New Lexus RX L & Volkswagen Touareg vs Audi Q7

Not much can beat a luxury SUV for versatility. But can anything beat the class-leading Audi Q7? Newcomers from Lexus and Volkswagen are here to help us find out...

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What Car? team
30 October 2018

New Lexus RX L & Volkswagen Touareg vs Audi Q7
New Lexus RX L & Volkswagen Touareg vs Audi Q7

Space and practicality

Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot

If you’re taller than average, the Q7 will be your best bet, because the front seats go back the farthest and it ties with the Touareg for front head room. In Premier trim, the RX has a standard sunroof that eats into front head room; there’s a whopping 70mm less than in the other two. While most people will be fine, those with particularly long bodies might want to consider a lesser trim.

Passengers in the second row all have plenty of head room and sliding and reclining seats, so you can prioritise boot space or leg room accordingly. But while all are closely matched for leg room on paper, there are big differences when you actually sit in them. The Touareg and Q7 both have deep rear footwells and plenty of room under the front seats for feet, whereas the RX has a higher floor and less foot room, forcing taller passengers’ knees up towards the roof. At least the RX’s floor is fairly fl at, so the central passenger isn’t straddling a big hump.

With the Touareg not being available with seven seats, that leaves the Q7 and RX to duke it out for third-row honours. But it’s no contest; the Q7 has significantly more head and leg room right at the back, plus a deeper footwell once again. Put simply, the Q7 could take seven average-sized adults on a long trip in reasonable comfort, whereas the RX’s third row is really only suitable for emergencies. And all six of the Q7’s passenger seats are equipped with Isofix child seat mounts, whereas only the outer second-row seats get them in the other two.

The Q7 triumphs when it comes to boot space, too. Like the Touareg, it can swallow 10 carry-on cases in five-seat mode, but there’s more room left over. Meanwhile, the RX’s boot is shallower, managing one less case than the others, and there’s less luggage space than in the Q7 in seven-seat mode. When folded, its second and third-row seats create a slope up to the front seatbacks, too.

Audi Q7

New Lexus RX L & Volkswagen Touareg vs Audi Q7

Boot is even longer and wider than the Touareg’s; with the third row folded away, it’s the most practical here. Airsprung cars can ‘kneel’ for easier loading.

Boot 295-770-1955 litres Suitcases 10

Lexus RX L

New Lexus RX L & Volkswagen Touareg vs Audi Q7

Hybrid powertrain’s large battery pack means the ¬floor is higher than in the others. In five-seat mode, its boot is somewhat smaller, accommodating one less suitcase.

Boot 176-432-1656 litres Suitcases 9

Volkswagen Touareg

New Lexus RX L & Volkswagen Touareg vs Audi Q7

With no third row to worry about, the Touareg beats the bigger Q7 for boot space on paper but not in practice. There is a small lip, but it’s unlikely to cause any issues.

Boot 810-1800 litres Suitcases 10

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