Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2011 Audi Q7 VS 2011 Ford Explorer Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2011 Audi Q7

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2011 Ford Explorer

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Audi Q7 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Ford Explorer doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle seat belts.

The Q7 has standard whiplash protection, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the whiplash protection system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Explorer doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All Wheel Drive is standard on the Q7. But it costs extra on the Explorer.

The Q7’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Explorer doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Q7 has standard Parktronic to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, optionally, in front of the vehicle. The Explorer doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

Both the Q7 and the Explorer have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

The Q7 comes with a full 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The Explorer’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The Q7’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Explorer’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Audi pays for scheduled maintenance on the Q7 for 1 year and 5000 miles. Audi will pay for oil changes, tire rotation, lubrication and any other scheduled maintenance. Ford doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Explorer.

Reliability Comparison

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Q7 has a 190 amp alternator. The Explorer’s standard 175 amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

Engine Comparison

The Q7 3.0T’s standard 3.0 supercharged V6 produces 35 more horsepower (272 vs. 237) and 45 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 250) than the Explorer’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The Q7 3.0T’s 3.0 supercharged V6 produces 40 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 255) than the Explorer’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6. The Q7 3.0T S line’s standard 3.0 supercharged V6 produces 43 more horsepower (333 vs. 290) and 70 lbs.-ft. more torque (325 vs. 255) than the Explorer’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6.

The Q7’s 3.0 turbo V6 diesel produces 156 lbs.-ft. more torque (406 vs. 250) than the Explorer’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The Q7’s 3.0 turbo V6 diesel produces 151 lbs.-ft. more torque (406 vs. 255) than the Explorer’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the Q7 3.0T S line is faster than the Ford Explorer V6:



Zero to 30 MPH

2.2 sec

2.8 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.6 sec

7.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

17.1 sec

21.3 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.9 sec

7.9 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.2 sec

3.9 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.4 sec

6 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

89 MPH

Top Speed

130 MPH

108 MPH

For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the Q7’s engines produce their peak horsepower at lower RPM’s than the Explorer:


Q7 3.0T supercharged V6

4750 RPM

Q7 3.0T S line supercharged V6

5500 RPM

Explorer 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

5500 RPM

Explorer 3.5 DOHC V6

6500 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Q7 has 7.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the Explorer (26.4 vs. 18.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Q7’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Explorer:



Front Rotors

13.8 inches

12.8 inches

The Q7 stops shorter than the Explorer:



70 to 0 MPH

170 feet

174 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

120 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Q7 has larger standard tires than the Explorer (255/55R18 vs. 245/65R17). The Q7 S line Prestige’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Explorer (295/35R21 vs. 255/50R20).

The Q7’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Explorer’s standard 65 series tires. The Q7 S line Prestige’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Explorer’s optional 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Q7 has standard 18 inch wheels. Smaller 17 inch wheels are standard on the Explorer. The Q7 S line Prestige’s optional 21 inch wheels are larger than the 20 inch wheels optional on the Explorer.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Q7 offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Explorer’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Q7 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Q7’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The Explorer doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Q7’s wheelbase is 5.6 inches longer than on the Explorer (118.2 inches vs. 112.6 inches).

The Q7’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (52% to 48%) than the Explorer’s (54.1% to 45.9%). This gives the Q7 more stable handling and braking.

The Q7 S line Prestige handles at .85 G’s, while the Explorer Limited 4WD pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Q7 TDI Premium executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Explorer XLT 4WD (28.4 seconds @ .58 average G’s vs. 28.8 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Q7 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Explorer (8.1 vs. 7.6 inches), allowing the Q7 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Q7 air suspension’s minimum ground clearance is 1.8 inches higher than on the Explorer (9.4 vs. 7.6 inches).

Chassis Comparison

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Q7 S line Prestige is quieter than the Explorer Limited 4WD (72 vs. 75 dB).

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Q7 has standard second and third row seats which fold flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The Explorer doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Q7’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Explorer’s standard power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.

If the windows are left down on the Q7 the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder; on a hot day the driver can lower the windows. The driver of the Explorer can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Q7 has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Explorer doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Q7’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Explorer’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Q7 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Explorer doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The Q7 has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The Explorer has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the XLT/Limited.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Q7 Prestige has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Explorer doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To better shield the driver and front passenger’s vision, the Q7 has standard dual-element sun visors that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The Explorer doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

A manual rear sun shade is optional in the Q7 to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Explorer doesn’t offer a rear sun shade.

When the Q7 is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Explorer’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Q7 offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Explorer has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Q7 has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the Explorer, and aren’t available on the Explorer Base. The Q7 also offers optional heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the Explorer.

The Q7’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Explorer Base doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

The Q7’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Explorer Base doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

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