By Peter Perrotta
I must admit. I was never a big fan of Audis.
Years back, I was always confused by their dashboard instrumentation configurations and how the basic knobs and switches interacted accordingly.
It all seemed a bit confusing to me.
Don’t get me wrong. The Audis always had that strong German build quality to them and brought to the table that “in any kind of weather” attitude the quattro all-wheel-drive system offered.
But, if you had asked me which of the “Big Three” German luxury importers I preferred, Audi would not have been on the top of that list.
But, like everything else in life, things can change.
I recently spent one week behind the wheel of the 2022 Audi Q7 55 quattro and I must say, I was quite impressed.
This week’s On The Road will take a closer look at that Q7 and we will also take a capsule glimpse at the 2022 Toyota CHR limited.
The Q7 is a three-row, mid-sized, luxury SUV that offers the quattro all-wheel-drive system. This vehicle is quite utilitarian in all kinds of weather and luxurious at the same time.
It is no wonder that when you travel north into the New England area, the motor vehicle landscape becomes dotted with quite a few Audis. This is a fantastic cold weather car.
But more than that. What once – to me – was a confusing interior ergonomic set up has now become a lot more user friendly and sleek.
I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed my one week behind the wheel of the 2022 Q7 55.
This vehicle is good looking, comfortable, fun to drive and safe on the highway at high speeds or just zipping in and out of traffic around town.
The Q7 55 is powered by a newly offered (since 2020) turbo charged 3.0-liter V-6 that also uses a 48-volt hybrid system to generate 335 horsepower.
It does a zero to 60 miles per hour (mph) test in a rather quick five seconds.
I found this engine to be quite competent in all types of road situations one may encounter.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel consumption ratings for this vehicle come in at 20 miles per gallon (mpg) overall – 23 mpg on the highway and 18 mpg in city driving.
The EPA also estimates that it will cost the average Audi Q7 owner about $2,200 annually in fuel as it uses five gallons per every 100 miles driven.
The base price of the Q7 55 premium I tested is $62,500. With all the added options on my tester the bottom-line sticker price comes in at $77,395.
Some of the more expensive options added to my test vehicle were: $10,800 for the Prestige Package; $1,750 for the Black Optic Package and $1,500 for all wheel steering.
Some of the items included in the Prestige Package include: 20-inch, five spoke design wheels; all season run flat tires; Bang and Olufsen premium sound system; air suspension; heads up display and power soft closing doors.
The Q7 is offered in five different trim levels. The Premium 45 and 45 Plus are four-cylinder turbo versions ($58,695 to $61,595 base prices).
The turbo charged V-6 versions come in three trim levels: the Premium 55 ($62,295), Premium Plus ($65,895) and the top-of-the-line Prestige ($74,495).
Car and Driver gave the 2022 Q7 an 8 out of 10 overall score.
Car and Driver gives the Q7 high marks for its agile handling, high-tech cabin features and being spacious in all but the third row.
The bottom line is, if you are considering a luxury, three row, mid-sized SUV then you would be remiss not to include that Q7 on your short list.
2022 TOYOTA CHR LIMITED
My first go round with the Toyota CHR a couple of years ago wasn’t so pleasant. I was not overly impressed with this compact crossover.
However, the folks at Toyota seemed to have tweaked this front wheel drive crossover a bit, making it a bit more pleasant to drive.
The CHR is rather small, but at the same time you don’t feel too squeezed into it once you nestle yourself behind the wheel.
There is ample leg room for a full-sized adult and a surprisingly good amount of cargo space behind your seat.
The sight lines are good as well.
The ride and power are average, though. If you are looking for a smooth bump free ride, then this isn’t the vehicle for you.
The CHR is powered by a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that won’t win you any Indianapolis 500 races. It’s a bit slow.
However, if the lack of power doesn’t bother you, then this vehicle makes up for it in its fuel economy.
The EPA fuel consumption ratings for the CHR come in at an impressive 29 mpg overall – 31 mpg on the highway and 27 in city driving.
The EPA estimates annual fuel costs at $1,200 as this vehicle uses 3.4 gallons of gas per every 100 miles.
The base price for the CHR limited is $26,900. The bottom-line sticker price came in at $28,580.
Peter Perrotta’s On The Road column appears every other week. He can be contacted at email@example.com
This On The Road column is sponsored by Capital Motor Cars of Springfield, N.J. one of the leading leasing agents in the area.