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Audi Q7 2020 review

A large luxury seven-seater that exudes good style.

The Audi Q7 is a large seven-seater you’d be looking at if you have three to five children to ferry around after school and to weekend activities. Or maybe your family is smaller but you just like lots of space. Either way, the Q7 will easily fit your needs. 

It’s in competition with cars like the BMW X5, Mercedes GLE and Volvo XC90, which are all good cars. So what does the Audi have to offer? I tested the Audi Q7 50 TDI S line Quattro, which is the top of the range regular Q7 and costs from $119,900 plus on road costs. I drove it over seven days for this week’s family review. Here’s how it performed. 

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✅ How does it look?

The Q7 is hefty, with bulky weight around the middle of the car. It’s got a squarish shape and is in line with others in the Audi SUV range, just a more beefed up, spaced out version. It looks sophisticated and stylish but I do think the Volvo and the BMW out-design it. From the exterior anyway. 

The Q7 is hefty, with bulky weight around the middle of the car. The Q7 is hefty, with bulky weight around the middle of the car.

The interior looks premium, with quality finishings everywhere you turn. The “Valcona” leather seats look and feel great while sitting on them, and you especially notice the comfort of the leather on bare legs. The S line model's steering wheel is leather with perforated panels and a flat bottom shape, which I’m quite partial to and Audi has perfected this shape in various forms on different cars. 

It comes with a panoramic glass sunroof as standard on 50 TDI models, which lets in lots of lovely light to the car. The centre console is finished with high shine and the gear shifter is very wide, it fits nicely under the hands. All models get the Audi 'Virtual Cockpit' digital driver information screen, and that feels very 2020. 

The interior looks premium, with quality finishings everywhere you turn. The interior looks premium, with quality finishings everywhere you turn.

✅ How spacious is it?

There’s no wanting for more space in the Q7. It has loads of leg and headroom in the front row and feels like a comfortable, high lounge chair from which to drive. 

The second row is also very roomy and easily fit my two children aged six and eight. I was also comfortable in this row, at 161cm and even taller people should be fine in here for long journeys. This row can be slid forward and backward so you can configure the second and third row depending on where you need the most space. You’ll be able to fit three child seats across in the second row, which is good for those with lots of small children.

The second row is also very roomy. The second row is also very roomy.

Even the third row has enough space for adults to fit with my taller CarsGuide colleagues confirming they can fit legs and head neatly inside, so kids will have no trouble in here. 

My kids loved the spacious third row. My kids loved the spacious third row.

The size varies depending on how many seats are in use. When all three rows are up, the boot is a small 295 litres (VDA) which is fairly standard for seven-seat SUVs of this size. You can fit school bags or groceries with this configuration. 

With the third row down, the boot is enormous. At 770L you’ll be able to fit a double pram and have room to spare for sporting equipment and other bags. It’s usually why people with three kids or less size up to a seven seater - for the extra boot space that comes with it. The two seats in the back then function as spares, for when you need to drive the grandparents or friends. 

  • With all three rows in place, the boot is a small 295 litres (VDA). With all three rows in place, the boot is a small 295 litres (VDA).
  • Fold the third row down and boot space grows to 770L. Fold the third row down and boot space grows to 770L.
  • There's enough space to fit a double pram with room to spare. There's enough space to fit a double pram with room to spare.

✅ How does it drive?

The Q7 has a 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder diesel engine that also has “Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle technology” (MHEV). Sounds complicated but what it basically means is that the engine can coast without using fuel for up to 40 seconds, and cut the engine at speeds below 22km/h if you're braking to help save fuel. It’s not an electric car and there is not one in the Q7 lineup. 

This engine is powerful and smooth, though it does feel a bit heavy on takeoff. Once you’re going though it doesn’t feel heavy at all. If anything, on highways it’s more of a case of toning down your speed because it would get up very quickly if you weren’t concentrating!

The 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder diesel engine produces 210kW/600Nm. The 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder diesel engine produces 210kW/600Nm.

It has all-wheel drive (AWD) which means you’ll get better traction on unstable surfaces like dirt, gravel, snow - or even wet roads. It has good handling and the steering is not heavy which is a plus in a big car like this. 

Parking is always going to be a challenge in an SUV this size, because it’s wide as well as long, but if you’ve got enough room it’s manageable especially with the high definition reversing camera on the wide screen which is split with a 360-degree surround view. 

✅ How easy is it to use every day?

The Q7 is high off the ground but my children didn’t have any trouble jumping in and doing their seatbelts up. If you do up children’s car seats it’s at a good height off the ground to strap kids in. I found the doors quite heavy to open and close, being such a big car. 

There’s a fair amount of automation with the front seats being power adjustable, and the tailgate is “electric” with a programmable opening height and gesture control.

Despite being high off the ground, my children didn’t have any trouble jumping in the Q7. Despite being high off the ground, my children didn’t have any trouble jumping in the Q7.

There are two cupholders in each row, six in the car in total. You’ll also find a Qi wireless phone charger where the centre storage usually is, and no spot for keys and a phone in the front, but there is a bottle holder in each door. 

There is also quad-zone climate control and air vents in each row of the car. The front seats are heated, which is always a nice find in the cooler months. 

✅ How safe is it?

There is a bunch of advanced safety which comes standard across the range including adaptive drive assist (high and low speed adaptive cruise control), active lane assist, rear cross-traffic alert, auto emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning system, collision warning assist and "Exit Warning", which detects cars and cyclists when opening doors. 

It scored a full five stars when it was ANCAP tested in 2015. There are airbags for driver and front passenger and side curtain airbags that extend to the back row.

You’ll also find five top tether points in the back two rows and four ISOFIX points (two in the second row outer seats, and two in the rearmost seats) to fit kids car seats in safely. 

✅ What’s the tech like?

There is a wide 10.1-inch multimedia screen which houses both Audi in-house technology fitted with a sat nav system and voice control, and also Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring so you can plug your phone in for instant syncing with the screen. It’s one of the easiest systems to use because it’s basically your phone’s interface on a larger tablet in your car.

Inside the cabin is  a wide 10.1-inch multimedia screen. Inside the cabin is a wide 10.1-inch multimedia screen.

This model is fitted with Bose speakers (19 of them!) which sound great, turn the volume up for your favourite tunes. 

✅ How much does it cost to own?

The Audi Q7 50 TDI S line quattro costs $119,900 before on-road costs and extras. In this 2020 model most things are included so the usual load of high-cost extras are avoided. The only extras on this car are the metallic paint ($2400) and the tow bar and wiring ($1500), taking the total cost to $123,800. It’s a huge improvement on the pricing when extras used to tip $20K or so. 

Fuel consumption is a claimed 6.8L/100km and I actually bettered that, with an average of 6.1L/100km. I did do a lot of highway driving this week though, which uses less fuel. 

It’s covered by Audi’s three year/unlimited km warranty which is fairly standard in this category but sub-par when you compare it to companies like Kia, for example (seven years/unlimited km). Servicing is required every 12 months/15,000kms. 


The Wrap

The styling and interior space of the Audi Q7 50 TDI S line quattro make this an excellent family car. Throw in the good boot space and large back seats and this should be high up there on your look list. Personally I thought the heaviness of the doors and the car on take off could be improved but otherwise it drove really well. I would also be looking for more of a "real" hybrid engine in 2020. The safety is comprehensive and the tech is good too. 

I gave it a family rating of 8.2 out of 10 and my kids gave it the same. They love a spacious third row to get up to mischief in. 

Likes

Interior design
Interior space
Powerful engine

Dislikes

No proper hybrid option
Lack of front seat storage
Heavy doors

Scores

Nedahl:

4.1

The Kids:

4.1

$119,900

Based on new car retail price

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