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Audi Q7 2020 review: 45 TDI

Does the Audi Q7 cut it as a family hauler?

If you’re looking for a little polish from your next family hauler then I might have just the answer, with Audi’s flagship Q7 definitive proof that not all seven-seat SUVs are created equal.

For this family review, we road tested the 2020 Audi Q7 45 TDI which has been given a mid-life update. At first glance, you’d be right to question what’s changed from the previous Q7.

My kids and I family tested the Q7 across a week of suburban and city driving to discover what’s new and different in this new variant. And I can assure you plenty has changed, both inside and out.

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What does it look like?

The facelift of the second generation Q7 takes a leaf from the Q8 design playbook, with sharper body styling, a broader front grille and smart-looking Matrix lights. The Black Exterior Styling Package ($1450 option) is worth the extra outlay as it replaces the standard chrome trim front and rear, which is more reminiscent of luxury cars from the '90s.

The facelift of the second generation Q7 takes a leaf from the Q8 design playbook with sharper body styling. The facelift of the second generation Q7 takes a leaf from the Q8 design playbook with sharper body styling.

The Glacier White metallic paint our test car came in complements the black trim nicely, although for some reason it comes as a $2400 option. Since when did we start paying extra for white paint?

Additional exterior options on our test car included the sporty-looking 21-inch alloy wheels and privacy glass for the rear windows. All of which arrives as part of the Premium Plus package. The larger rims give this large SUV a slightly sleeker profile that more resembles a large wagon. These extra touches definitely add to the premium look of the Q7.

Standard kit for your money includes Matrix LED headlights. Standard kit for your money includes Matrix LED headlights.The theme continues inside with the Bang and Olufsen stereo, leather-appointed seats, steering wheel and gear shifter, aluminium inlays dotted throughout, and the addition of the two large touchscreens occupying significant real estate in the centre dash. The finish and fit is all class and creates a pleasant and premium cabin space.

How does it drive?

The comfort levels of this updated Q7 are easily its best attribute thanks to newly fitted adaptive air suspension. It makes the daily drive a far more enjoyable experience than expected from a large family hauler, even over the harshest of speed humps and potholes. This incredibly smart set up also translates into a wonderfully capable and composed performer around corners, too.

Audi claims this 2.2-tonne SUV will do the 0-100km/h sprint in a brisk 7.3sec. Audi claims this 2.2-tonne SUV will do the 0-100km/h sprint in a brisk 7.3sec.

Powering the Audi Q7 45 TDI is 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 working in combination with a new 48-volt mild hybrid system. It’s matched to an eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission that sends drive to all four wheels via Audi’s quattro system.

Audi claims this 2.2-tonne SUV will do the 0-100km/h sprint in a brisk 7.3sec. More than ample for galloping around the suburbs and open roads, even with a full load. What’s more, it has an impressive braked towing capacity of 3500kg so you can tow all the toys on family road trips.

Over a week we covered around 280km of mainly suburban driving, with the trip computer displaying a fuel consumption reading of 8.7L/100km with driving mode was set to comfort throughout. Somewhat higher than Audi’s claimed 7.0L/100km.

How spacious is it?

The Q7 cabin delivers the kind of space you’d expect from an SUV of this size with acres of head and leg room in first and second rows. Third row is somewhat more modest in terms of leg room, though it can be increased by moving the second row of seating forward to create enough space for kids and even adults.

  • The Q7 cabin delivers the kind of space you’d expect from an SUV of this size. The Q7 cabin delivers the kind of space you’d expect from an SUV of this size.
  • There is a pair of cupholders hidden in the middle row's fold-down armrest. There is a pair of cupholders hidden in the middle row's fold-down armrest.
  • The third row is somewhat more modest in terms of leg room. The third row is somewhat more modest in terms of leg room.
  • Space in the third show can be increased by moving the second row of seating forward. Space in the third show can be increased by moving the second row of seating forward.
  • Boot size with all three rows in use is 295 litres (VDA), but with the third row down the space more than doubles to 865L. Boot size with all three rows in use is 295 litres (VDA), but with the third row down the space more than doubles to 865L.

Boot size with all three rows in use is 295 litres (VDA), good for a few grocery bags. With the third row down, this more than doubles to 865L, which translates to a significant amount usable space for bikes, prams and a hefty supermarket shop. With the second row stowed, this increases to a van-like 2050L.

How easy is it to use every day?

The Q7 is an incredibly easy SUV to like and live with, with plenty of thoughtful features and tech to take the edge off any school run or shopping trip.

The boot comes with an electric tailgate. The boot comes with an electric tailgate.

It starts with the boot, which comes with an electric tailgate and adjustable height that houses four tie down points and side storage net. The power folding third row of seats is a particularly nice touch, too.

There are storage options aplenty throughout the cabin, with large bottle holders in each of the four doors, plus two cupholders located between the driver and front passenger, while another pair is hidden in the middle row's fold-down armrest. Third row occupants can make use of one cupholder each.

My kids made good use of the USB ports with a total of four on offer - two up front and two in the second row. Each set is located next to a 12-volt power outlet.

Parking this large SUV was made easy thanks to good visibility, speed-sensitive power steering, and a heap of parking sensors and a quality rear camera. The Kerb side mirror function proved a useful feature for parallel parking. 

How safe is it?

The Q7, awarded the maximum five-star safety by ANCAP in 2015, comes armed with a laundry list of active and passive safety kit.

The Q7 was awarded the maximum five-star safety by ANCAP in 2015. The Q7 was awarded the maximum five-star safety by ANCAP in 2015.

The exhaustive list includes autonomous emergency braking (with pedestrian detection), lane-keep and steering assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control (with stop and go functionality), driver attention alert, hill-descent control, hill-start assist, tyre pressure monitoring, surround-view cameras, and front and rear parking sensors.

It continues with eight airbags (dual front, front and rear side, and curtain airbags extending to back row), electronic stability and traction control systems, anti-skid brakes (ABS), brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution, among others.

Parents using capsules or car seats can make use of top tether and ISOFIX points located across the second and third rows.

What’s the tech like?

This luxury liner on wheels has enough tech to keep parents and kids occupied for any car trip, all accessed via the stylish-looking central pair of touchscreens. Features include satellite navigation (with live traffic updates), Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay support and digital radio connected to a 10-speaker sound system.

The tech can all be accessed via the stylish-looking central pair of touchscreens. The tech can all be accessed via the stylish-looking central pair of touchscreens.

It's all incredibly easy to use, and the acoustic and haptic feedback is a welcome feature particularly while using it from the driver’s seat. The 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster is another piece of tech worth noting, and it's now running new software.

How much does it cost to own?

The Q7 45 TDI is priced from $101,900, plus on-road costs, with Audi throwing another $8850 of optional extras into our test car, including the Premium Plus package ($5000), metallic paint ($2400), and black exterior styling package ($1450), bringing the total price to $110,750.

Standard kit for your money includes a windshield-projected head-up display, keyless entry and start, power-adjustable front seats with heating, four-zone climate control, a power-adjustable steering column, Matrix LED headlights, dusk-sensing lights, rain-sensing wipers, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and ambient lighting.

The Q7 45 TDI is priced from $101,900, plus on-road costs. The Q7 45 TDI is priced from $101,900, plus on-road costs.


The Wrap

This Q7 represents one of the better mid-life updates I’ve encountered, with ride comfort an absolute stand out. It’s a genuine pleasure to spend time in, with tonnes of usable space and plenty of safety.

With the exterior updates, Audi has successfully breathed new life into an ageing body shape. Regardless of whether you have two or more kids, if you appreciate a little luxury in your family hauler, then the Q7 is worth putting on your shortlist. 

Likes

Comfortable ride
Premium cabin
Usable space

Dislikes

Could prove thirsty in real world use
Paying extra for white paint
Expensive options

Scores

Dan:

4.3

The Kids:

4.5

$99,990 - $129,960

Based on 21 car listings in the last 6 months

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