2019 Audi Q7 vs. 2019 Chevrolet Traverse

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 Chevrolet Traverse 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 Traverse doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Audi Q7 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Chevrolet Traverse doesn’t offer height-adjustable front seat belts.

Both the Q7 and Traverse 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 Traverse’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 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 Traverse 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 Traverse 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 Traverse.

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 Traverse doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the Q7 and the Traverse have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Audi Q7 is safer than the Chevrolet Traverse:

 

Q7

Traverse

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

102

333

Chest Compression

.7 inches

.9 inches

Neck Stress

118 lbs.

128 lbs.

Neck Compression

38 lbs.

51 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

46/29 lbs.

258/133 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Audi Q7 is safer than the Chevrolet Traverse:

 

Q7

Traverse

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.8 inches

.9 inches

Abdominal Force

128 G’s

161 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

14 inches

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional 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 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Traverse has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The Q7 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Traverse’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The Q7’s corrosion warranty is 6 years and unlimited miles longer than the Traverse’s (12/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).

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 52 points higher than the Traverse.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 16 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Engine

The Q7 55 TFSI’s standard 3.0 supercharged V6 produces 19 more horsepower (329 vs. 310) and 59 lbs.-ft. more torque (325 vs. 266) than the Traverse’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Q7 55 TFSI 3.0 supercharged V6 is faster than the Chevrolet Traverse V6:

 

Q7

Traverse

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

6.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14 sec

15.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100.2 MPH

90.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Q7 55 TFSI V6 gets better city fuel mileage than the Traverse AWD V6 (19 city/25 hwy vs. 17 city/25 hwy).

The Q7 has 3.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Traverse FWD’s standard fuel tank (22.5 vs. 19.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Q7

Traverse

Front Rotors

14.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

12.4 inches

The Q7’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Traverse are solid, not vented.

The Q7 stops much shorter than the Traverse:

 

Q7

Traverse

 

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

176 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

135 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Q7’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Traverse (285/45R20 vs. 255/65R18).

The Q7 2.0T’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Traverse’s standard 65 series tires. The Q7’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Traverse LT Leather/RS/Premier/High Country’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Q7 offers optional 21-inch wheels. The Traverse’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

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 Traverse doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Q7 offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Traverse’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Q7’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (55% to 45%) than the Traverse’s (56.6% to 43.4%). This gives the Q7 more stable handling and braking.

The Q7 Prestige handles at .85 G’s, while the Traverse High Country AWD pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Q7 Premium Plus executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the Traverse Premier AWD (26.4 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 27.8 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

Chassis

The Q7 is 4.7 inches shorter than the Traverse, making the Q7 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Q7 Prestige is quieter than the Traverse High Country AWD:

 

Q7

Traverse

Full-Throttle

70 dB

76 dB

70 MPH Cruising

65 dB

67 dB

Passenger Space

The Q7 has .7 inches more front legroom and .4 inches more rear legroom than the Traverse.

Cargo Capacity

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

Towing

The Q7’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Traverse’s (4400 vs. 1500 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Chevrolet Traverse is only 5000 pounds. The Q7 offers up to a 7700 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the Q7 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Traverse. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Chevrolet. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 22% lower rating, Chevrolet is ranked 10th.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Traverse Premier/High Country, the Q7 Prestige offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

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 Traverse 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 Traverse’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its front windows open automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Q7 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Traverse can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Q7’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Traverse’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 Traverse doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Q7 offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Traverse doesn’t offer cornering lights. The Q7 also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

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 Traverse 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 Traverse doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The Q7 has a standard center folding armrest for the middle row passengers. A center armrest helps make middle row passengers more comfortable. The Traverse doesn’t offer a middle row seat center armrest.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Q7 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Q7 with a number “5” insurance rate while the Traverse is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Q7 is less expensive to operate than the Traverse because it costs $126 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Q7 than the Traverse, including $179 less for a water pump, $4 less for front brake pads and $114 less for a fuel pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi Q7, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Chevrolet Traverse isn't recommended.

The Q7 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 2 of the last 2 years. The Traverse has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

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

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