2019 Audi Q7 vs. 2019 Dodge Durango

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 Dodge Durango 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 Durango doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the Q7 and Durango 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 Durango’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 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Pre Sense City optional in the Q7 as “Superior.” The Durango scores only 1 point and is rated only “Basic.”

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 Durango 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 Durango 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 Durango.

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 Durango doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The Q7 offers an optional Top View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Durango 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.

Both the Q7 and the Durango 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, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems 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 Dodge Durango:

 

Q7

Durango

 

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

99

144

Neck Injury Risk

25%

34%

Neck Stress

186 lbs.

251 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

61/46 lbs.

427/350 lbs.

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

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Audi Q7 is safer than the Durango:

 

Q7

Durango

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

9 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

ACCEPTABLE

ACCEPTABLE

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

4%/0%

6%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Tibia index R/L

.57/.7

1.53/.59

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 Dodge Durango:

 

Q7

Durango

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.8 inches

1.1 inches

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

14 inches

Hip Force

557 lbs.

666 lbs.

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 Durango was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

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 Durango’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The Q7’s corrosion warranty is 7 years and unlimited miles longer than the Durango’s (12/unlimited vs. 5/60,000).

Reliability

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the Q7 have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the 5.7 V8 in the Durango.

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 35 points higher than the Durango.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 25 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 23rd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 14 places higher in reliability than Dodge.

Engine

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

 

Q7

Durango Dual Exhaust

Durango V8

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

8 sec

6.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14 sec

16.1 sec

15 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100.2 MPH

86.9 MPH

93.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Q7 gets better fuel mileage than the Durango:

 

 

Q7

Durango

 

2WD

 

n/a

14 city/22 hwy

5.7 V8/Auto

4WD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./8-spd. Auto

19 city/25 hwy

18 city/25 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto

 

3.0 S.C. V6/8-spd. Auto

19 city/25 hwy

14 city/22 hwy

5.7 V8/Auto

Regardless of its engine, the Q7’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Dodge only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Durango V6.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Q7

Durango V6

Durango V8

Front Rotors

14.8 inches

13 inches

13.8 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

13 inches

13 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 standard on the Durango V6 are solid, not vented.

The Q7 stops much shorter than the Durango:

 

Q7

Durango

 

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

190 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

142 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

160 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Q7’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Durango (285/45R20 vs. 265/60R18).

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 Durango’s optional 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Q7 offers optional 21-inch wheels. The Durango’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 Durango doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Q7 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Q7 flat and controlled during cornering. The Durango’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

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 Durango’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Q7 is 2.2 inches wider in the front and 2.5 inches wider in the rear than on the Durango.

The Q7 Prestige handles at .85 G’s, while the Durango GT pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Q7 Premium Plus executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.4 seconds quicker than the Durango GT 4x4 (26.4 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 28.8 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Q7 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Durango (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 Durango (9.7 vs. 8.1 inches).

Chassis

The design of the Audi Q7 amounts to more than styling. The Q7 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .333 Cd (optional .32 Cd with Air Suspension). That is lower than the Durango (.35) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Q7 get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Q7 Prestige is quieter than the Durango GT 4x4 (70 vs. 76 dB).

Passenger Space

The Q7 has 1.4 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear legroom and .8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Durango.

The front step up height for the Q7 is 1.9 inches lower than the Durango (18.6” vs. 20.5”). The Q7’s rear step up height is 1.9 inches lower than the Durango’s (18.7” vs. 20.6”).

Cargo Capacity

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the Q7’s third row seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Durango doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

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

Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the Dodge Durango is limited to 7400 pounds. The Q7 offers up to a 7700 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Dodge. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 90% lower rating, Dodge is ranked 30th.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the Durango, 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 Durango 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 Durango’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

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 Durango’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

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 Durango 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 Durango 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 Durango 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 Durango doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

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 Durango 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 Durango because typical repairs cost less on the Q7 than the Durango, including $53 less for a fuel pump and $115 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi Q7, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Dodge Durango 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 Durango 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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