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Both the 2021 Audi Q7 and 2021 Tesla Model X are customer favorites. Yet they both of these midsize luxury SUVs have poor reliability ratings. What gives? How do they have such high customer satisfaction scores with such poor reliability ratings? Let’s see what Consumer Reports thinks.  

A dark gray 2021 Tesla Model X against a black background.
2021 Tesla Model X | Tesla

Reliability is terrible in both the Audi Q7 and Tesla Model X

Consumer Reports gives the 2021 Audi Q7 only a 2/5 for its predicted reliability. Yet despite this, Audi Q7 owners rated the owner satisfaction a 4/5. The driving experience, comfort, and styling are an 84. Value, however, is just a 32. 71% of Q7 owners would buy their Q7 again.

The Tesla Model X also gets a 2/5 for its predicted reliability. Although there are no reliability ratings for 2020, 2019 shows a poor reliability rating. Major problem spots in the 2019 include the drive system, climate system, and suspension. Other major problem areas include paint and trim, as well as body integrity and body hardware. The power equipment in the 2019 Tesla Model X didn’t get a great rating, either. 

It’s surprising that with so many choices, people would keep buying these two midsize luxury SUVs with poor reliability ratings. Why do people love these SUVs so much?

The 2021 Audi Q7 has a better road test score

The 2021 Audi Q7 scores a 92 in Consumer Reports’ road test. It scores a 4/5 for its acceleration and can reach 0 to 60 in 7.0 seconds. Its transmission scores a 5/5. Routine handling receives a very good 4/5, but emergency handling only gets a 3/5. Braking is also pretty good in the Q7, at a ⅘. It can brake from 60 mph on dry pavement in 133 feet and wet pavement in 141 feet. However, the Q7’s headlights only score a 3/5.

As far as comfort, the 2021 Audi Q7 gets a very good 4/5 for its ride. It’s quiet: it scores a perfect 5 for its noise. Both front and rear seat comfort in the Q7 also get perfect scores. Interior fit and finish get a perfect 5. The trunk and cargo space scores only a 3/5, with just 35.5 cubic feet of storage space.

On the other hand, Consumer Reports gives the 2021 Tesla Model X a 5/5 for its acceleration. It can reach 0 to 60 in a super fast 4.9 seconds. Its transmission also scores a perfect 5/5. Routine and emergency handling both receive a very good 4/5. The Tesla Model X’s max avoidance speed is 54 mph.

Braking is fantastic in the X. It scores a 5/5 and can brake from 60 mph on wet pavement in 127 feet and dry pavement in 135 feet. The X’s headlights are even worse than the Q7, at a not-great 2/5. As far as comfort, the 2021 Tesla Model X gets a 3/5 for its ride. It’s a quiet ride, as you might expect from an electric car: it scores a 4/5 for its noise. While the front seat comfort gets a perfect 5/5, rear seat comfort is just a 3/5. Interior fit and finish get a perfect 5. The trunk and cargo space scores only a 2/5, so it’s not a great vehicle for a family road trip.

The Audi Q7 comes with more safety features

Despite Tesla’s Autopilot, the Audi Q7 comes with more standard safety features. Consumer Reports recommends a slew of advanced safety features that car shoppers should consider, and the Audi Q7 come with all of these. 

The Tesla Model X comes with nearly all of the safety features, but there’s no option to get blind spot warning or rear cross traffic warning. 

Both the IIHS and the NHTSA have crash-tested the 2021 Audi Q7. The IIHS gave the Q7 all good scores, and the NHTSA gave it five stars for the overall side-crash, as well as overall side-crash, driver and rear passenger. The side pole crash also gets five stars. The 4WD rollover crash only gets four stars.

The IIHS hasn’t crash-tested the 2021 Tesla Model X, but the NHTSA has. It gives the 2021 Tesla Model X all good crash test-ratings.

It seems that the poor reliability ratings don’t include any major mechanical issues, which may be why people love their Q7s and Model Xs despite their flaws. They both offer a good blend of safety features, good road test scores, and owner satisfaction. You can’t go wrong with either the 2021 Audi Q7 or the 2021 Tesla Model X.


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