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The 2021 Audi Q7 is a midsize luxury SUV with lots to offer: a turbocharged V6, eight speed transmission, and a range of 20 mpg. The IIHS safety ratings are excellent; except in one area. Why isn’t the 2021 Audi Q7 safe enough to get an IIHS safety award?

A black 2021 Audi Q7 against a white background.
2021 Audi Q7 | Audi

How are the 2021 Audi Q7’s crash test ratings?

Every year the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) tests a variety of vehicles to determine how they would do in an accident. They award Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ awards to the vehicles which do well in all of their tests. 

The 2021 Audi Q7 is super crashworthy. While not exactly a technical term, the Q7 gets good crash test ratings in all of its crashworthiness tests. These include the small overlap front: driver side and passenger side, the moderate overlap tests, and side crash tests. Overlap tests measure how well a vehicle does when part of the front of it crashes into a barrier.

Not only did the Q7 do well in each of these tests, it got good marks in all of the subcategories across the board. This is excellent. You’d think we’re on our way to a Top Safety Pick award, but no. 

The 2021 Q7 also got good scores in roof strength, head restraints and seats. It even got good scores in all of the subcategories. The Q7 is still looking good. 

Is the 2021 Audi Q7’s crash avoidance good?

Crash avoidance is the most important part of – well, avoiding a crash. You’ll never have to know how safe your vehicle is if you never crash it. Having good safety systems is one way that you can do this. Many car manufacturers are including good safety equipment in their new cars, and the Audi is no different. 

The 2021 Audi Q7 comes standard with all of the safety features that Consumer Reports recommends car shoppers look for in new cars. And yet crash avoidance is the category in which the Q7 falls short. 

The Audi Q7 gets superior ratings for both of its crash prevention systems. These include the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian. It even gets a G+ for its child seat anchors. 

And yet the headlights are poor. To receive an IIHS Top Safety Pick, a vehicle must have a good or acceptable rating on available headlights. To receive an IIHS Top Safety Pick+, acceptable or good headlights must be the standard.

The 2021 Audi Q7 has neither of these things. All of its tested headlights received a poor rating, which means there’s no way to buy a Q7 with good headlights. Among other things, the IIHS found that the Q7’s headlights produced glare and only offered fair visibility. 

Is the 2021 Audi Q7 safe?

It’s a shame that the headlights keep the Q7 from being one of the IIHS’ safety picks. With such great crash test ratings and all of those advanced safety systems, the 2021 Audi Q7 is almost perfect. Almost. If you’re looking for a midsize luxury SUV, you may want to look elsewhere.