The interior has all of the quality and elegance you'd expect in an Audi, with beautiful leather, clean layout, and supportive but comfortable seats. One staffer said the front seats feel like La-Z-Boys. The MMI still takes a little time to get used to, but otherwise the cabin is beautiful. There are new lux options for 2011, including HD radio and a panorama roof. But there are some quirks in the cabin. If you aren't familiar with the glovebox, you might find yourself pulling on the edges of it, trying to find a handle or a lever. It's actually opened by pushing a button next to the nav/MMI screen, and also reveals the iPod connection. You can decide whether that's a smart security feature or silly and unnecessary. Also be warned that the A-pillars are fairly thick, slightly reducing front side visibility.

While carpooling, you can expect city/highway fuel economy of 17 and 25, and a fuel range of 660 miles. On our drive -- a combination of hard running on twisty roads and freeway cruising -- we recorded 20.2 mpg. The diesel emissions system uses AdBlue, a urea-based solution, and the refill point is a second small filler neck to the right of the diesel fill point behind the same fuel door.

The Audi Q7 TDI is fast, efficient, quiet, and handles well. Of course, that comes at a price, and on our test vehicle, that price is significant. This very well-equipped topline Premium Plus Q7 cost $58,275 as tested. But this SUV is one you can proudly use as a carpool vehicle with even the most gossipy of neighbors, to tow your boat with, or to take to dinner.

2011 Audi Q7 TDI Premium Plus
Base price $51,775
Price as Tested $58,275
Vehicle layout Front engine, AWD, 7-pass, 4-door SUV
Engine 3.0L/225-hp/406-lb-ft turbodiesel DOHC 24-valve V-6
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Wheelbase 118.2 in
Length x width x height 200.3 x 78.1 x 68.4 in
Curb weight (f/r dist) 5402 lb (52/48%)
Towing capacity 6600 lb
0-60 mph 8.6 sec
Quarter mile 16.5 sec @ 82.3 mph
Braking, 60-0 mph 124 ft
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 17/25 mpg
CO2 emissions 1.12 lb/mile
On sale in the U.S. Currently