all of these issues can be taken care of, and in some cases, even prevented from happening in the first place, by looking at an Audi Q7 service manual and following the manufacturer’s recommended troubleshooting and repair procedures.
If you don’t know where to get a good repair manual without breaking the bank, have a look at eManualOnline. Their manuals are the same used by Audi technicians and cost less than a single visit to the shop — what’s not to like?
Still, the V8-powered Q7 is quite a gas-guzzler and might not be the best option if you want to cut on running costs. Luckily, Audi introduced the 55 TFSI e-tron and 60 TFSI e-tron hybrids and the super-efficient 3.0 TDI e-tron diesel hybrid. However, the hybrid variants could not impact the market as much as their petrol siblings since they were significantly more expensive. Moreover, buying a hybrid also means higher maintenance costs and more parts to break overall.
Most Expensive (and Cheapest) Audi Q7 Model Years to Maintain and Repair
It’s no surprise that luxury SUVs aren’t cheap to run. You’ll have to spend quite a lot on maintenance-related expenses to keep your ride in top shape. For instance, the average yearly maintenance cost of an Audi Q7 is around $1476, depending on the service provider.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that this is just an average across all variants and expenses vary a bit for different engine options. For example, the first-generation’s entry-level 3.6 FSI Quattro or 3.0 TFSI are a bit lighter on the pocket than their diesel counterparts, mostly due to the fact that diesel engines generally require more maintenance, and replacement parts are more expensive.
Furthermore, buying a Q7 with a bigger and more powerful mill will also increase maintenance costs. A typical example of this is the V8-powered SQ7 which is easily the most expensive ICE model to run in the lineup. Other powerful motors, such as 55 TFSI and the 50 TDI, are also not much behind when it comes to annual maintenance expenses.
But regardless of the engine you choose, maintaining your Q7 at the dealership can be very expensive. Fortunately, with a little bit of DIY knowledge, a good Audi Q7 repair manual and some elbow grease, you can do all maintenance work yourself, including changing the fluids, spark plug replacement, brake jobs, etc — a repair manual contains everything you need to take care of your SUV!
Safety, Comfort, and Towing Capability
Audi doesn’t compromise on safety, and the Q7 is no exception. Indeed, the SUV featured the latest safety systems available at the time — even the 2008 model came with stability control, anti-lock brakes, and secured five stars in frontal crash tests. And since then, the Q7’s safety prowess only improved further. For instance, the 2018 model received a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA.
The Q7 easily lives up to its name as a luxury SUV when it comes to passenger comfort. Every ride is a joy thanks to its finely tweaked suspension and comfortable leather seats.
The Q7 is also an efficient SUV, with a spacious interior, large cargo area, and excellent towing ability. Notably, the SQ7’s V8 can tow a 5200-7,700 lbs trailer without breaking a sweat. Even the smaller 3.0-liter supercharged engine can easily hitch a small trailer weighing 4,400 pounds. You just have to ensure proper fastening of the towing hook and the line, the instructions for which are available in your Q7 owner’s manual.
Overall, the Q7 offers both luxury and practicality and is a perfect choice if you can afford it.
If you consider buying a used Audi Q7, we recommend going for the second-generation models (2015-Present). You will get almost all the latest safety and driver assistance features, higher-quality materials inside, a more spacious cabin, and more efficient engines.
Furthermore, you will save a lot on maintenance costs compared to first-generation models that have already spent more than 10-15 years on the road. However, used Q7s from the second generation will be more expensive, so make sure to plan accordingly.