2019 Ford Flex vs. 2019 Audi Q7

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The middle row seatbelts optional on the Flex inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The Q7 doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

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

Warranty

Ford’s powertrain warranty covers the Flex 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the Q7. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Q7 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 10 times as many Ford dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Flex’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Flex has a standard 650-amp battery. The Q7’s 380-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 24 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

Engine

The Flex’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 39 more horsepower (287 vs. 248) than the Q7 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The Flex Limited’s optional 3.5 turbo V6 produces 36 more horsepower (365 vs. 329) and 25 lbs.-ft. more torque (350 vs. 325) than the Q7 55 TFSI’s standard 3.0 supercharged V6.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Flex Limited is faster than the Q7 55 TFSI 3.0 supercharged V6:

 

Flex

Q7

Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

6.7 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.5 sec

4.7 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

15.1 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

The Flex has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Q7 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Tires and Wheels

The Flex has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Q7; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed. Some models of the Q7 don’t even offer run-flats.

Suspension and Handling

The Flex’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Q7 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

Chassis

The Ford Flex may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 pounds less than the Audi Q7.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Flex Limited AWD is quieter than the Q7 Prestige (37 vs. 43 dB).

Passenger Space

The Flex has 3.4 inches more front headroom, .9 inches more front legroom, 1.7 inches more rear headroom, 5.5 inches more rear legroom, 2.8 inches more third row headroom, 4.1 inches more third row legroom and 1.4 inches more third row shoulder room than the Q7.

Flexibility is maximized at the game, campground or a drive-in theatre in the Flex Limited when its optional tailgating rear seats are deployed, allowing people to sit facing out of the liftgate. (Do not use while vehicle is in motion.) The Q7 doesn’t offer tailgating seats.

Cargo Capacity

The Flex’s cargo area provides more volume than the Q7.

 

Flex

Q7

Behind Third Seat

20 cubic feet

14.8 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

43.2 cubic feet

37.5 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

83.2 cubic feet

71.6 cubic feet

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Flex easier. The Flex’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 30.5 inches, while the Q7’s liftover is 32.5 inches.

The Flex has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The Q7 doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

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

Ergonomics

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Flex’s exterior PIN entry system. The Q7 doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its Audi Connect CARE can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Flex has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Q7 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Flex (except SE) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Q7 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The Flex Limited’s optional Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Q7 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Flex is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Q7 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Flex is less expensive to operate than the Q7 because it costs $279 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Flex than the Q7, including $20 less for a muffler, $114 less for front brake pads, $799 less for a starter, $546 less for fuel injection, $209 less for a fuel pump, $541 less for front struts and $386 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Ford Flex will be $13141 to $22469 less than for the Audi Q7.

Recommendations

The Flex was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 2 of the last 11 years. The Q7 has never been an “All Star.”

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

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