The 2020 Audi Q7 occupies an essential, family-friendly house in Audi’s lineup. Though it ranks numerically beneath the Q8, the Q7 is the one Audi that seats greater than 5 occupants as Audi’s solely three-row SUV. For 2020, it’s been refreshed with quite in depth modifications: a brand-new dashboard with a dual-touchscreen setup, a brand new grille that appears immediately lifted from the Q8 and a brand new turbocharged V-6 that replaces the 2019’s supercharged V-6 because the engine used for the Q7 55 TFSI. A turbo four-cylinder carries over for the bottom Q7, known as the 45 TFSI.
Associated: 2020 Audi Q7: New Screens, New Smile
Such updates may typify a full redesign, and that offers the 2020 mannequin some severe differentiation from the 2019. Add what’s solely a small value improve atop that, and the 2020 Q7 holds actual promise. After just a few hours behind the wheel, nonetheless, I’m not completely satisfied that each one such modifications are for the higher. The Q7 is flashier and the styling extra related to the remainder of Audi’s lineup (particularly its bigger automobiles), however the updates don’t essentially make it simpler to make use of — they usually fail to handle among the SUV’s shortcomings.
New Engine, New Issues
Though the Q7’s accessible V-6 displaces the identical 3.0 liters, it’s now turbocharged as a substitute of supercharged, a change that will increase output to 335 horsepower and 369 pounds-feet of torque; that’s up 6 hp and 44 pounds-feet, although Audi’s quoted 0-60-mph acceleration time (5.7 seconds) stays unchanged. All-wheel drive is normal on all trims.
The earlier Q7 suffered some drivetrain lag, and it appears to have worsened with the brand new engine. Obtainable energy is plentiful, and should you apply gasoline when the transmission is already within the appropriate gear — similar to at decrease speeds — the Q7 accelerates impressively for a 5,000-plus-pound SUV. However name for any acceleration whereas in movement that requires transmission to downshift and it turns into irritating. Even activating the transmission’s Sport mode doesn’t repair the issue: Hit the gasoline, and little occurs for a few seconds earlier than the Q7 downshifts and accelerates. It’s sort of like when my mom used to ask me to do dishes: I’d hear the request however present little curiosity swiftly attending to the duty.
On prime of that, gasoline economic system has considerably dropped. EPA-estimated mileage for the 2020 Q7 is 17/21/18 mpg (metropolis/freeway/mixed), a big share decline from 2019’s 19/25/21 mpg ranking. (Each the V-6 and four-cylinder had the identical EPA gasoline economic system for 2019, however we’re nonetheless ready on figures for the 2020 four-cylinder.) With premium gasoline advisable for marketed energy rankings, the drop in mileage hurts all of the extra.
Trip and dealing with are each ample. My check car had 21-inch wheels as part of a beauty package deal, however these didn’t appear to harm experience high quality, which stays assured even over damaged pavement. The SUV displays an excellent quantity of physique roll in corners, and the steering is simply too low-effort to totally recognize. Such qualities don’t maintain the Q7 again, however I hope Audi’s just-announced SQ7 has some methods up its sleeve. The Q7 does provide an non-compulsory adaptive air suspension, which my check car didn’t have — a setup that would assist steering and dynamics.
The dashboard has been fully reworked, giving the Q7 what quantities to the Q8 inside. Meaning bodily local weather controls are gone, changed by a decrease, 8.6-inch touchscreen that homes controls for the local weather and seat temperature amongst different features. As a showpiece, the brand new dashboard and multimedia system look nice: The screens are sharp and the entire of it gleams. With a regular 12.3-inch Digital Cockpit instrument panel, too, the Q7 has a futuristic feel and look.
Audi’s multi-touchscreen strategy has divided our workers, and although I’m among the many editors who likes it extra, I’m nonetheless not bought. It feels cool, however I nonetheless favor bodily local weather controls, like those on the Q3 or refreshed 2020 A4/S4. The haptic suggestions you get from Audi’s display makes it simpler to make use of than the twin touchscreens discovered within the newest Jaguar and Land Rover fashions, however it’s nonetheless inferior to an excellent old school dial — particularly when driving and making an attempt to maintain your eyes on the highway. Each screens turn out to be fingerprint magnets; I might see a smudge from each single management that I pressed. Within the daylight, these smudges dominate the panel. One last pet peeve: Why is the amount knob so far-off? It’s tucked all the best way to the passenger facet, the place it’s neither straightforward to see nor function.
3 Rows, 1 of Them Snug
The 2020 Q7 seats seven occupants in all configurations, with a second-row bench seat that can’t be swapped out for captain’s chairs in what continues to be an odd omission. The second row folds in a 35/30/35-split, such that homeowners can match three automotive seats throughout the bench — an lodging that places the Q7 among the many handful of recent SUVs that may match three seats throughout.
The entrance seats have sufficient bolstering to carry occupants comfortably in place, however not a lot to be aggressive. The second row is much less promising: Outboard seats have minimal bolstering, so that you slide round fairly a bit. The center seat, although wider than many, remains to be not essentially the most comfy spot to take a seat in. The cupholders within the heart armrest are additionally tiny; you may perhaps match a soda can in there, however something bigger can have hassle.
Third-row entry comes by way of the sliding and tilting second-row seat. Though the center seat will be lowered to assist open up cargo house, the third row stays problematic in just a few other ways. There merely isn’t sufficient room to suit an grownup again there comfortably even should you slide the second-row seat ahead. Headroom is missing, too. Not solely does the third row really feel prefer it has dimensional shortcomings, it’s additionally lacking creature comforts, with no seen air vents or USB ports. Versus the third rows in rival SUVs, this feels downright draconian.
Worth and Closing Ideas
I examined a Premium Plus trim of the 2020 Q7, the center of three trims — Premium and Status are the opposite two — with V-6 fashions beginning at $61,795 (all costs embrace vacation spot) and four-cylinder fashions beginning at $55,795. (Underneath Audi’s newish naming scheme, derived confusingly from the kilowatt-based automotive rankings utilized in Europe, the four-cylinder goes by 45 TFSI, whereas the V-6 is 55 TFSI.) Varied choices packages and options bumped the value of my 55 to $71,990, an echelon that places the Q7 in shut proximity to the Cadillac XT6, Lincoln Aviator and Volvo XC90.
My lack of enthusiasm for the Q7’s modifications could come partially as a result of I’ve seen this present earlier than, simply on totally different Audi fashions. Audi lifted the Q7’s powertrain, dual-screen setup and styling from different Audis, however I discover such modifications don’t elevate the Q7’s standing — no less than not sufficient for a car that struggles in some essential household qualities, similar to third-row house.
Additional complicating issues for Q7 buyers is the arrival of mass-market automobiles with luxury-grade inside high quality and extra room for occupants and cargo, such because the Hyundai Palisade. The 2020 Q7 isn’t a foul alternative within the conventional sense: Its dynamics are stable, and it nonetheless seems to be and feels the a part of a luxurious household hauler. However its deficits are not possible to miss, particularly with the brand new powertrain arising quick.
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