2020 Audi Q7 vs. 2020 Ford Explorer

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/03/31

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 Ford Explorer 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 Explorer doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

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

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 Explorer doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the Q7 and the Explorer 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, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

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 Explorer:

Q7

Explorer

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Restraints

GOOD

GOOD

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Tibia index R/L

.57/.7

1.54/.5

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 185 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Explorer was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/03/31

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

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

Reliability

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/03/31

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 17 points higher than the Explorer.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 2 places higher in reliability than Ford.

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/03/31

The Q7 45 TFSI’s standard fuel tank has 1.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the Explorer Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (19.8 vs. 18 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Q7 45 TFSI’s standard fuel tank has 1.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Explorer 2.3-liter’s standard fuel tank (19.8 vs. 18.6 gallons). The Q7 55 TFSI’s standard fuel tank has 2.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Explorer V6 Turbo’s standard fuel tank (22.5 vs. 20.2 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/03/31

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

Q7 45 TFSI

Q7 55 TFSI

Explorer

Explorer ST

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

14.8 inches

13.6 inches

14.3 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13.8 inches

12.4 inches

13.8 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 Explorer ST are solid, not vented.

The Q7 stops much shorter than the Explorer:

Q7

Explorer

70 to 0 MPH

160 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

127 feet

136 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

139 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/03/31

For better traction, the Q7’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Explorer (285/45R20 vs. 275/45R21).

The Q7’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Explorer’s standard 65 series tires. The Q7 Prestige’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Explorer ST/Platinum’s optional 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Q7 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Explorer. The Q7 Prestige’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 21-inch wheels optional on the Explorer ST/Platinum.

Suspension and Handling

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

The Q7 Prestige handles at .86 G’s, while the Explorer XLT 4WD pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Q7 Premium Plus executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.6 seconds quicker than the Explorer Limited 4WD (26.4 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 28 seconds @ .63 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Q7 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Explorer (8.3 vs. 7.9 inches), allowing the Q7 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Q7 w/Air Suspension’s minimum ground clearance is 1.8 inches higher than on the Explorer (9.7 vs. 7.9 inches).

Towing

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The Q7’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Explorer’s (4400 vs. 3000 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Ford Explorer is only 5600 pounds. The Q7 offers up to a 7700 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/03/31

The Q7 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Explorer uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Ford. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 46% lower rating, Ford is ranked 24th.

Ergonomics

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/03/31

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Explorer Limited/ST/Platinum, 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 Explorer 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 Explorer’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 Explorer’s 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 Prestige has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Explorer doesn’t offer headlight washers.

A manual rear sunshade and rear side window sunshades are optional in the Q7 (except Premium) to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Explorer 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 Explorer’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/03/31

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

The Q7 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 3 of the last 4 years. The Explorer 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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