What is it?
A facelifted, fully WLTP-compliant version of the second generation Audi Q7; an SUV we’ve always liked for its impressive rolling refinement and plushness, if not so much its ability to engage and excite like no other. This updated version, it would seem, is very much a continuation of that theme, but with a few additional bells and whistles added in.
But let’s talk about the exterior first. Usually, a facelift constitutes a minor change to the way a car looks. You might get a new foglight cluster, or some new wheel design options and that’ll be it; the end result will usually be a car that doesn’t look a great deal different to its immediate predecessor.
A similar strategy has been employed on this particular Audi Q7 - there’s a new grille, some new headlights, a chrome strip across the tailgate a la Audi A6 - but the final outcome is a car that looks different enough from its predecessor so as not to cause confusion. While the tweaks are mildly conservative, they lend the Q7 a more purposeful, assertive aesthetic - particularly in the top-trim Vorsprung trim level.
Inside, things have been changed up to an even greater extent. The previous model’s architecture has been completely done away with, so the Q7 is now much more closely aligned with the likes of Audi’s latest C- and D-segment saloons and SUVs. The twin-screen MMI Navigation Plus infotainment system seen in the likes of the Q8, A6 and A7 is now standard across the range, as is the latest-generation version of the Audi Virtual Cockpit.
There are differences beneath the skin, too. Air suspension that adjusts through 90mm depending on drive mode is now included from the entry level, while Black Edition and Vorsprung models gain a sports-biased set-up that sees them sit 15mm closer to the deck. Those top-trim Vorsprung models also get rear-wheel steering, which is a nice touch.
From launch, there will be a choice of two 3.0-litre V6 diesel engines, and one 3.0-litre V6 petrol. All are mated to a 48V mild-hybrid system, as well as an eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission. A plug-in hybrid will inevitably follow a bit further down the line, as will a reinvigorated SQ7 with its monstrous diesel V8.
For now though it’s the 50 TDI we’re going to focus on, the reason being that both it and the lower powered 45 TDI are expected to account for up to 90% of the Q7 UK sales mix when the SUV goes on sale in September.