The “school run” is a tried and true way to evaluate the latest SUV. How well does it stand up to the rigors and abuse from a second grader as well as what other mom’s and dad’s are driving? I know, we’re technically still on summer break, but cut me some slack, I’ve had a lot of press loaners. This particular 2022 Audi Q7 Prestige rolled in just as the school season was ending and I got to spend some time on pick-up and drop-off with it, so let’s see how it did.
2022 Q7 Overview
Apparently I’m so deficient in writing about my press loan queue that Audi went ahead and updated their website for the Q7 to the 2023 model year. Oopsie. Just understand that some of what you see may not be 100% accurate for the 2022 model year. However, it looks like besides a 13 horsepower bump for the base turbo engine, and some packaging and trim updates, things aren’t dramatically different for 2023. Naturally, prices are up a bit, but you still get three overall trim levels, Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige.
The Premium and Premium Plus come in “45” or “55” spec, which means you get either the base 2.0L four-cylinder (45) or the 3.0L six-cylinder (55). Make sense? Our tester is a top spec 55 TFSI Prestige which means it ticks all the boxes. Audi added Samurai Gray metallic paint ($595) and the Luxury Package ($5,800) which includes an Alcantara headliner, massaging front seats, and upgraded leather throughout. Well, technically the Prestige package is listed, but it’s a Prestige, so yeah. Whatever, here, check it out.
Out the door you’re over $80,000. Let’s dig deep into the top spec Q7 and see if it’s worth it’s MSRP.
2022 Q7 Prestige Inside & Out
If I’m honest, the exterior is a bit anonymous. On the school run, waiting in line with a host of other luxury SUVs, it blended in more than my extroverted self would have wanted. Each week the person who checks the kids out notes what I’m driving that week and asks about it. The Q7 ended up sliding through the pick-up circle unnoticed. Maybe it’s the gray paint. For those who want a safe conservative design, the Q7 is perfect. Perhaps I’m being too harsh, the Q7 has evolved well over its two generations and the 2022 version is a handsome SUV and likely perfect for most target buyers.
It’s really the inside where the Q7 Prestige shines. That $80,000 price tag comes with a massive amount of features, just look at how small the font gets on that window sticker up there! You get premium leather, a great looking wood trim, and what amounts to a ridiculously comfortable interior.
The infotainment system is simple and easy to use, something that I find is not always the case in new cars these days. The screen is well integrated into the interior, it no longer looks like someone tacked an iPad onto the dashboard. There is a lower screen that displays air conditioning and other controls, which is nice when the top screen is fully ensconced in Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. However, it’s placement does remove an additional spot to put smaller items while on the go.
Plus it has a real volume knob, even if it is in a weird place (bottom right, down near the cupholders like other Audis). Audi’s virtual cockpit is still cool, and is more configurable than ever. I love that I can easily scroll through XM stations with my left thumb on the steering wheel, and then cycle through the driver’s screen (and/or the heads up display).
Let’s talk about that massage function though.
As the meme above should have told you, Audi’s massaging seats are phenomenal. I was lucky enough to have three vehicles in a row with massaging seats, the Genesis G80, the Lexus LX 600, and then this Q7. They were all good, but the Audi was the best by far. There are multiple settings and you can opt for light or hard pressure. It made me realize that I need a daily driver with massaging feature.
Throughout the interior, space was decent if not class leading. The middle row was adequate, while the third row (center above) was pretty cramped. I currently own a 2018 GLS 450 and we cross-shopped the Q7 before we pulled the trigger on the Benz, primarily ruling it out because of the scant third row seating. However, as a three row SUV owner, I can say that we drop the back seats regularly, only putting them up when we have extra passengers. Thus, the Q7 would make a great option for those not needing regular third row seating, but instead wanting to use the extra cargo room beyond the 14.8 cu. ft. available behind the third row.
Things aren’t perfect, the chrome trim up front gets really hot to the touch, and can occasionally reflect the sun into your eyes. Plus, like a lot of automakers, there is way too much piano black on the dashboard, a wide swath of it running across the passengers side. Also, the center console is oddly shallow but that won’t likely affect your day-to-day all that much. Minor grips in an otherwise fantastic interior.
Now, this top spec Prestige isn’t cheap, but it’s in line with other German luxury three rows. In fact, it’s cheaper than the BMW X7, which starts at near $75,000, and the aforementioned Mercedes-Benz GLS 450, which starts at over $77,000. However, it’s definitely pricier than three row options from Volvo, Acura, and Lexus, not to mention the latest stuff coming out of Genesis.
Out on the road though, this fits the prototypical definition of a “Q-ship”. I know, that’s corny, but it’s quick, it’s comfortable, and it would be a fantastic way to take a long drive. The Q7 is a great all-around family hauler for the school run, but would also be great transportation for a weekend away with that special someone. It should definitely be on your three-row SUV shopping list.
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