2020 Audi Q7 vs. 2020 Volkswagen Atlas

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 2020/03/29

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 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

© 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 2020/03/29

The Q7’s corrosion warranty is 5 years and unlimited miles longer than the Atlas’ (12/unlimited vs. 7/100,000).

Reliability

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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 34 points higher than the Atlas.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Audi vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 22nd in initial quality. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 25th.

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 Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 13 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Engine

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The Q7 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 13 more horsepower (248 vs. 235) and 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 258) than the Atlas’ standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The Q7 45 TFSI’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder 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 turbo V6 hybrid produces 59 more horsepower (335 vs. 276) and 103 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 266) than the Atlas’ optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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Regenerative brakes improve the Q7 55 TFSI’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Atlas doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The Q7 45 TFSI’s standard fuel tank has 1.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Atlas (19.8 vs. 18.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Q7 55 TFSI’s standard fuel tank has 3.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Atlas (22.5 vs. 18.6 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

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

Q7 45 TFSI

Q7 55 TFSI

Atlas

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

14.8 inches

13.2 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13.8 inches

12.2 inches

The Q7 stops much shorter than the Atlas:

Q7

Atlas

70 to 0 MPH

160 feet

174 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

139 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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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 standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Atlas’ standard 60 series tires. The Q7 Prestige’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Atlas SEL Premium’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 Atlas. The Q7 Prestige’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 21-inch wheels optional on the Atlas SEL Premium.

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

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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 .86 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).

Passenger Space

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

Cargo Capacity

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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

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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

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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 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 26% lower rating, Volkswagen is ranked 18th.

Ergonomics

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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 lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. 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 Prestige has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Atlas 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 Atlas doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The Q7’s standard rear view mirror and optional side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to 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 Prestige offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Atlas.

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.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi Q7 offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Atlas doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

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The Q7 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Q7 will retain 44.87% to 44.98% of its original price after five years, while the Atlas only retains 39.77% to 41.75%.

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 $382 less for a water pump and $583 less for a power steering pump.

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 2020/03/29

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 3 of the last 4 years. The Atlas 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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