2020 Audi Q7 evaluation: The robust, silent kind

The Q7 at all times retains a stiff higher lip.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The Audi Q7 SUV is as quietly assured as ever. For 2020 it features some vital under-hood upgrades, recent know-how and mildly enhanced styling, alterations that additional refine this already-solid car. 

LikeSwift and easy-to-use infotainment systemComfortable, high-quality interiorEerily hushed insidePillow-soft experience

Do not LikeDearth of center-console storageSoft throttle tip-in

Nuts and bolts

Essentially the most important change is discovered proper behind that enormous, single-frame grille, which has additionally been upgraded with some vivid vertical slats for a extra distinctive look. The soulful supercharged V6 of earlier mannequin years has been changed by a 3.0-liter turbocharged engine. A 2.0-liter turbo I4 remains to be the usual engine, however this optionally available V6 delivers 6 extra horsepower than its predecessor, topping out at 335, however offers far more torque, 369 pound-feet in whole. That is a rise of 44 lb-ft in comparison with what the 2019 mannequin might muster.

Augmented by a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, this single-turbo V6 is a {smooth} operator, virtually freed from vibration and almost silent. Despite the fact that it has to battle towards 5,082 kilos of SUV, it might nonetheless whisk the Q7 to 60 mph in a fleet 5.7 seconds, although the car does not really feel that fast. Do not get me unsuitable, this SUV is lots swift and by no means leaves you wanting for extra oomph, it is simply so quiet and refined you aren’t getting any sensation of pace, which implies it is easy to be going lots sooner than you have to be.

Regardless of the engine, the Q7 makes use of an eight-speed automated transmission that is as astute as an MIT grad pupil. One of many smoothest-shifting cog-swappers round, it is also greater than prepared to play ball, downshifting readily when a little bit of acceleration is required. This stage of responsiveness is regrettably uncommon lately, as automakers appear to tune transmissions to remain within the highest gear doable always. 

If there’s one draw back to the Q7’s powertrain it is the throttle tip-in. Regardless of the drive mode, this SUV is a bit torpid off the road, that means it takes a heavy stab of the accelerator to get shifting. 

This bent-six has a single turbocharger nestled between the cylinder heads. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

That V6 engine and customary Quattro all-wheel drive return 17 miles per gallon metropolis and 21 mpg on freeway drives. In real-world motoring I have been averaging about 19 mpg, hardly a stellar determine even when it is higher than the car’s mixed ranking of 18. In the event you do not care about effectivity, hook one thing to the again of this Audi. When geared up with the $750 trailering package deal, this car can tow as much as 7,700 kilos, a formidable determine.

A {smooth} operator

My top-shelf Status-trim Q7 rolls on optionally available 21-inch wheels enveloped by a set of 285/40 Continental Cross Contact all-season tires. With a two-tone end, these good-looking rollers add immeasurably to the car’s look and solely price an additional $1,000. However regardless of the nice seems and affordable worth, they initially gave me pause. This wheel-and-tire combo is completely huge, coming about mid-thigh excessive once I stand subsequent to the car. At first, I used to be terrified the Q7 would experience like an empty grain hauler, or worse, a Volvo XC90, however this concern was unfounded. 

The car’s adaptive air suspension system, which is included within the Status package deal, works like friggin’ magic, delivering a experience that is softer than a down pillow but nonetheless impressively managed. Each top and firmness are adjustable via the Audi Drive Choose system, however even in Dynamic mode, the experience is miraculously {smooth}. The identical cannot be mentioned of the XC90 I just lately examined, which was far starchier but no higher composed whereas navigating corners.

Massive wheels do not at all times end in a punishing experience.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

This Audi’s dealing with is predictable and properly sorted, lest you assume the smooth-running Q7 flops round like a basset hound’s ears. Total, this SUV’s on-road efficiency is nearly completely balanced, silky and coddling with none slop.

Consistent with its buttoned-down experience high quality, the Q7’s inside is extremely hushed, even at freeway velocities. Status fashions include dual-pane facet glass, which undoubtedly contributes to this virtually eerie silence. Total, this car is about as hushed as an underground bunker and almost as stable.

Cool and complex 

True to kind, this Audi’s inside is fantastically designed and product of top-quality supplies. It lacks a little bit of the XC90’s heat, however it trades that in for cool sophistication. I might do with rather less piano black trim, which appears to draw mud and fingerprints like squirrels to a chicken feeder, however the leather-based feels nice, the open-pore ash-wood accents look wealthy and even the delicate plastics are upscale. 

Consolation is one other robust go well with of the Q7. Its customary, eight-way power-adjustable entrance seats are all-day supportive, however the automaker additionally presents 18-way adjustable chairs within the $6,400 Luxurious Bundle, which will get you Valcona leather-based and an Alcantara headliner for slightly additional somethin’ somethin’.

True to kind, this Audi is suave and complex inside.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The triple-split second-row seat is great, with tons of room in all dimensions. The cushions are agency and supportive, with the decrease one fitted chair-height above the ground, making it extra comfy for taller passengers. It is only a disgrace there’s such a big hump within the flooring, which makes sitting within the center place greater than slightly awkward.

Typical of this car section, the third row is finest left to children or maybe unusually spry adults of shorter stature. It is too near the ground and has restricted headroom to actually be accommodating, however at the least it has power-folding potential. In a considerate contact, buttons mounted within the cargo space or simply behind the second-row seats will let you drop these backrests and actually open the Q7 up.

This Audi can have no bother when it is time to haul freight. With all of the rear seats folded, it has 69.6 cubic toes of room. Behind simply the third row, you get 14.2 cubes. These figures are similar to the Volvo XC90 however are barely behind what a Lincoln Aviator presents.

It might be comfy and spacious, however there may be one factor I want the Q7’s inside had: extra center-console cupboard space. There is a severe lack of nooks and crannies for stashing stuff. Apart from the hidden cubby to the left of the steering wheel, there is no handy place to place my admittedly George Costanza-esque pockets.

No scarcity of circuitry

Relating to know-how, the Q7 has three screens. At 10.1 inches, the principle one on the dashboard handles infotainment and navigation duties. The 8.6-inch decrease show is used to function the climate-control system and entry different features. Lastly, instantly forward of the motive force is Audi’s Digital Cockpit, an easy-to-use, reconfigurable digital instrument cluster that clocks in at 12.Three inches.

At first look, the Q7’s infotainment system seems downright labyrinthian, however it’s remarkably straightforward to make use of. Menus are logically laid out and all the things responds with near-instantaneous pace. This multimedia answer presents all of the performance and customization you could possibly want with out being utterly overwhelming. (Howdy, MBUX.) 

This multi-screen association seems difficult, however it’s all fairly straightforward to make use of.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Different package that is customary throughout the Q7 vary contains issues like keyless entry with push-button begin, automated windshield wipers and parking sensors each entrance and rear. At no additional price, you additionally get a smartphone interface that permits wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which is tremendous helpful. 

Automated excessive beams are additionally customary fare. They’re among the most responsive I’ve ever skilled, and spookily prescient about oncoming visitors. A brand new characteristic for 2020 known as Emergency Help. It will probably detect if the motive force is incapacitated and, after a collection of warnings, finally cease the car and activate the hazard lights. 

Naturally, my Status-trim tester is fitted with a raft of different helpful options together with a head-up show, an unusually crisp 360-degree digital camera system, adaptive cruise management and lane-keeping help. These final two gadgets work properly collectively, seamlessly adjusting the Q7’s pace to match that of the car forward. It is also {smooth} and attentive in stop-and-go visitors, taking the stress out of commuting.  

The Q7’s lane-keeping system works properly on the freeway, although on secondary roads I discover it should usually vibrate the steering wheel when traces finish and sometimes it should attempt to steer into right-turn lanes, so it’s a must to stay vigilant. Keep in mind, children, there are not any self-driving vehicles. 

Regardless of all of the computerized goodies supplied on this car, certainly one of my favourite options is so low-tech you could possibly name it no-tech. Audi’s sun-visor implementation is mainly good. The Q7 has two totally different shades, one which swivels to the facet and extends to cowl the total width of the front-door glass, plus one other fastened visor that folds down to dam gentle coming in via the windshield. It is a easy and extremely efficient answer to dam distracting glare.

This isn’t a bad-looking SUV.

Craig Cole/Roadshow
Dignified and restrained

An entry-level Q7 Premium mannequin with the bottom, four-cylinder engine goes for round $56,000, together with $995 in vacation spot prices. That will get you many of the Q7’s basic goodness, although not lots of its extra superior options. By comparability, my tester right here rings up for $75,290, which is definitely wealthy although in no way unreasonable. In the event you’ve acquired additional money burning a gap in your checking account, you shouldn’t have any bother inflating that determine by at the least one other 10 grand by choosing options like evening imaginative and prescient ($2,500), a 23-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system ($4,900), laser headlights ($1,650) and even four-wheel steering ($1,500).

There’s lots to love in regards to the Q7. Not like a few of its rivals together with the BMW X5 and Acura MDX, this Audi is neither loud nor flamboyant. As an alternative, it is dignified and restrained, an exceedingly mature luxurious SUV with impeccable style.

About the author: SubSellKaro

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