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Felt - Forever Breathes the Lonely Word Music Album Reviews

Each Sunday, Pitchfork takes an in-depth look at a significant album from the past, and any record not in our archives is eligible. Today, we revisit the misanthropic pop perfection of the indie British band’s sixth and best album.
In November 1986, a writer for NME visited the flat of indie-pop enigma Lawrence. The mononymous musician lived in a quiet suburb outside of Birmingham, England, alone except for a collection of records, a set of first edition Kerouac paperbacks, and enough cleaning products to stock a small hospital ward. “A platoon of Airwick Solids stoically occupy strategic vantage points; the toilet bowl harbors not the usual one, but a breeding pair of those Cartland-pink santisers; a wicker basket provides a mass grave for spent aerosol air fresheners.” Since he rarely left the antiseptic apartment, Lawrence explained that his days were typically spent wasting time with mundane activities, like assiduously washing his floppy brown hair.

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2019 Audi Q7 Review

The 2019 Audi Q7 delivers on the factors most important to large luxury SUV buyers: space, comfort, style, safety, and impressive technology.

The 2019 Audi Q7 is a tech-heavy large luxury crossover that seats seven and impresses in almost every area. Build quality and tech features are superb, but the third row is best suited for children and pricey options can pile up fast. We’ve given it a 7.3 out of 10 overall, ranking among Audi’s best products, and that’s no small compliment.


With two engines and three trim levels, the 2019 Q7 is available almost any way you want, minus the option for a hybrid or electrified powertrain (for now). For the new model year, the optional 20-inch wheels get standard run-flat tires, and navigation now comes standard on the Premium trim, while the impressive Virtual Cockpit, a surround-view camera system, LED headlights and taillights, and wireless phone charging are all included on the Premium Plus Trim. There are also a few new wheel options and new safety features included in the Convenience package.

Powered by either a turbocharged 4-cylinder or supercharged V-6, all Q7s come standard with all-wheel drive and an 8-speed automatic transmission. While the turbo-4 is adequate, the V-6 offers much more power at hardly any cost in terms of fuel economy. Ride quality is excellent, especially with the optional adjustable air suspension equipped, though the Q7 likely won’t win any corner-carving contests with its light steering and pronounced body roll.

Front and rear seat comfort are superb, but the third-row seat is tight for adults and best suited for children. Bear in mind that while cargo space is generous with the third row folded flat, space is extremely limited for luggage with it upright.

Though well-equipped as standard with leather upholstery, heated front seats, and wood trim, a loaded Q7 prestige is close to $90,000, nearly $40,000 more than its base price. The mid-grade Premium Plus trim represents the best value, especially with desirable options like Virtual Cockpit now standard.

Styling
Gorgeous and functional inside, the 2019 Audi Q7 is slightly let down by its stoic sheet metal.

The 2019 Audi Q7 is perhaps the most German of SUVs: calculated and business-like on the outside, but sumptuous and functional within. We’ve awarded 7 out of 10 points for looks, amongst the best in its competitive set. 

Outside, a big trapezoidal grille and handsome LED headlights and taillights serve to liven up what is otherwise a fairly lifeless design. Straight lines and a wagon-esque profile make the Q7 less exciting than many of its competitors, but there’s no doubt these looks will remain agreeable for a long time. Larger optional wheels dial up the intrigue, but make sure you choose the optional air suspension as well to help the ride quality.

Where the Q7 truly delivers is inside, with a gorgeous, functional interior that’s loaded with tech and features many standard and optional luxury appointments. Leather is included on every Q7 along with wood trim, while real metal accents, soft-touch plastics, and even LED ambient lighting with configurable colors make for one of the best interiors in the industry.

Performance
A supple ride, direct steering, and great V-6 power make the 2019 Audi Q7 a perfect long-distance cruiser.

Though tipping the scales at nearly 5,000 pounds, the 2019 Audi Q7 is surprisingly lithe. Coupled with an excellent ride quality, especially from the optional air suspension, that’s enough to warrant 8 out of 10 points for performance.

The Premium and Premium Plus models come equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder right out of the box, making 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Despite being coupled with a responsive 8-speed automatic and standard all-wheel-drive, those power figures aren’t quite adequate to hustle the Q7 along briskly.

Thankfully, a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 is available for an extra $6,500 (or standard on Prestige), and we think it’s worth every penny. Pushing out 333 hp and 325 lb-ft through the same transmission and drivetrain, the V-6 offers a big power boost with no penalty in terms of fuel economy.
While the standard suspension provides one of the best rides in the segment, the optional air suspension somehow vastly outperforms it. The Drive Select system modifies throttle response, shift points, and steering effort, and can also raise and lower the air suspension depending on the mode you select.

Though 19- or 20-inch wheels often come with a stiffness penalty, the decrease in sidewall makes nearly no difference on the Q7, which is one of the most comfortable SUVs we’ve tested.

Comfort & Quality
Though it does include a third row, the 2019 Audi Q7 is among the best vehicles for four or five adults.

For four or five adults, the 2019 Audi Q7 is nearly unmatched. Excellent build quality, comfortable seats, and a third row that’s usable for kids in a pinch make for an ideal family SUV with plenty of luxury. We give it 10 out of 10 for quality accordingly.

If you’re looking for a true three-row luxury SUV for more than five adults, something larger would be better, but otherwise the Q7 is an ideal mid-size luxury SUV. Middle row legroom is superb, and the third row has power-folding functionality as standard, stowing away to create a mostly flat load floor.

Standard leather seats are supportive and comfortable on long journeys, while opting for the comfort seats on the top-tier Prestige trim includes massage functionality and upgraded hides. The second row has adequate space for three adults abreast, and four-zone automatic climate control is available as an option.

No matter where you sit in the Q7 material quality is excellent, from the standard leather upholstery and wood trim to the buttoned-down plastics throughout, both soft- and hard-touch. This SUV feels every bit worthy of its somewhat steep asking price.

Safety
Despite missing out on awards, the 2019 Audi Q7 boasts great crash test scores and impressive available safety tech.

The 2019 Audi Q7 comes well-equipped with active safety tech as standard, and more systems are available. Along with mostly impressive crash test scores, we give it a score of 7 out of 10.

The federal government rates the 2019 Q7 at five stars overall for crash tests, though only four stars for the front section and rollover risk. Despite receiving “Good” ratings throughout and a “Superior” front crash prevention technology score from the IIHS, however, the Q7 does not receive a “Top Safety Pick” award for 2019 due to a “Marginal” headlight rating for non-LED lamps.

All Q7s come with a full complement of airbags-minus a $350 rear side airbag option, something we’re disappointed Audi doesn’t offer as standard. Low-speed automatic emergency braking is standard on all trims. Premium Plus and Prestige models come with a more advanced system as an option, which also includes automatic high-beam headlights, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, and traffic sign recognition. A rearview camera is standard on all models, while a surround-view camera system and full LED headlights now come standard on the Premium Plus trim as well as Prestige.

Features
Base models are well-equipped, while a loaded 2019 Audi Q7 might as well be a Bentley.

The 2019 Audi Q7 comes very well-equipped in its standard Premium trim, but those who shell out for the top-tier Prestige will be rewarded with near-Bentley levels of quality and features. However, its warranty is average in its class, and it’s not as strong a value as the mid-size Q5.

As such, we give it 8 out of 10 in this category. 

Starting at $53,545 (including $995 destination charge), the Q7 Premium includes impressive standard features, such as satellite navigation, Bluetooth, leather and wood trim, heated and power-adjustable front seats, a panoramic moonroof, power-folding third row seats, and automatic emergency braking with forward-collision warnings.

A 7.0-inch infotainment system is standard, but the Virtual Cockpit system is not available on Premium Q7s.

The Premium Plus trim represents the best value in the lineup, especially with Virtual Cockpit and other desirable features like the superior LED headlights now included as standard. If you’re willing to step up to the V-6 as well, you won’t be disappointed. Other standard Premium Plus features include LED interior lighting, Bose speakers, and a power-adjustable steering column, while additional active safety features and an impressive Bang & Olufsen speaker system is also available. Cooled front seats are available on the Warm Weather package, while the Cold Weather package includes heated rear seats and steering wheel.

The top-tier Prestige trim adds over $12,000 to the base price, but includes 20-inch wheels, automatic door closers, and many other features, while the optional Luxury package adds upgraded leather, massaging and cooled front seats, and an Alcantara headliner. Air suspension is available at an extra cost and noticeably improves the already-impressive ride quality. All-in, a loaded Q7 Prestige is nearly $90,000 but feels worth every penny.

Fuel Economy
With no penalty for fuel economy, the V-6 is clearly the 2019 Audi Q7’s best engine option.

The EPA rates both the turbocharged 4-cylinder and supercharged V-6 versions of the 2019 Audi Q7 exactly the same. Missing a more frugal hybrid or electrified option, we award 4 out of 10 in this category.

Both engines are rated at 19 city, 25 highway, and 21 combined mpg, and both require premium fuel to operate. Given the choice, we’d pick the V-6 considering it’s much more powerful and comes with no penalty at the pump, though a more efficient hybrid model would be a welcome addition to the lineup.



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