2019 Audi Q7 vs. 2019 Volkswagen Atlas

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Atlas doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the Q7 and Atlas 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 Atlas’ 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.

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

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 Atlas doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the Q7 and the Atlas 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, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, 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 Volkswagen Atlas:

 

Q7

Atlas

 

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

99

232

Neck Injury Risk

25%

34%

Neck Stress

186 lbs.

441 lbs.

Neck Compression

37 lbs.

51 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

61/46 lbs.

33/218 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 post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Audi Q7 is safer than the Volkswagen Atlas:

 

Q7

Atlas

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

14 inches

Spine Acceleration

40 G’s

51 G’s

Hip Force

557 lbs.

800 lbs.

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

Warranty

The Q7 comes with free roadside assistance for 4 years unlimited miles. Audi will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump-start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Volkswagen doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the Atlas.

The Q7’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Atlas’ (12 vs. 10 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 50 points higher than the Atlas.

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 Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 19th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 9 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Engine

The Q7 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 13 more horsepower (248 vs. 235) and 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 258) than the Atlas’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The Q7 45 TFSI’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 266) than the Atlas’ optional 3.6 DOHC V6. The Q7 55 TFSI’s standard 3.0 supercharged V6 produces 53 more horsepower (329 vs. 276) and 59 lbs.-ft. more torque (325 vs. 266) than the Atlas’ optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

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

 

Q7

Atlas

Zero to 30 MPH

2 sec

2.6 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

7.9 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

9 sec

13 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

2.7 sec

4.3 sec

Quarter Mile

14 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100.2 MPH

81.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Q7 55 TFSI V6 gets better fuel mileage than the Atlas 4Motion V6 (19 city/25 hwy vs. 17 city/23 hwy).

The Q7 has 3.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Atlas (22.5 vs. 18.6 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 Atlas:

 

Q7

Atlas

Front Rotors

14.8 inches

13.2 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

12.2 inches

The Q7 stops much shorter than the Atlas:

 

Q7

Atlas

 

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

174 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

139 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Q7 has larger standard tires than the Atlas (255/55R19 vs. 245/60R18). The Q7’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Atlas (285/45R20 vs. 265/45R21).

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 Atlas SEL Premium’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 Atlas 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 Atlas’ 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 Atlas’ suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Q7 Prestige handles at .85 G’s, while the Atlas SEL Premium 4Motion pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Q7 Premium Plus executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.5 seconds quicker than the Atlas SEL 4Motion (26.4 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 27.9 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Q7 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Atlas (8.3 vs. 8 inches), allowing the Q7 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Q7 w/Air Suspension’s minimum ground clearance is 1.7 inches higher than on the Atlas (9.7 vs. 8 inches).

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Q7 Prestige is quieter than the Atlas SEL Premium 4Motion:

 

Q7

Atlas

Full-Throttle

70 dB

76 dB

70 MPH Cruising

65 dB

68 dB

Passenger Space

The Q7 has .2 inches more front legroom and 1.2 inches more rear legroom than the Atlas.

Cargo Capacity

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

Towing

The Q7’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Atlas’ (4400 vs. 2000 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Volkswagen Atlas 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 Atlas. 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 Volkswagen. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 43% lower rating, Volkswagen is ranked 16th.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Atlas SEL/SEL Premium, 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 Premium Plus/Prestige’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Atlas doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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 Atlas doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 Atlas can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

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 Atlas doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The Atlas’ optional cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The Q7’s optional adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

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 Atlas 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 Atlas doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The Q7 has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Atlas offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Q7 has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Atlas SE/SEL/SEL Premium.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Q7 is less expensive to operate than the Atlas because typical repairs cost much less on the Q7 than the Atlas, including $369 less for a water pump and $576 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

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

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

The Audi Q7 outsold the Volkswagen Atlas by 41% during 2017.

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

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