Two top contenders in the three-row luxury SUV class that are holding their own in 2017 are the Volvo XC90 and the Audi Q7. The flagship crossover from Volvo added more robust infotainment apps, more room, upgraded safety features, a new trim level, and top safety scores. New in 2017 for the seven-passenger three-row luxury crossover from Audi is a complete redesign, along with advanced technology, a new turbo-charged engine, a more comfortable ride, and a reduced curb weight. Read on to find out who finishes first in Head to Head: 2017 Volvo XC90 vs. 2017 Audi Q7.
2017 Volvo XC90 vs. 2017 Audi Q7 Interior Comparison
The 2017 Volvo XC90 piles on plush high-quality materials (Nappa leather and birchwood trim in T6 trim and above) within the refined cabin that is comprised largely of Scandinavian design in all trim levels. Noteworthy on the T8 Excellence trim level are decadent features that include two captains’ chairs, complete with footrests, folding trays, and heated and cooled cupholders with two crystal glasses. Available options include a refrigerator, ventilation and heated seats, as well as a massage feature. With 85.7 cubic feet of cargo space [with second and third row seats folded down], the Volvo XC90 is one of the roomiest luxury crossovers in its class.
The 2017 Audi Q7 base model comes with three-zone climate control, leather upholstery, driver’s seat with memory settings, as well as heated and power-adjustable front seats with lumbar adjustment. Well-thought out layout of controls and a sophisticated interface displays today’s most forward-facing auto-tech intelligence. There is a super abundance of room thanks to the new design, with 71.6 maximum cubic feet of available cargo space with the third row stowed and the second row down.
2017 Volvo XC90 vs. 2017 Audi Q7 Exterior Comparison
The Volvo XC90’s wheels start at 18 inches on the standard model, with up to 22-inch-wheels available across trim levels and as add-on options. Across configurations, you’ll also get a hands-free power tailgate, keyless entry and ignition, a panoramic sunroof, roof rails, and LED headlights. Notable with the R-Design configuration is its distinctive grille, accents, and illuminated step plates.
This year’s Audi Q7 has returned to its roots and has retained its more wagon-like resemblance with sharpened edges to the exterior design, as well as a more carved-out grille. Features that come standard with the base Audi Q7 include 18-inch alloy wheels, parking sensors, LED taillights and running lights, roof rails, a panoramic sunroof, and a power liftgate.
2017 Volvo XC90 vs. 2017 Audi Q7 Performance Comparison
The 2017 Volvo XC90 comes in the following configurations: the T8 Excellence seats four, the T5 seats five, and the T6 and T8 seat seven. Trim levels available with all configurations include: Momentum, R-Design, Inscription, and the ultra-luxurious Excellence model (new this year). There is also a hybrid which is referred to as the T8 Twin Engine Plug-In Hybrid. All Wheel Drive is standard or optional and all are paired with an eight-speed transmission. The Volvo XC90 T5 has a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine capable of emitting 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The next tier up, the T6, has a super-and-turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that emits 316-hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The XC90 T8 Hybrid has a T8 Twin Engine plug-in powertrain comprised of the same engine as the XC90 T6, along with an 87-hp electric motor—for a combined output of 400-hp and 472 lb-ft of torque. Charge duration lasts up to seven hours with a 120 Volt outlet and 2.5 hours with a 240 Volt outlet. Overall, handling is good for a midsized SUV, with both dexterity and agility around corners.
The All-New 2017 Audi Q7 full-size SUV comes in three trim levels: Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. Two engines are available that come in AWD and with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The 2.0-liter turbo-charged four-cylinder emits 252-hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. The second engine is a super-charged 3.0-liter V6 that generates 333 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. Driving the new Q7 is a breeze with multiple drive modes, confident cornering, responsive brakes, and an overall lithe athletic prowess for a vehicle of its size (and weighing nearly 5,000 pounds). Notable mention: The Q7 with the V6 can tow up to 7,700 pounds.
2017 Volvo XC90 vs. 2017 Audi Q7 Feature Comparison
Standard features include a 12.3-in. digital display and 9-inch infotainment touchscreen. The Sensus display screen looks and functions much like a tablet and new apps like Spotify can now be streamed directly on the display. There is also built-in navigation and a rearview camera. Additional tech features include smartphone compatibility, Voice Controls, and a stereo with 10-speakers, satellite radio and a USB port. The 2017 Volvo XC90 received the Top Safety Pick rating for crash protection from IIHS*. Standard safety features include rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, and many others. Several packages are available grouped in categories like Climate, Luxury and Convenience—with the latter you can get additional safety features like Pilot Assist and Parking Assist. There are also stand-alone add-ons like a Bowers & Wilkins 19-speaker stereo, adaptive air suspension, and a built-in second row child booster seat.
Standard technology features of the 2017 Audi Q7 include a 7-inch display, MMI Infotainment, Bluetooth Connectivity, a 10-speaker stereo, HD and satellite radio, CD player, two USB ports, and a rearview camera. Optional tech add-ons include navigation with Voice Controls, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, and smartphone compatibility for both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Standard safety features include forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic braking. Notable features you can get with the Luxury package (Prestige only) include upgraded upholstery, faux-suede headliner and multi-contour front seats with massage. The available Adaptive Chassis package adds a night-vision camera, Bang & Olufsen stereo with 23 speakers and all wheel steering with adaptive air suspension.
2017 Volvo XC90 vs. 2017 Audi Q7 Overall Comparison
The Volvo XC90 and Audi Q7 are 2017’s answer to the upwardly mobile and active modern family. The list of pros for each are too numerous to point out, but we find it outstanding they both have many luxury features that are often included as standard. Further similarities include: powerful turbo-and-supercharged engines that come in AWD and are mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission, an endless list of safety features, loads of cabin space, the availability of super premium technology and comfort features. With both, you get a mix of practical and luxury along with durable. With top safety scores, both are winning at the three-row luxury crossover game. We say schedule a test-drive of each SUV at your local AutoNation-affiliated dealership, with the kids in tow, and let them tell you what they think.