2009-2013 Audi Q7 TDI forum, FAQ, buying guide, and reviews

Introduction

This FAQ shows pricing, explanations and details of standard equipment and options, and reviews for the 2009-2013 Audi Q7 TDI.

audi q7 led The Audi Q7 is not like most TDI because you're probably not cross shopping with the Audi A3 TDI or Jetta.  Other diesel SUV that you may look at are the BMW xDrive35d (X5 diesel), Mercedes ML 350 Bluetec, or GL 350 Bluetec.  Below is a review and comparison table between these models; feel free to ask more questions in our Audi Q7 TDI forum as well.  The Q7 uses the same engine as the VW Touareg TDI but has 3 row seating (optional in Canada), more features, and luxury features not available in the VW Touareg TDI.  The Q7 TDI actually has a long history...just not in North America.  For example, about 80% of Q7 sold in Germany use the 3.0L TDI engine.

The expected fuel economy should be about 20 mpg average in the real world.  The official EPA mpg is 16/22 city/highway which is excellent considering the Q7 weighs well over 5000 lbs and the engine has over 400 lb-ft of torque.  Most TDI can expect highway mpg to be slightly better than the EPA rating after the engine is broken in.  Of course, this assumes that you're not carrying heavy loads or driving 80 mph.

Audi Q7 TDI changes and differences

Audi Q7 TDI revisions 2009 vs. 2010

There was a minor exterior cosmetic refresh for 2010 involving the front/rear of the car and minor interior bits.  The 2010 grille has vertical chrome accents on the grille whereas the front grille bars in the 2009 are black and horizontal.  The grille also has a slightly raised look from the ridge around the grille.  If equipped with HID headlights, the 2010 bumper also adds LED running lights and LED accents.  The intercooler grilles, foglight surround, and lip are also a little different.
audi q7 bumper

I believe the s-line bumpers and badging were standard for 2009 TDI so they should all look like the pictures shown here.  For 2010 and later, the s-line bumpers were optional.  The standard bumpers are shown here.  Audi's site and doesn't show what they look like so I've listed them below under "features explained".

In the rear, the tailgate license plate area is widened to the midpoint of the new for 2010 (standard on TDI) LED taillights.  (It's not related to the Euro license plate).  New style taillights are shown lit at the bottom of the page.  The bottom trim on the bumper is also widened and goes around the exhaust pipes.  A chrome trim strip is added below the rear markers.
audi q7 rear bumper

The 2009 was the last year of the generation 2 MMI (multimedia interface), 2010 got the MMI3.  There was also chrome trim added to minor interior buttons like the power seat adjustment and 12v outlet covers.

In Europe, the 3.0L V6 Audi Q7 TDI engine got a complete overhaul for 2010.  This engine is not used in North America because it's not certified.  The earliest it could come to NA is 2012 but no plans have been announced.  More details are below.

Audi Q7 TDI revisions for 2011

The only major difference for 2011 is the 8 speed transmission.  It slightly increases fuel economy and performance.  For 2011, the Prestige trim level is now $12,000 over the base car vs. $10,000.  The 2011 has standard ventilated seats that were only in the Luxury package for 2010, although you can no longer get the rest of the luxury pack.  Details below.

Audi Q7 TDI revisions for 2013

For 2013, North American Audi Q7 get the new 3.0L engine that was in Europe since 2010. The engine is slightly lighter, 2 instead of 4 timing chains, warms up better, and gets slightly higher fuel economy.


Q7 packages explained: Premium vs. Plus vs. Prestige trim levels

audi q7 headlightBase "Premium" Q7 TDI: The base car has quattro, 19" alloy wheels, power rear liftgate (opens and closes).  Electronics: 6cd changer in the center console (1 in dash cd), iPod cable, Sirius sat radio w/3 month subscription, Bluetooth, LED taillights, auto headlights/wipers, front and rear foglights, homelink (can do rolling codes), 6 airbags (front, side, 3 row head curtain), multifunction steering wheel.  The interior has standard leather and both front seats are power/heated.  The base car's halogen headlights and running lights are shown right (2010 and newer style).

Premium Plus ($6,000 over base price) adds: integrated LED turn signals in the side view mirror, HID headlights (self leveling up-down), LED daytime running lights and turn signals, Panorama sunroof, driver's side memory on seat (2 position memory, also works for the side view mirrors), rear view camera with front parking sensors (vs. just rear), Bose stereo, DVD video capability for in dash radio, MMI Audi navigation plus (GPS system), 8 color driver information display (instead of single color).  There is a no cost option to remove the panorama sunroof (choosing this option does not reduce the price of the package).

Prestige ($12,000 over base) adds to premium plus: warm weather package (4 zone climate control, manual rear window shades), ventilated front seats (there's a fan that blows through the perforated leather), HID cornering (turns lights left-right into corners), Audi side assist, Audi advanced key, 20" alloy wheels, and power steering column adjust.   There is a no cost option to remove the panorama sunroof (choosing this option does not reduce the price of the package).

Major options:

2010 Luxury package ($3,500 only optional on prestige, discontinued for 2011): adds Alcantara headliner (Alcantara is a brand name synthetic suede, see the next page for a picture), premium cricket leather interior, and ventilated front seats (leather is perforated and the seat base and back have an air ducts for ventilation).  The vented front seats are included in the Prestige package for 2011 but the Alcantara headliner and upgraded leather are no longer available.

audi q7 taillightS-line package (n/a on base $2,000): adds 20" 5 spoke wheels, 3 spoke sport steering wheel, black headliner, and brushed aluminum interior trim.  It also adds the s-line front, rear bumpers, and side skirts.

Audi's site doesn't show or describe what the 2010 and newer s-line bumpers so please join our community  for free if you find the site useful.  The main difference in the front is the longer/wider mesh type intercooler grilles and the grilles around the foglight.  The rear bumper has the lip shown right and deletes the chrome strip.  Both bumpers add an extension lip around the wheel wells which effectively widens and lowers the fender flare.  The lip is the semi circular gray strip around the edge of the wheel well in the pictures below.

Thumbnails, click to enlarge
audi q7 s-line bumper audi q7 s-line fender

audi q7 s-line bumper

Air suspension ($2,600 only optional on prestige): This replaces the steel spring suspension with an adaptive air bag suspension.  It uses a hidden air compressor to inflate or deflate the air bags to adjust the car's height lower or higher.  A lower car gives handling advantages and less drag while a higher car gives more ground clearance.  If you tow, it's especially helpful because it levels the rear of the car in response to the tongue weight.  A diagram of the system is shown below.  The air compressor is under the right front of the car and puts air into two reservoirs.  These let the air suspension quickly change the pressure in the air bags.
audi q7 air suspension

Cold weather package ($500): adds heated rear seats and heated steering wheel.  You can add heated rear seats separately.
Warm weather package ($1,150): adds 4 zone climate control and rear window/cargo sunshades.  A layout of the additional vents with the 4-zone system is shown below.  Side note - the artist misspelled For-zone.
audi q7 climate control

Pricing matrix for 2011 Audi Q7 TDI

(Pricing is the same for 2010 except the Prestige was only $10,000 over base)

package or option MSRP in US$ invoice price in US$ more info
Base Q7 (premium) 50,900 47,337 .
Premium plus 6,000 over base 5,580 see details above
Prestige 12,000 over base 11,160 see details above
. . . .
luxury package 3,500 ? only on prestige, see details above
air suspension 2,600 2,418 only on prestige, see details above
Bang and Olufsen premium stereo 6,300 5,859 only on prestige, see details below
s-line package 2,000 1,860 bigger wheels and sport steering wheel
GPS system Audi navigation plus 2,500 2,236 OEM GPS system on Audi Q7
cold weather package 500 466 .
warm weather package 1,300 1,209 see details above
panorama sunroof 1,850 1,720 .
tow package 550 511 increases tow to 6,600 lbs and bigger radiator
4 all weather floor mats+ trunk liner 300 279 .
running boards 1,150 1,070 .
2nd row side airbags 350 325 (only front has front, head, side airbags, 2nd row has std. head airbag, optnl side airbags, 3rd row has only head curtain airbags)

Details of major features and options on Audi Q7 TDI explained

Standard radio on Premium (base trim radio): 7 channel stereo with 3 months of Sirius satellite radio.  There is 1 cd slot in the dash and a 6cd changer and iPod cable in the center console.  As a side note, the car's noise level is rated at 70dB when you're outside the car.
270w Bose surround sound (standard radio on Plus and Prestige): center channel + 13 speakers and 10 channel amp.  Audiopilot noise compensation changes the volume in response to ambient noise.  
1000w Bang and Olufsen sound system
(only optional on prestige): 14 speaker system with acoustic lens technology, DSP (digital sound processing), and ICEpower digital amplification.  This system is tuned specifically for the Q7...it's a very good system.  Below left is a thumbnail picture of the system, click to enlarge.
audi q7 tdi bang and olufsenaudi q7 bang and olufsen

The system has trick speakers on the front corners that pop out.  You also get shiny speaker grilles labeled Bang & Olufsen (shown below).  The amp is located under the 3rd row seats and the sub is in the storage space under the trunk.
audi q7 bang and olufsen speaker

MFSW (multifunction steering wheel) and MMI (Multi Media Interface): The steering wheel lets you control radio volume, station, and activates the Bluetooth voice control.  The MMI is the main knob on the center console which controls the main screen that displays the radio, trip computer, car settings, etc.  On prestige trim the steering wheel column is also electric tilt/telescope and I believe it's linked to the driver's seat memory.

MMI Navigation Plus: This is a 7" GPS/system/bluetooth display that is controlled with the MMI controller.  Major features include 3D terrain and landmarks, HD radio, and voice control.  It has a 40 GB hard drive, 10 of which can be used to store music.  There is an SD card slot (32 GB max) for loading music.  You can't rip music off an audio CD or ipod but you can play and control the ipod from the stereo.

iPod integration: the video below explains it.  It's controlled with the MMI interface.

Xenon HID headlights: Bi-xenon (both low and high beams) come with Plus and Prestige.  The difference is that the Plus comes with only self leveling HID.  This adjusts the HID beam up or down in response to load (like if you tow a trailer or have passengers).  Prestige adds cornering ability.  When you turn the steering wheel into a corner, the headlight beams turn into the corner.  Here is a demo of cornering headlights on VW (same thing).

audi q7 tdi dyno chart3.0L turbodiesel TDI engine: The engine makes 225 horsepower/406 lb-ft engine.  The amazing thing is that.....

See page 2 with details on the DPF filter, engine dyno chart, advanced key, and other misc. things to know before ordering

 

 

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