2019 Audi Q7 exterior rear - Matador Red

Audi Q7: What Years to Avoid & Which to Buy? (2024 Guide)

If you’ve clicked on this article, chances are you’re thinking of adding an Audi Q7 to your garage.

And why not? It’s practical, powerful, and has a lot of class.

But like any vehicle, not all model years are equal in terms of reliability. As with any used car purchase, there’s a risk of buying someone else’s headache in automotive form.

So, what years should be avoided when shopping for an Audi Q7?

Ready? Let’s get started!

Overview: Audi Q7 years to avoid or to buy

Looking for a quick answer to your question?

Here is an overview of the Audi Q7 years to avoid or to buy.

Here are the Audi Q7 years to avoid:

YearGenerationMain Complaints
2017Typ 4M– Squealing brakes
– Coolant leaks
– Excessive oil consumption
– Defective front left side marker
2007Typ 4L– Leaking rear sunroof
– ESP system malfunctioning
– Fuel system problems
2018Typ 4M– Chunking on outer tire edges
– Squealing brakes
– Failing Audi Pre Sense system
2015Typ 4M– Chunking on outer tire edges
– Squealing brakes
– Failing Audi Pre-Sense system

When looking for the best Audi Q7 years to buy, look for a 2016, 2020, or 2021 Audi Q7 from the Typ 4M generation. These Audi Q7 model years have surprisingly few issues and seem to do well on reliability overall.

What Audi Q7 years should you avoid?

Even though the Audi Q7 is a great all-around car, there are specific production years that have a higher likelihood of experiencing issues.

Here are the four Audi Q7 model years that received the highest number of complaints:

2017 Audi Q7

2017 Audi Q7 - year to avoid

The most important Audi Q7 year to avoid is 2017.

The 2017 Audi Q7 received a total of 179 complaints, which is the most out of any Audi Q7 model year.

Most complaints, a total of 32, are about engine problems, including coolant leaks due to a water pump failure and excessive oil consumption.

The coolant leaks in particular seem to be very common on the 2017 Audi Q7, as the NHTSA reported 24 complaints on this issue.

Here is a 2017 Audi Q7 owner who has also experienced the issue:

Car issued an alert for Low Coolant, I checked next morning only to find that the coolant tank was empty. This warning could have alerted long back when the level fell below “Min” marker. Owners cannot notice this leak because the coolant doesn’t drip on the floor.

Took it to an independent service center who alerted me about this issue. I researched and noticed that there’s been a lot of complaints on forums for 2017 Audi Q7 3.0 for coolant leak cause by the water pump, which always needs replacement.

The replacement costs by Audi are upwards of US $1,300. This issue seems like a regular pattern and can cause an engine failure. Audi should take responsibility and fix these cars.

2017 Audi Q7 owner (Source)

Another common problem is squealing breaks, reported in 14 complaints.

This problem seems to start with a high-pitched squealing sound coming from the brakes every time you drive in reverse. However, with time, the brakes can also start squealing when driving forward.

Audi dealerships usually claim that this issue is normal, and some owners have paid up to $3,500 to get it fixed.

Lastly, there seems to be a common issue with failing front side marker lights.

There have been 22 recorded complaints about owners with this issue.

If you have this issue, you will see a “Front left side marker light defective. See owner’s manual.” message on the dashboard of your Audi Q7:

Front left side marker light defective. See owner's manual - Audi Q7 error message

While it may seem like a simple fix at first, the issue is caused by an individual LED, so the entire headlight unit must sometimes be replaced, which can cost upwards of $5,000.

The front side marker light issue is so common that Audi eventually issued a recall for it, codenamed 97CB. However, unfortunately, not all Audi Q7s affected by this issue are included in the recall.

Audi defective front side marker lights recall

2007 Audi Q7

2007 Audi Q7 - year to avoid

While the 2017 Audi Q7 received by far the most complaints, 2007 is also an Audi Q7 year you should try to avoid. The 2007 Audi Q7 received a total of 137 complaints.

Unlike the 2017 Audi Q7, which is the second-generation Q7, the 2007 Audi Q7 belongs to the first-generation of the model.

Therefore, it has completely different complaints!

The first common issue on the 2007 Audi Q7 is with the electrical system, on which the NHTSA recorded 32 complaints.

Almost all of these complaints talk about a leaking rear sunroof on this Q7 model:

While this may not sound like a huge issue at first, remember that the water from the leak can reach the vehicle’s electronics and damage them.

Just take a look at the story of this 2007 Audi Q7 owner:

My Audi Q7 has a leak from the sunroof, which damaged the bose amp, because of that, the radio, backup camera, the whole mmi system is not working. Also for that reason the battery is not holding energy, the amp is draining the battery. This is an factory issue, I took the car to the dealer and was told it will cost over $4,000 to fix it.

Fair Lawn, USA (Source)

Besides this issue, there are some complaints about a malfunctioning electronic stability program (ESP).

While this issue isn’t frequent, it can cause sudden stops on the highway:

While driving in dry/fair weather conditions and at highway speeds (50 and 70 mph) the esp warning light came on and engaged the ABS system for no apparent reason. It created a loss of control of the Audi Q7 4.2 until I turned off the esp system as I exited the freeway to stop and then restart the vehicle. This has happened three times in the pasted 100 miles and 3 months.

Midland, USA (Source)

2018 Audi Q7

2018 Audi Q7 - year to avoid

Next up, we have the 2018 Audi Q7, with a total of 82 complaints.

Being a year younger than the 2017 model, Audi seems to have fixed the issues with the coolant leaks.

However, the issue with the squealing brakes is still common on this model year, and it’s now the most common complaint:

The brakes have squealed since 3K miles. No matter the weather conditions may be. We have been told that is normal, but I am researching otherwise. At 5am leaving the home, the brakes squeal, at 2pm squealing, 5pm squealing, midnight squealing. For being a luxury vehicle I love and trust, this makes me extremely nervous and embarrassed when neighbors are out and hear this squealing.

2018 Audi Q7 owner (Source)

Another issue that appeared on the 2018 Audi Q7 is related to Audi’s Pre-Sense system, which uses a camera integrated into the windshield to scan the road ahead and warn the driver of possible collisions.

Some owners have complained that the feature slams on the brakes unexpectedly and that there’s no way to turn it off by default.

2015 Audi Q7

2015 Audi Q7 - year to avoid

The last Audi Q7 year that’s better to be avoided is 2015. The 2015 Audi Q7 received a total of 54 complaints.

The 2015 Audi Q7 is the first year of the second-generation Q7, codenamed Typ 4M.

Most complaints on this model year are related to engine problems, including excessive oil consumption and a problem with the vehicle’s speed control.

Lastly, being the second-generation Audi Q7, the 2015 model also has some complaints about squealing brakes.

Tip: To avoid engine problems on your Audi Q7, it’s best to use premium gas only.

Which Audi Q7 year is the best?

When it comes to Audi Q7s, the model years from 2020 onward stand out as one of the best.

2020 Audi Q7 - best year

Audi’s reputation for reliable performance holds true here, and many Audi Q7 owners report that these vehicles are incredibly dependable.

And it isn’t just a coincidence that the 2020 Audi Q7 is one of the best. That’s because the Audi Q7 was revised for 2020.

Following feedback from users, Audi fixed many of the earlier complaints.

These improvements are evident in the 2020 model, which has only received eight complaints so far, with no common issues between them.

Reader’s tip: 11 Most Reliable Audi Models (A Must-Read Guide In 2024)

Which Audi Q7 engine is best?

When examining the lineup of engines that have powered the Audi Q7 over the years, one stands out in terms of performance, reliability, and overall driver satisfaction: the Q7 50 TDI Quattro with the 3.0 BiTDI V6.

Audi 3.0 V6 BiTDI diesel engine

Here’s why:

  1. Performance: This engine delivers a combination of power and torque. It’s one of the fastest Audi Q7 models (excluding Audi S models like the SQ7).
  2. Efficiency: Despite its power, the engine has been engineered to offer excellent fuel efficiency, ensuring you don’t have to frequently visit the fuel pump.
  3. Reliability: Over time, the 3.0 BiTDI V6 has shown fewer major issues compared to other engine variants, making it a reliable choice.
  4. User feedback: Many Audi Q7 drivers have praised this engine’s smooth performance, reduced noise levels, and overall driving pleasure.

In conclusion, while the choice of an engine can often be subjective and based on individual preferences, the Q7 50 TDI Quattro with the 3.0 BiTDI V6 is a strong contender.

Conclusion

Well, looks like it is time to choose your next dream car!

As we have seen throughout this article, the Audi Q7 has some years that you should avoid, like 2017 and 2007.

On the flip side, other years can offer great value for money when properly maintained.

With a bit of research, you can find an Audi Q7 that offers reliability, power, and style.

Good luck with your choice!

Tip: If you’re an Audi Q7 owner, check out this article to learn more about the SQ7, which uses an engine that’s also used by Lamborghini!

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