The 2020 Audi Q7 might have an interesting sense of timing, but it’s here and it’s the biggest update for the big seven-seater since it arrived.
Audi says it’s “almost unrecognisable” which is the kind of humour we need in these troubling times. When this car first launched, it split opinion – after the big presence of the first-gen Q7, the second seemed a bit more tame.
I figured it was the first signs of the SUV cult moving back a little from being large and vulgar and it pleased me no end.
Among a few detail changes for the 2020 model year is the assertion that the interior is bigger by 11mm, so I’m guessing the interior’s design has been tweaked to liberate a bit of space, which is impressive because it was big to begin with.
How much is a 2020 Audi Q7 and what do I get?
45 TDI quattro – $101,900 + ORC
50 TDI quattro – $112,900 + ORC
50 TDI quattro S Line – $119,900
As you can see, it’s still an all-diesel V6 line-up, with the 45 TDI continuing with 170kW and the 50 with 210kW.
Prices haven’t moved too much, although the 45 now breaks the hundred grand mark whereas before it sneaked under. It was a lot of car for the money and it still is, really.
Base specification is pretty handy, with 19-inch alloys, three-zone climate control, ambient lighting, 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit, a huge MMI screen with – trumpets please – wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless charging, 10-speakers stereo with DAB, heated front seats and fake leather trim.
The big news is that Audi has made the awesome Matrix LED headlights standard across the range. Boo and, indeed, yah. That more than covers the price rise if you take into account the cost of those bad boys.
Step up to the 50 TDI and you get a more powerful version of the V6, head up display, electric steering column adjustment among other detail trim differences such as real leather.
The 50 TDI S Line sports 21-inch alloys, S line bits and pieces like front and rear bumpers, spielers and badging as well as interior parts like a flat-bottomed steering wheel. The new grille comes in titanium black and the air intakes are now matte platinum grey.
It also scores a BOSE 3D sounds system with 19-speakers and 558 watts of power, panoramic glass sunroof and Valcona leather trim.
Safety – ANCAP 5 Stars (Sept 2017)
There’s a fair chunk of safety gear aboard all Q7s. You get airbags everywhere, ABS, stability and traction controls, stop-and-go traffic assist, lane departure warning, active lane keep assist, forward AEB up to 250km/h with pedestrian detection up to 85km/h, blind spot warning, rear pre-sense (prepares the car for being rear-ended), around-view cameras, intersection assist (tries to stop you hitting cars at T and cross-intersections), steering assistance in an emergency situation, rear cross-traffic alert, turning assist (stops you turning across oncoming traffic) and exit assist to stop you dooring cyclists.
The Q7 scored five ANCAP stars on its launch in 2017. I’m reasonably confident with that massive list that it will hold on to that score under the current rules.
Warranty and Servicing
Prepaid servicing ($2310/$3190)
Audi’s warranty is starting to look anaemic next to Mercedes new five-year effort. The coverage is fine, it’s just too short, as is BMW’s. Neither of them are admitting to budging, but then, neither did Merc until the day it changed.
You get roadside assist and most Audi dealers are pretty swanky, so are nice places to go to get your car serviced.
You can pre-pay your servicing for three years at $2310 and five years at $3190. That’s way cheaper than an equivalent Mercedes (like, way cheaper) and about the same as an X5, give or take.
The Q7 45 and 50 TDIs are both 3.0-litre turbocharged V6s.
The 45 delivers 170kW and 500Nm for a 0-100km/h time of 7.3 seconds.
The 50 TDI cars both have 210kW and 600Nm, covering the none-to-ton in 6.5 seconds. So that’s two tonnes of SUV staying with a Fiesta ST.
Naturally, they’re all equipped with Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system and an eight-speed automatic.
There isn’t a huge amount of difference between the 45 and 50 TDIs. Before this update, I used to push people towards what is now the 50 TDI because the 170kW was fine but there were some missing bits.
Now with a bunch of extra stuff, it will honestly come down to whether you’re picky about fake leather and wheel sizes. You can fix the wheels for a couple of grand without dropping another ten.
Having said that, I quite like the S Line.
So basically, any of them.
Peter Anderson is the Editor and founder of the theredline.com.au. He’s been writing about cars for years and finds it difficult to talk about anything else.