2018 Audi Q7 vs. 2017 Lincoln Navigator

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Lincoln Navigator doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

The Q7’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Navigator doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the Q7 and Navigator have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Q7 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Navigator’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The Q7 has standard Pre Sense City, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Navigator doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The Q7 has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Navigator doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Q7 offers an optional backup collision prevention system which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Navigator doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

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

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the Q7 Prestige helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The Navigator doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The Q7’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Navigator doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Q7 offers an optional Top View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Navigator only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

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 Navigator uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the Q7 and the Navigator have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Q7 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 117 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Navigator has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Q7’s reliability 38 points higher than the Navigator.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi fourth in reliability. Lincoln is ranked 20th.

Engine

As tested in Motor Trend the Q7 3.0T 3.0 supercharged V6 is faster than the Lincoln Navigator:

 

Q7

Navigator

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

6.5 sec

Quarter Mile

14 sec

15.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100.2 MPH

90.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Q7 3.0T V6 gets better fuel mileage than the Navigator 4x4 (19 city/25 hwy vs. 15 city/20 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Q7’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Navigator doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is available on the Audi Q7, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Navigator.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Q7

Navigator

Front Rotors

14.8 inches

13.8 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

13.6 inches

The Q7 stops much shorter than the Navigator:

 

Q7

Navigator

 

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

151 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

The Q7’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Navigator’s optional 45 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the Q7 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Navigator doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Q7 Prestige handles at .85 G’s, while the Navigator 4x4 pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Q7 Premium Plus executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.7 seconds quicker than the Navigator 4x4 (26.4 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Q7 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Navigator (8.3 vs. 8.1 inches), allowing the Q7 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Q7 w/Air Suspension’s minimum ground clearance is 1.6 inches higher than on the Navigator (9.7 vs. 8.1 inches).

Chassis

The Audi Q7 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 950 to 1100 pounds less than the Lincoln Navigator.

The Q7 is 7.8 inches shorter than the Navigator, making the Q7 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The Q7 is 9.6 inches shorter in height than the Navigator, making the Q7 much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

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 Navigator doesn’t use unibody construction, but a body-on-frame design.

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Q7 easier. The Q7’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 32.5 inches, while the Navigator’s liftover is 34.8 inches.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Q7. The Navigator doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Q7’s cargo door can be opened and closed just by waving your foot, leaving your hands completely free. The Navigator doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its cargo door, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics

The Q7 Prestige has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Navigator doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 Navigator’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or 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 or the keyless remote; on a hot day the driver can lower the windows. The driver of the Navigator 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 Navigator doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

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 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Navigator doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Q7 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Navigator doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

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 Navigator 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 Navigator doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

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 Navigator’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

On extremely cold winter days, the Q7’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Navigator doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Q7 Premium Plus/Prestige offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Navigator doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Economic Advantages

The Q7 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Q7 will retain 46.42% to 52.44% of its original price after five years, while the Navigator only retains 42.07% to 42.57%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Audi Q7 will be $9104 to $9443 less than for the Lincoln Navigator.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® chose the Audi Q7 as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Lincoln Navigator isn't recommended.

The Audi Q7 outsold the Lincoln Navigator/Navigator L by over two to one during the 2016 model year.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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