If we're about to sound a little down on the Q7, it's because this three-row SUV is getting seriously long in the tooth -- and frankly, it wasn't one of our favorites when it was new. Not that there's anything wrong with the Q7, but it's a vehicle that was clearly conceived in a different time, and there are now much better choices. From behind the wheel, the Q7 feels enormous, and its nearly 5600-pound curb weight explains why. In response to high gas prices, the Q7 received a number of powertrain revisions last year. The V-8 got the ax, leaving a trio of 3.0-liter V-6s to choose from. The base gasoline engine is a 280-hp supercharged V-6 hooked to an intelligent eight-speed automatic; the combo is good for a 7.7-second scoot to 60 mph. S line Q7s receive a 333-hp version of that engine, knocking the sprint off in 6.9 seconds with no penalty at the pump. Our choice would be the torquey turbo-diesel, which can hit 60 mph in a brisk, drama-free 8.0 seconds. It's too bad that the diesel's EPA ratings don't show much of a fuel-economy benefit. Like other Audis, the Q7 is sharply dressed inside and out, and its infotainment system has been upgraded for 2012 to include Audi Connect. The system can overlay Google Earth images over maps, provide real-time traffic information, and act as a mobile Wi-Fi hot spot for up to eight devices. It also allows the driver to perform Google Voice local searches for navigation destinations.
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