The Audi Q7 has long been a top option for anyone looking to buy a luxury SUV. Though most Q7s are great vehicles, here are the Audi Q7 years to avoid.
What are the Audi Q7 years I should avoid?
So which Audi Q7 model years should be avoided? In truth, you really can’t go wrong buying any model year of the Audi Q7 as they have all proven to be high quality extremely reliable vehicles. However, the Lexus Q7 model years that experience the most issues are the 2007, 2015, and 2017 models.
Through reliable resources like KBB, consumer reports, carcomplaints.com, and audicomplaints.com we can find out which model years are more likely to have problems and what the most common problems are.
Audi Q7 Overview
The Audi Q7 is a mid-size luxury SUV that Audi has been producing since 2005. The Q7 was actually Audi’s first attempt at selling an SUV and it was met with immediate success. With all-wheel drive coming standard and enough power to keep you on your toes, it’s hard not to see why.
The Q7 has always come with three rows of seats and enough room for seven passengers to fit comfortably, but it has never been a simple luxury minivan.
It’s packed with cutting edge technology and designed to be just as fun to drive as any of Audi’s other offerings. There’s no doubt that Audi has hit it out of the park with the Q7.
Though it is again important to point out that the Audi Q7 is an extremely reliable vehicle that you most likely won’t experience any issues with, there are a few problems that affect the majority of model years.
Though most are simple annoyances and not the end of the world, it’s still important to be aware of any potential problem you might face throughout the life of your Q7.
Problems With Audi’s Start-Stop System
The first issue that many Q7 owners complain about is something that affects all of Audi’s offerings. Audi’s start-stop system has come under fire for having some dangerous defects with multiple lawsuits being filed over the issue since 2017.
Audi’s start-stop system was introduced in 2009 so, though the system isn’t present in the oldest Q7 models if purchasing a model from after 2009 you will most likely have to deal with the issues present in the system.
The benefits of the system are easy to point out. In order to squeeze every last bit of efficiency possible out of a car’s engine, many car companies have incorporated stop-start systems into their vehicles as of late.
The idea behind start-stop systems is that as the vehicle comes to a stop the engine will turn off to avoid wasting gas from idling at red lights and while stuck in traffic.
This sounds nice in theory but in truth, it only improves engine efficiency by a few percentage points so if the system doesn’t work correctly, it can easily become more of a nuisance than an advantage.
Unfortunately, this is the case with Audi’s system. There are lots of problems associated with the system that not only makes it annoying but in some cases flat-out dangerous.
Power Steering And Brakes Shutting Off
One of the most dangerous issues associated with the system is that the power steering and brakes may turn off when you need them. Many Audi owners have reported that these systems can shut off well before the car has come to a complete stop and are often slow to come back on when pressing down on the gas again.
This can be incredibly dangerous if you need to quickly stop the car or steer out of the way quickly when decelerating.
The Engine Doesn’t Turn Back Once The Seat Belt Is Unclipped
Another weird feature of the system is that the engine will turn off if you take off your seat belt. This seems simple enough to avoid, but, if you need to take your seat belt off to reach for something you dropped or access a drive-through ATM, the engine will not turn back on, even after you put your seat belt back on.
The only way to get the engine started again once you’ve removed your seat belt is by putting the seat belt on again, putting the car into park, and hitting the ignition once more.
This can be quite dangerous if your car starts to roll away as soon as you take your foot off the brake and you are unaware of what exactly you need to do to get the engine on again.
Audi really wanted to squeeze every second out of their start-stop system so they designed it to only turn the engine back on once the brake is released. In theory, this would allow the engine to turn on before the driver gets their foot on the gas pedal again.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be how it works in practice. Many Audi drivers have reported that the acceleration can be slow and hesitant, which can be very dangerous if you need to move out of the way or get through a busy intersection as quickly as possible.
Problems With Fuel Leaking From The Fuel Pump Flanges
Another problem that many Audi Q7s face is that the fuel pump flanges often develop hairline cracks that can cause fuel to leak from them.
This can be incredibly dangerous as it only takes a single drop of fuel leaking out near a hot engine or exhaust component to cause a flame, and many Q7 and Q5 owners have reported smelling from inside the car when these leaks start happening.
Audi has issued recalls on all Q7s from 2007 to 2017 in an attempt to remedy the issue however, it is important to note that just because the car was recalled doesn’t mean the Q7 you pick up was fixed.
Overall, 240,000 Q7s and Q5s have been recalled since 2016.
What Audi Q7 Model Years Should I Avoid?
Once again, I think it is important to state that all Audi Q7s are great vehicles that have been proven to be incredibly reliable over time. That being said, the worst model years are best avoided.
2007 Audi Q7
The 2007 Q7 is definitively the worst model year you can buy. In addition to being a part of the fuel pump flange recall, this model year also has also been reported to have problems with the brakes and some electrical components.
Electronic Stability Program (ESP) Malfunctions
The electronic stability program or ESP of the Audi Q7 has been reported by some owners to malfunction in dangerous ways.
Basically, what happens is that when this system malfunctions, the vehicle automatically activates the ABS braking system which can be incredibly dangerous if you’re driving at medium to high speeds with other cars close behind you. A malfunction like this can easily cause an accident.
The Engine Won’t Start
Another common electrical issue reported by some Q7 owners is that the engine simply won’t start. Though this issue only seems to occur once the car has been driven over 65,000 miles, it is costly to fix. The repair cost for this electrical issue can be upwards of $3,000 which is quite an unpleasant surprise for any Q7 owner.
2017 Audi Q7
The 2017 Q7 is the second most complained about Q7 model.
It is prone to issues with the start-stop system as mentioned above and is the last model year to be recalled for the leaking fuel pump flanges. However, there are a few other issues that owners have reported experiencing as well.
Though it is a minor issue, some Q7 owners have reported that the brakes become excessively squealy when pressure is applied to the brake pedal.
There are no reports of the brakes failing altogether, but the loud squealing can make for a rather unpleasant driving experience.
Problems With The Engine
Two Q7 owners reported catastrophic engine failure in their vehicles around the 85,000 mile mark. Though this is a very rare issue, the price of replacing the entire engine can be quite steep and upwards of $6,000 dollars.
One Q7 owner also reported that their engine stalled out in traffic, While, again this is an incredibly rare problem only reported by one person, it is still worth noting as this could easily cause an accident.
Issues With The Radio
There have also been reports of the radio not working properly in the 2017 model year. Though this issue was only experienced by a few owners, it can still be quite annoying if the radio glitches out and stops working on you, especially if you have a long commute to work in the morning and have to miss out on your favorite morning show.
2015 Audi Q7
Though it came out two years before the 2017 model, the 2015 Q7 has fewer issues making it just slightly better than the 2017 model.
It too is prone to the start-stop system problems mentioned above and is also a part of the recall related to gas leaking from the fuel pump flanges but there are a few other issues reported by some owners.
Advanced Key Malfunctions
The most common complaint by 2015 Q7 owners is that the electronics in control of the Advanced Key System can malfunction causing the car to lock without any input from the driver.
This can be incredibly annoying if it causes you to get locked out of your own car or even worse if it locks your kids in. This issue is rare and has only been reported by two owners but it is still something important to be aware of.
Issues With The Engine
Though also very uncommon, one 2015 Q7 owner reported that they experienced maintenance issues with the engine of their car, causing the car to need to be serviced much more than expected.
Another owner reported that their Q7 experienced a timing chain tensioner failure which can result in the need to replace the powertrain completely.
- The 2007, 2015 and 2017 Audi Q7 model years are the ones to avoid.
- The most common problem Q7 owners face has to do with Audi’s start-stop system.
- All models between the 2007 and 2017 have been recalled because of fuel leaks from the fuel pump flanges.
- Though these are the worst models you really can’t go wrong with any model year.
- These are the best Audi Q7 model years.