That baggage, five large hiking packs full of sleeping bags, food, and far too much whiskey, fit in the rear without any struggle. Some buyers might consider a five-passenger crossover—a Q5 perhaps, staying in the Audi family—but while our trip did involve five passengers, I don’t think we would have had the same success without the extra length provided by a folded down third row. The Q7’s wide, squared-off cargo area gobbled up everything we could throw its way, and I still had a decent view rearward from the driver’s seat.
We eventually escape the gridlock somewhere west of Schaumburg, Illinois, on our way slightly west before heading due north past Madison, Wisconsin. Thanks to a huge reserve of torque that’s readily accessible right off idle and reaches its 406-lb-ft peak at 2000 rpm, the city’s traffic didn’t seem all that bad. Stopping in short bursts isn’t a chore because a very small amount of throttle is required to smoothly begin moving again with a feeling something like a chair lift. Without much noise or jerkiness, you’re all of a sudden moving again. Gone even is the touchy throttle tip-in of many gas-powered Audis of late. This, the torquey-est of Audis might also provide the most relaxed driving experience.