2020 Audi Q7 review: The strong, silent type

    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 necessary under-hood upgrades, contemporary know-how and mildly enhanced styling, alterations that additional refine this already-solid automobile. 

    LikeSwift and easy-to-use infotainment systemComfortready, high-quality interiorEerily hushed insidePillow-soft journey

    Don’t LikeDearth of center-console storageSoft throttle tip-in

    Nuts and boltsThe 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 non-compulsory V6 delivers 6 extra horsepower than its predecessor, topping out at 335, however offers far more torque, 369 pound-feet in complete. That’s 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. Even although it has to struggle in opposition to 5,082 kilos of SUV, it might probably nonetheless whisk the Q7 to 60 mph in a fleet 5.7 seconds, although the automobile would not really feel that fast. Don’t get me unsuitable, this SUV is loads swift and by no means leaves you wanting for extra oomph, it is simply so quiet and refined you do not get any sensation of velocity, which suggests it is simple to be going quite a bit sooner than you need to be.

    No matter the engine, the Q7 makes use of an eight-speed automated transmission that is as astute as an MIT grad pupil. One of the 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 degree of responsiveness is regrettably uncommon today, as automakers appear to tune transmissions to remain within the highest gear potential always. If there’s one draw back to the Q7’s powertrain it is the throttle tip-in. No matter 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’ve been averaging about 19 mpg, hardly a stellar determine even when it is higher than the automobile’s mixed score of 18. If you do not care about effectivity, hook one thing to the again of this Audi. When outfitted with the $750 trailering bundle, this automobile can tow as much as 7,700 kilos, a formidable determine.

    A {smooth} operatorMy top-shelf Prestige-trim Q7 rolls on non-compulsory 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 automobile’s look and solely price an additional $1,000. But regardless of the nice seems and cheap worth, they initially gave me pause. This wheel-and-tire combo is totally large, coming about mid-thigh excessive once I stand subsequent to the automobile. At first, I used to be terrified the Q7 would journey like an empty grain hauler, or worse, a Volvo XC90, however this worry was unfounded. The automobile’s adaptive air suspension system, which is included within the Prestige bundle, works like friggin’ magic, delivering a journey that is softer than a down pillow but nonetheless impressively managed. Both top and firmness are adjustable by the Audi Drive Select system, however even in Dynamic mode, the journey is miraculously {smooth}. The identical cannot be mentioned of the XC90 I not too long ago examined, which was far starchier but no higher composed whereas navigating corners.Big wheels do not at all times end in a punishing journey.
    Craig Cole/Roadshow
    This Audi’s dealing with is predictable and nicely sorted, lest you suppose the smooth-running Q7 flops round like a basset hound’s ears. Overall, this SUV’s on-road efficiency is nearly completely balanced, silky and coddling with none slop.In protecting with its buttoned-down journey high quality, the Q7’s inside is extremely hushed, even at freeway velocities. Prestige fashions include dual-pane aspect glass, which undoubtedly contributes to this virtually eerie silence. Overall, this automobile is about as hushed as an underground bunker and almost as strong.Cool and complex True to type, this Audi’s inside is superbly designed and product of top-quality supplies. It lacks a little bit of the XC90’s heat, nevertheless 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 hen feeder, however the leather-based feels nice, the open-pore ash-wood accents look wealthy and even the delicate plastics are upscale. Comfort is one other sturdy 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 Luxury Package, which will get you Valcona leather-based and an Alcantara headliner for slightly additional somethin’ somethin’.True to type, 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 snug for taller passengers. It’s 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 automobile phase, the third row is finest left to children or maybe unusually spry adults of shorter stature. It’s too near the ground and has restricted headroom to really be accommodating, however at the very least it has power-folding potential. In a considerate contact, buttons mounted within the cargo space or simply behind the second-row seats 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 could also be snug and spacious, however there may be one factor I want the Q7’s inside had: extra center-console cupboard space. There’s a critical lack of nooks and crannies for stashing stuff. Other than the hidden cubby to the left of the steering wheel, there isn’t any handy place to place my admittedly George Costanza-esque pockets.No scarcity of circuitryWhen it involves 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. Finally, instantly forward of the motive force is Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, an easy-to-use, reconfigurable digital instrument cluster that clocks in at 12.3 inches.At first look, the Q7’s infotainment system seems downright labyrinthian, nevertheless it’s remarkably simple to make use of. Menus are logically laid out and all the things responds with near-instantaneous velocity. This multimedia answer presents all of the performance and customization you might want with out being fully overwhelming. (Hello, MBUX.) This multi-screen association seems difficult, nevertheless it’s all fairly simple to make use of.
    Craig Cole/Roadshow
    Other package that is customary throughout the Q7 vary consists of 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 useful. Automatic excessive beams are additionally customary fare. They’re a few of the most responsive I’ve ever skilled, and spookily prescient about oncoming visitors. A brand new characteristic for 2020 is named Emergency Assist. It can detect if the motive force is incapacitated and, after a collection of warnings, ultimately cease the automobile and activate the hazard lights. Naturally, my Prestige-trim tester is fitted with a raft of different helpful options together with a head-up show, an unusually crisp 360-degree digicam system, adaptive cruise management and lane-keeping help. Those final two objects work nicely collectively, seamlessly adjusting the Q7’s velocity to match that of the automobile forward. It’s additionally {smooth} and attentive in stop-and-go visitors, taking the stress out of commuting.  The Q7’s lane-keeping system works nicely on the freeway, although on secondary roads I discover it is going to usually vibrate the steering wheel when strains finish and sometimes it is going to attempt to steer into right-turn lanes, so it’s a must to stay vigilant. Remember, children, there aren’t any self-driving vehicles. Despite all of the computerized goodies supplied on this automobile, considered one of my favourite options is so low-tech you might name it no-tech. Audi’s sun-visor implementation is principally good. The Q7 has two totally different shades, one which swivels to the aspect and extends to cowl the total width of the front-door glass, plus one other fastened visor that folds down to dam mild coming in by the windshield. It’s a easy and extremely efficient answer to dam distracting glare.This just isn’t a bad-looking SUV.
    Craig Cole/Roadshow
    Dignified and restrainedAn entry-level Q7 Premium mannequin with the bottom, four-cylinder engine goes for round $56,000, together with $995 in vacation spot expenses. That will get you a lot 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 actually wealthy although in no way unreasonable. If you have acquired additional money burning a gap in your checking account, you should not have any bother inflating that determine by at the very least one other 10 grand by choosing options like night time 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 loads to love concerning the Q7. Unlike a few of its rivals together with the BMW X5 and Acura MDX, this Audi is neither loud nor flamboyant. Instead, it is dignified and restrained, an exceedingly mature luxurious SUV with impeccable style.

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