For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Audi Q7 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Cadillac Escalade doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.
The Q7 has a standard Audi Backguard System, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Audi Backguard System moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Escalade 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 Escalade.
When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Q7’s standard Hill Descent Control allow you to creep down safely. The Escalade doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.
For better protection of the passenger compartment, the Q7 uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The Escalade uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.
Both the Q7 and the Escalade have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.
The Q7’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the Escalade’s (12 vs. 6 years).
For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the Q7 have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engine in the Escalade.
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Q7 has a standard 190-amp alternator. The Escalade’s 170-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.
On the EPA test cycle the Q7 TDI gets better fuel mileage than the Escalade 4WD (19 city/28 hwy vs. 14 city/21 hwy).
On the EPA test cycle the Q7 3.0T gets better fuel mileage than the Escalade 4x4 (16 city/22 hwy vs. 14 city/21 hwy).
For better stopping power the Q7’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Escalade:
For better traction, the Q7 S line Prestige’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Escalade (295/35R21 vs. 285/45R22).
The Q7 S line Prestige’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Escalade’s optional 45 series tires.
For superior ride and handling, the Audi Q7 has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Cadillac Escalade has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Q7’s wheelbase is 2.2 inches longer than on the Escalade (118.2 inches vs. 116 inches).
The Audi Q7 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 450 pounds less than the Cadillac Escalade.
The Q7 is 3.6 inches shorter than the Escalade, making the Q7 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
Unibody construction makes the Q7’s chassis much stiffer, which contributes to better handling, and enables softer springs to be used for a better ride. Unibody construction’s stiffness also contributes to better durability and less body squeaks and rattles. The Escalade doesn’t use unibody construction, but a body-on-frame design.
The Q7 has .3 inches more rear headroom and 4.4 inches more third row legroom than the Escalade.
A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Q7 easier. The Q7’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 32.9 inches, while the Escalade’s liftover is 35.9 inches.
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 Escalade doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.
The Q7’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Escalade’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.
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 Escalade 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 Escalade doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.
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 Escalade doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Q7 Prestige offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Escalade doesn’t offer headlight washers.
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 Escalade doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.
A manual rear sunshade is optional in the Q7 to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Escalade doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.
The Audi Q7 outsold the Cadillac Escalade by 27% during 2013.