Audi's new 2.0-liter Q7 gets more mph for less mpg

Engine downsizing isn't over quite yet.

Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Audi didn't include any pictures of the 2.0-liter Q7, so it's safe to assume it won't look much different than the 3.0-liter variant.

Photo by Wayne Cunningham/Roadshow

While many manufacturers may once again build larger engines to meet emissions and fuel economy targets, we're not there quite yet. Audi's still downsizing, for example, and it just rolled out an all-new variant of the Q7 that's quicker and more efficient than before.

The base-model 2015 Q7 came with a 3.0-liter V6. The 2017 Q7, on the other hand, will open its lineup with a 2.0-liter, turbocharged I4 engine, good for 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. That's enough to scoot this ute to 60 mph a full half-second quicker than before.

But the new engine isn't about speed -- it's about efficiency. This new 2.0-liter engine improves efficiency by 22 percent, bumping its EPA-estimated combined fuel economy to 22 mpg. That's not much better than the V6-toting 2017 Q7, though, which has a combined fuel economy of 21 mpg.

While it might only be a smidge less thirsty than its larger-engine brethren, it's a hell of a lot cheaper. The V6 Q7 starts at $54,800, while the new I4 Q7 starts at just $49,000. If you want to opt for the Premium Plus, that one comes in at $53,000, which is still less expensive than any V6 variant.

Regardless of engine, the Q7 boasts plenty of standard equipment, including autonomous emergency braking, all-wheel drive and the excellent MMI infotainment system. The Q7 2.0T goes on sale in early 2017.

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