If you’re shopping for a three-row luxury SUV to haul the family around and occasionally enjoy a twisty back road, the 2020 Audi Q7 is one such SUV we’re happy to recommend. Although the 2020 model has received several updates this year, it’s still the athletic and upscale SUV that made our 10Best Trucks and SUVs list for 2017, 2018, and 2019. A turbocharged V-6 engine makes 335 horsepower, which is routed to all four wheels via Audi’s signature Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Inside, occupants are treated to a meticulously assembled interior with plenty of technology features, including not one, not two, but three standard digital displays in the first row. The Q7 goes head to head with stiff competition such as the BMW X5, the Mercedes-Benz GLE-class, and the Volvo XC90, but none of those SUVs offer quite the same level of driving enjoyment.
What’s New for 2020?
The Q7 receives an extensive facelift for 2020, including updated exterior styling, more technology features on the inside, and a new turbocharged V-6 engine is now optional and is identified by the “55” badge; a turbo four-cylinder remains the base engine, and Q7s powered by this powertrain wear “45” badges. The 2020 Q7 also adopts the two-row Q8 SUV’s touchscreen-heavy interior, featuring a large infotainment display stacked on top of another secondary display that handles vehicle settings and climate control. Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital gauge display is also now standard and a wireless smartphone-charging pad is optional.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
We’ll leave the decision between the turbo-four “45” models and the turbocharged V-6 “55” models up to you, but we’d suggest going with at least the mid-range Premium Plus, as it adds extra luxury features that most buyers in this segment want. Those who enjoy driving will benefit from optioning the Adaptive Chassis package, as it includes an adjustable air suspension and four-wheel steering, which turns the Q7 into a nimble-handling sporty SUV. Unfortunately, that package is available only on the top-level Prestige trim, making the driver’s Q7 a costly prospect.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
For 2020, Audi kept the old 248-hp turbocharged four-cylinder but added a new turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 that uses a 48-volt hybrid system to make 335 horsepower. We haven’t tested a Q7 with the new turbo V-6, but performance in the Q8 has proven to be brisk in our experience. Despite its bulk, when the Q7 is fitted with the optional performance tires on 21-inch wheels, it feels low and lithe, like a pumped-up sport wagon. The adjustability of the optional air suspension, paired with the added agility of four-wheel steering, makes the Q7 surprisingly fun to flog down a twisty back road.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Unfortunately, the new V-6 powertrain comes with worse fuel economy. The EPA fuel-efficiency ratings are 17 mpg city, 21 mpg highway, and 18 mpg combined, which accounts for drops of 2 mpg, 4 mpg, and 3 mpg in each respective category. When we are able to test drive a 2020 Q7, we’ll put its efficiency to the test on our 200-mile highway fuel-economy test route. We expect the four-cylinder 2020 Q7 to return similar results to the 2017 model we tested, which delivered 26 mpg on our 200-mile highway loop.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
With its minimalist, contemporary design matched with loads of technology and excellent comfort and build quality, the Q7’s cabin is a special place. Beautiful materials and design highlight the Q7’s interior, as do the intelligent layout of its controls and the comfortable seats that feature both ample support and adjustability. Entry-level Premium versions come nicely outfitted, and the amount of upscale features can get supremely luxurious in the higher trim levels. As with most three-row SUVs, there isn’t a ton of cargo space in the Audi’s cargo area when all of its seats are in use. But it has available space comparable with its key rivals, and the rearmost row can be quickly raised or lowered via power controls, which makes up for the somewhat clumsy operation of the middle row. With all seats stowed, the 2019 Q7 had room for 25 of our carry-on suitcases, a result we expect the updated 2020 model to match.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The Q7 comes standard with a 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen and a smaller 8.6-incher located below that to adjust the climate control and vehicle settings. Depending on whether or not you enjoy using touchscreens while driving, you may find the new system delightful or devilish. Our staff is split, but Audi’s been busy adding this new infotainment system to its lineup; it can be found in the A6, A7, and A8 sedans, as well as the Q8 SUV. All 2020 Q7 models also come with the Virtual Cockpit digital gauge display, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration. Audiophiles can revel in several audio options, topped by a Bang & Olufsen system with 23 speakers and 1920 watts of juice.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Although the 2020 model has not been tested by either agency, the 2019 Q7 earned five stars for its crashworthiness from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and aced the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) crash tests. However, it missed out on IIHS’s Top Safety Pick honor for headlamps that scored only Marginal, something we expect Audi will have addressed with the 2020 model. Several driver-assistance features are either standard or optional on the Q7, which will make it attractive to buyers transporting precious cargo. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking and forward-collision warning
- Available lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control with semi-autonomous driving mode
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The Q7 carries solid warranty coverage comparable with its peers, although the Acura MDX and the Lexus GX both offer slightly better powertrain coverage. Its complimentary scheduled maintenance plan—one year or 10,000 miles—is the lone area where it falls behind the coverage of its key competitor, the XC90.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for 1 year or 10,000 miles