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2009 Audi Q7

$4,855 — $20,667 USED
Sport Utility
5-7 Seats
15-21 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 4 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Interior material quality
  • Comfortable front leather seats
  • Sliding, reclining second row
  • V-8 rumble
  • Optional rearview camera

The Bad

  • MMI control interface
  • Lag under hard acceleration
  • Cheapo turn-signal stalk
  • Small side mirrors
2009 Audi Q7 exterior side view

What to Know

about the 2009 Audi Q7
  • V-6 or V-8
  • Seating for five or seven
  • Full-length side curtain airbags
  • Enormous panoramic sunroof option
  • Optional 21-inch wheels

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Cars.com's Bill Jackson takes a look at the 2009 Audi Q7 TDI. It competes with the Porsche Cayenne and Volvo XC90

by Bill Jackson - These days, shoppers are spoiled with many luxury crossover choices. The options range from sprightly, quick, small ones to large, three-row beasts. The Audi Q7 TDI is definitely in the latter group. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that if the luxury crossover field were a hockey team, the Q7 is the one you'd send over the boards to fight. It's imposing, muscular and sure on its feet.

I like all those attributes, but not everyone enjoys hockey fights — which is why the Q7 TDI might be the wrong car for luxury buyers. It has its faults, ranging from a loud engine to an interior with more buttons than any other car I've seen. And it's a car you'll have to make room for, because, like an enforcer, it's more likely to change you, than be willing to change for you.

Q7 Presence
The Q7 I tested came with a variety of large decals advertising its diesel engine, but only because it's a press-fleet car; regular Q7s won't have them. Otherwise, the Q7 looks really good. It has a nice shape with just the right amount of glass — not pinched with tiny windows like some SUVs are — and, most importantly, doesn't have any frivolous body pieces. Whoever decided the Q7 did not need the kind of silly front-fender vents seen on many other cars deserves a medal.

It apparently looks tough, too. I know that because I got cut off in traffic less while driving this SUV than in any other car I can remember. That's clearly not a sc...

by Bill Jackson - These days, shoppers are spoiled with many luxury crossover choices. The options range from sprightly, quick, small ones to large, three-row beasts. The Audi Q7 TDI is definitely in the latter group. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that if the luxury crossover field were a hockey team, the Q7 is the one you'd send over the boards to fight. It's imposing, muscular and sure on its feet.

I like all those attributes, but not everyone enjoys hockey fights — which is why the Q7 TDI might be the wrong car for luxury buyers. It has its faults, ranging from a loud engine to an interior with more buttons than any other car I've seen. And it's a car you'll have to make room for, because, like an enforcer, it's more likely to change you, than be willing to change for you.

Q7 Presence
The Q7 I tested came with a variety of large decals advertising its diesel engine, but only because it's a press-fleet car; regular Q7s won't have them. Otherwise, the Q7 looks really good. It has a nice shape with just the right amount of glass — not pinched with tiny windows like some SUVs are — and, most importantly, doesn't have any frivolous body pieces. Whoever decided the Q7 did not need the kind of silly front-fender vents seen on many other cars deserves a medal.

It apparently looks tough, too. I know that because I got cut off in traffic less while driving this SUV than in any other car I can remember. That's clearly not a scientific study, but it was a nice benefit. (Maybe the diesel engine scared other drivers.) I also had a great view when cars started to cut me off, then scurried back to their lanes. Visibility was excellent.

Audi has done well with the interior, especially the black leather in the test car, the good grip of the steering wheel and, weirdly, how rich the interior looks at night. All the controls and buttons are lit in red (except the needles on the gauges), and the effect is quite nice. It made me feel underdressed.

Buttons, Buttons, Buttons
Ah, yes, the buttons. This will take a bit. The Q7 has all the usual buttons to lock doors and lower windows. Then you have the buttons for the multimedia and navigation systems. Then there's the engine-start button, an engine-stop button and a button to run a check of the car's diagnostic systems. My favorite, though, is the button that opens the glove box.

Are all these buttons a pain to deal with? No. I just don't deal with them when I'm driving. My theory on German cars is that they expect you to do one thing when you're behind the wheel: Drive!

That means you use the steering wheel, brake, gas, gearshift (if necessary) and clutch pedal (ditto) — and that's it. If you want to change CDs, find a new destination or whatever, you should pull over and do that, then resume driving.

If you come to the Q7 thinking you'll just breeze down the road changing radio stations, switching from AM to FM, you're going to be disappointed. It'll take you more than a week to become fluent with all the buttons necessary to do those simple tasks, let alone something complicated — and it shouldn't. And, really, the better thing to do is just drive. Don't fight the Audi; you will lose.

Going in Two Modes
That's not to say the Q7 is totally without options. Like many luxury cars, you have the choice of Drive and Sport modes. In Sport mode, the Q7 kicks down gears quickly when you need to pass, and there's decent engine braking, as well. The only real drawback was a clunk when first gear was engaged. If you like, there are also paddle shifters, but they felt cheap in my hands.

In regular, Drive mode, the Q7 feels much smoother overall, and there's less engine braking. I usually stayed in Drive while cruising through the city.

Whichever mode you choose, the overall impression — both as the driver and as noted by my passengers — is that the Q7 feels very powerful. It feels settled on the road and very sure-footed, giving you a secure feeling.

The problem is that the Q7 is loud — too loud for luxury buyers. I like to hear the engine when I drive, but I'm in the minority; I'd be shocked if any luxury buyer wanted to hear a peep from the engine. It's not that the diesel sounds like a clattering diesel engine of old, it's just that you can hear the motor. That's out of place for this segment.

Handling the City, Parking Lots & Highways
Simply put, the Q7 drives smaller than it is. It's easy to drive on narrow roads, and the excellent visibility simplified passing and merging on the highway because it's easy to judge distances. The drivetrain likewise made it effortless. I haven't driven the gasoline-powered Q7 enough to determine if the diesel is better, but both have enough power to be fun highway cruisers.

The diesel version I tested gets the best mileage of any Q7, with an estimated 17/25 mpg city/highway. That compares with 13/18 mpg for the 4.2-liter gasoline V-8 and 14/20 for the 3.6-liter V-6.

I recommend getting the parking assist feature — but then, I have a very hard time judging exactly where the front of any car is. (I run into parking blocks a lot.) The Q7's sensors are set very low in the bumper, so they alert you to parking blocks and save you embarrassment — or worse. The optional sensors are particularly worth the price in this car.

Safety & Reliability
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the Audi Q7 its highest rating, Good, in both front and side-impact crash tests. See a list of its standard safety features here.

Consumer Reports predicts the Q7's reliability will be much worse than average.

Luxury Amenities
The Q7 TDI (Audi's diesel designation) that I tested came loaded with a number of extras, most of which were bundled into option packages. The Prestige Package ($5,900) included a parking assist system with a backup camera, a navigation system, driver's seat memory and a voice-control system for the navigation. The S Line Package ($1,200) brought brushed aluminum interior inlays, 20-inch wheels and an S Line steering wheel. It also had a three-panel panoramic sunroof for all rows of seats ($1,850), four-zone climate control ($1,150) and a towing package.

Standard features include heated front seats, an electronic stability system, eight-way power-adjustable front seats, four power outlets, rain-sensing wipers, an iPod-only interface, a power liftgate, a host of safety features and speed-sensitive steering.

While not a complete list, you get the idea: The Q7 has the standard fare for a luxury crossover these days. (For more details, check out our comparison of the 2008 and 2009 models here.) Based on its features, it clearly belongs in the ritzy-crossover neighborhood. It stickered at $62,375.

Q7 TDI in the Market
For me, the Q7's poor predicted reliability is a killer. Going back to the hockey analogy, what good is an enforcer if he's always injured?

Other people don't weigh predicted reliability as heavily, of course, and to them I say the Q7 has something many luxury cars lack: a personality. Again, it's muscular, sure-footed and strong in a way that distinguishes it from every other luxury crossover I've driven. It's got a loud engine for this segment, but given the choice between that and the bland whisperings of some other crossovers, I'd take the growl of the Audi every time.

The interior is, to my eye, probably the best of the luxury crossovers I've driven. It's comfortable and it looks like it's worth the cost of the car.

In the end, more than any other car I've driven, the Q7 is what it is — and it's not going to adapt to make you happy. Because I like a lot of what it does, I don't have a problem with that, but it's a car I recommend taking for a long test drive before buying, to be sure you can live with it.

Send Bill an email 


Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.5
16 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.6)
Performance
(4.5)
Interior Design
(4.8)
Comfort
(4.9)
Reliability
(4.3)
Value For The Money
(3.9)

Read reviews that mention:

(4.0)

Very good SUV that is fun to drive.

by SC Trojan from Downey, CA on July 14, 2018

This car has been a pleasure to own. I bought it pre-owned and have enjoyed it for 3 years. Driving it has been fun and what you can expect from an Audi. The car offers many luxury features and is a ... Read full review

(4.0)

Had to own a European car...

by Kirsten 19 from Calgary, Alberta on May 19, 2018

Tried it, loved the vehicle but once the warranty expired it was crazy expensive to repair. Tried it, loved it while under warranty but won?t ever again! Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2009 Audi Q7 currently has 1 recall


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2009 Audi Q7 3.6 5 Passenger

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Audi

New Car Program Benefits

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    48 months / unlimited distance

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits

  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    5 model years or newer/less than 60,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    1 year/unlimited miles after expiration of new vehicle limited warranty or from date of sale if the new vehicle limited warranty has expired

  • Powertrain

    N/A

  • Dealer Certification Required

    300-plus-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All CPO Program Details

Latest 2009 Q7 Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Q7 received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker