Tesla Model X vs Audi Q7

Tesla Model S Black Summer
Tesla Model S Black Summer

Sport utility vehicles are arguably the most growing segment in the car industry. Every year, SUVs oversell their sedan counterparts by a large margin. Drivers find SUVs more comfortable, safer, and providing more utility over sedans. The elevated seating position offers better visibility and clearance over the road debris, snow, and other road obstacles. Even Elon Musk reportedly stated that Model Y will most likely oversell Model 3 when it arrives.

If you are on the market for a luxury SUV, then you might consider Tesla Model X and Audi Q7. Which one is the best value for your money over short or over long term? Is Tesla Model X so much more expensive than Audi Q7 ?

I decided to compare the two luxury SUVs with comparable features and options.

Tesla Model X Options

For this head to head compare, I selected the 2019 Model X Long Range with 325 mile battery range which compares almost evenly to the average gas car range. The following features in 2019 Model X that I would care most about if I would decide to shell out 90 K for an SUV:

OptionPrice
Exterior Pearl White$2000
Led HeadlightsIncluded
Interior Black LeatherIncluded
7 Seating Capacity$3000
Autopilot (except full self driving)Included
Cold WeatherIncluded
Adaptive Air SuspensionIncluded
Premium SoundIncluded
Advanced Air FiltrationIncluded
Automatic Lift GateIncluded
Premium Connectivity1 Year Included
Warranty 4 years, basic vehicle
8 years, battery & power train
Maintenance Minimal
Total Price $96,000

There is Federal Tax credit of $3,750. Some states including PA has EV incentives up to around $1,000. So total incentive that we can subtract from the purchase price is: $4,750.

The incentives reduce the price from $96,000 to $91,250.

There are also $1200 documentation and destination fees but we maybe able to negotiate these fees with Tesla sales.

Lets consider that our final purchase price before any down payments and/or trade ins is even $91,000.

Now, lets build our comparable 2019 Audi Q7.

Audi Q7 Options

For this compare, I had no choice but to select Audi’s Prestige trim for Q7 because it is the most expensive trim that starts at $68,000 and includes 20” wheels, Cold Weather and Driver Assistance packages. The cheaper trims do not get Driver Assistance package which is similar to Tesla’s Autopilot and carry 4 cylinder turbo engines which I would not suggest anyone to buy and also Tesla does not offer such low powered options in their trims.

I chose the following Audi Q7 options to match my Tesla Model X option list.

OptionPrice
Glacier White Metallic$595
Led Headlights Included
Interior Black Leather Included
Adaptive Air Suspension $4000
Automatic Lift GateIncluded
Cold Weather $750
7 Seating Capacity Included
Audi’s Driver Assistance PackageIncluded
Premium Sound (Bang & Olufsen)$5000
Premium Connectivity (Audi MMI with Connect)6 months included
Warranty 4-year/50,000 mile
Audi New Vehicle
Limited Warranty
Maintenance12-month/10,000 mile
(whichever occurs first)
Luxury Package$5650
Total Price$85,690

Since Q7 is not an EV, there are no federal or state incentives so lets consider our final even purchase price $85,500.

Audi Q7 vs Model X Technical Spec Compare

The following table summarizes my technical specifications comparison between the 2019 Tesla Model X and 2019 Audi Q7:

Specifications Audi Q7Tesla Model X
Acceleration5.7 seconds4.4 seconds
Transmission 8 speed Tiptronic Single speed
fixed gear
FuelPremium
(average price is
$4.5 / gallon)
Battery
EPA21 mpg99 mpg
Max Torque 325 at 2,900 -5,300 660 Nm and 330 Nm
Horsepower329Some big number
that I need to find
AWDAudi quattro4 electric motors
controlled by software
Weight4927 lb5421 lb
Cargo Volume14 and 69 ft = 84 ft6.6 and 76 ft = 82.6 ft

Tesla Model X does outperform Audi Q7 and offers big gas savings. On the other hand, Model X is heavier by at least 1,000 lb which if you drive Tesla you would not really feel. Also, Audi Q7 does offer a bit more cargo volume.

Regarding all-wheel drive system, Audi quattro is one of the best on the market. I have experience in both Audi sedans and SUVs and quattro works really well in all weather and road conditions. However, Tesla’s new all wheel drive system using the combination of 4 independent electric motors and software is incredibly fast and nimble. I would consider both systems are great but Tesla’s maybe a bit better.

Is Tesla Model X better than Audi Q7 for the money?

To answer which one is better for the money, Tesla Model X or Audi Q7, I want to summarize critical differentiating features between the two luxury SUVs as built above in the following simple scoring table. The scale for each category is from 0 (lowest) to 1 (highest) score.

2019 Audi Q72019 Tesla Model X
Performance0.31
Price10
Gas Savings01
Regular Software
Updates
01
Cargo Volume10.7
Driver Assistance
(no self driving)
0.61
Warranty0.71
Maintenance 0.31
Design
11
Comfort10.6
Safety0.91
Total Score6.89.3

2019 Tesla Model X is a winner in this comparison. The main winning features for Tesla are:

  • Performance
  • Gas Savings
  • Autopilot as the Advanced driver assistance system
  • Maintenance with auto software updates

I feel the following are some of the important items that Tesla should improve in the future Model X:

  • Price
    • Tesla should consider offering a cheaper Model X models with limited features BUT it should not be a battery pack. Limiting battery pack is same as if Audi would limit gas tanks on their cars and charge more money for extra gas tank volume.
    • Tesla could limit horsepower and torque without limiting the battery pack range which should be similar to the ICE cars.
    • Tesla should add a $55,000 Model X to their line up
  • Cargo Volume
    • The cargo space is one of the important factors when considering to purchase an SUV. Tesla should work on increasing the space volume without increasing the weight.
  • More luxury comfort
    • Ventilated seats and premium real leather is something luxury buyers with large pockets are looking for. If Tesla is a luxury brand, they should add luxury features to their cars.

Tesla Model X is better choice for your money over long period because of the lowest maintenance cost. There are just way less mechanical parts to brake versus Audi SUV. Also, you would save big on gas especially over long period and recoup your extra $10,000 spend on Tesla. Consider this simple math:

With premium gas at $4 / gallon, you would spend around $70 per week to top off. This is $280 per month and $3360 per year. It would take you close to 3 years to recover your $10 K spend on Model X whereas with Audi, you will never stop spending money on gas which, by the way, always fluctuates.

So, if you indent to keep your SUV for a long time, over 8 years, Model X is a way better choice than Audi Q7 because the car will pay for itself over time, almost.

If you do not keep your cars long, then Model X may not be your best choice.


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