2020 Audi SQ7

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2020 Audi SQ7 Review: High-Performance Q7 Was Worth The Wait

As accomplished as Audi's largest SUV has always been, it's lacked a performance variant to go up against pumped-up versions of the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class. That's all changed this year because the Audi SQ7 has arrived with a 500-horsepower V8 lump under the hood, ensuring a rapid 4.3-second run to 60 mph. That's massive performance considering that Audi's 'S' models exist in the tier below the even more ferocious 'RS' cars, although such a version of the Q7 doesn't exist. Unlike the diesel-powered SQ7 sold in overseas markets, the US version happily gets a higher-revving turbo V8 gas engine. More aggressive styling cues and a typically stunning Audi cabin that's loaded with equipment are among the SQ7's many highlights.

Read in this review:

8.4
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2020 Audi SQ7 Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2019 SQ7?

The 2020 Audi SQ7 is an all-new model this year, taking its place at the top of the Q7 food chain. It's fitted with a 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 engine producing 500 hp and 568 lb-ft of torque, and comes standard with both quattro all-wheel drive and all-wheel steering. 48-volt mild-hybrid technology makes an appearance here too. Outside, the sportiest Q7 gets 21-inch alloy wheels and bespoke S-model bumpers, while the spacious cabin seats seven across three rows and gets Valcona leather upholstery. The latest MMI touch response infotainment system takes the place of the rotary knob used previously, with two crystal clear color displays. Audi's 12.3-inch virtual cockpit is also fitted as standard, along with a 19-speaker 3D surround sound system.

Pros and Cons

  • The Q7 finally gets a true performance variant
  • Massive power from V8 engine
  • Quattro all-wheel-drive puts the power down cleanly
  • Comfortable when you need it to be
  • Cabin feels special
  • Flexibility of three-row seating
  • Not much passenger space in the third row
  • Latest infotainment system can be tricky to use on the move
  • Not the best cargo capacity in the segment
  • It's expensive

Best Deals on 2020 Audi SQ7

2020 Audi SQ7 Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
4.0T Prestige quattro
4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$84,800
4.0T Premium Plus quattro
4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$84,800
See All 2020 Audi SQ7 Trims and Specs

2020 SQ7 Exterior

2020 Audi SQ7 Front Angle View Audi
2020 Audi SQ7 Frontal Aspect Audi
2020 Audi SQ7 Rear Angle View Audi
See All 2020 Audi SQ7 Exterior Photos

Dimensions

  • Length 199.6 in
  • Wheelbase 117.9 in
  • Height 68.5 in
  • Max Width 77.5 in
  • Front Width 66.1 in
  • Rear Width 66.6 in

Exterior Colors

  • Daytona Gray Pearl Effect +$595
  • Florett Silver Metallic +$595
  • Glacier White Metallic +$595
  • Orca Black Metallic +$595
  • Navarra Blue Metallic +$595
  • Barrel Brown Metallic +$595
  • Matador Red Metallic +$595
  • Night Black

2020 SQ7 Performance

2020 Audi SQ7 Front View Audi
2020 Audi SQ7 Front View Driving Audi
2020 Audi SQ7 Rear View Driving Audi

Engine and Transmission

  • Engine
    4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain
    AWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Audi hasn't forgotten that while the SQ7 may be capable of keeping up with many sports cars, it's still a seven-seater SUV that needs to remain comfortable and composed for a family. In Comfort mode, this is a refined and well-mannered cruiser. Noise suppression is also top-notch. Using the Audi drive select system, it's possible to choose from multiple driving modes, including Individual, which allows greater control over steering, throttle, and transmission responses. In Dynamic mode, the big Audi can be hustled along at high speeds, but not with the same confidence or precision of a Porsche Cayenne. Feedback from the helm is typically muted. The standard all-wheel steering is welcome at lower speeds, though, reducing the turning circle and improving maneuverability around town. But this is really a vehicle that needs space to do its best work when the V8 engine can be used as intended. An optional Sport package adds active roll stabilization and a quattro sport rear differential for even more control.

2020 SQ7 Interior

2020 Audi SQ7 Dashboard Audi
2020 Audi SQ7 Steering Wheel Design Audi
2020 Audi SQ7 Front Seats Audi
See All 2020 Audi SQ7 Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
    7-seater
  • Front Leg Room 41.7 in
  • Front Head Room 39.9 in
  • Rear Leg Room 38.8 in
  • Rear Head Room 38.8 in

2020 SQ7 Trunk and Cargo Space

2020 Audi SQ7 Lateral View Audi
2020 Audi SQ7 Surround-View Camera Audi
2020 Audi SQ7 Top View Audi

2020 SQ7 Safety and Reliability

Warranty

  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    12 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ Unlimited Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2020 Audi SQ7 a good SUV?

Audi's mid-tier 'S' performance models have often been accused of being too sterile, and while that may be more of an issue for something like the S5 Coupe, it's this exact blend of pace and refinement that works particularly well in the new SQ7. It effortlessly plays the role of a family- and cargo-hauler the one moment, but has a wicked turn of speed available at the next with just a flex of your right foot. The extra power and character of the V8 feel like a big step up from the Q7 V6, but then again, the price has also jumped by over $20,000. At this level, some rivals like the X5 M50i are quicker, the Porsche Cayenne is more exciting to drive, and the Mercedes GLE has more total cargo capacity. But the SQ7 doesn't fall short in any major area and the S-specific upgrades are a visual and tactile treat. We do feel that the updated infotainment system has lost a level of friendly usability, but other than that, Audi should be proud of this effort.

Check out other Audi Q7 Styles

2020 Audi SQ7 Comparisons

BMW X5 M Uwe Fischer
Audi SQ8 Audi
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Audi SQ7500 hp15/21 mpg$88,500
BMW X5 M 567 hp13/18 mpg$106,100
Audi SQ8 500 hp15/21 mpg$93,500

2020 Audi SQ7 vs BMW X5 M

BMW stepped things up in a big way with its latest X5, endowing it with potent powertrains, a bold look, and one of the most well-made cabins in the business. The X5 M and X5 M Competition are even more powerful than the Audi, with both delivering at least 100 hp more than the SQ7 from a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8. The result is explosive acceleration, with both X5 Ms dipping below four seconds in a sprint from zero to sixty. Generally set up to be more aggressive, the X5 M is the more involving SUV, but its ride isn't quite as plush as the Audi SQ7s. And, while the X5 provides plenty of space for five, you'll need to choose the SQ7 if you want seven seats. Both SUVs are ultra-modern inside, but we prefer Audi's virtual cockpit to the BMW's version, but the X5 pleasingly retains some physical knobs for other controls. At over $100,000, the X5 M is the more hardcore performance SUV, while the SQ7 is a bit more placid in the way it goes about its business. In this particular case, M beats S.

See BMW X5 M Review

2020 Audi SQ7 vs Audi SQ8

For access to the same 500-hp V8 engine but with a dash of extra visual flair, there is the SQ8, essentially a sportier, coupe-like version of the SQ7. With its sloping roofline, the SQ8 isn't as commodious as the SQ7 and only seats five, but this may not matter if you don't require the SQ7's third row. At over $4,000 more expensive than the equivalent SQ7, the premium for an SQ8 is noticeable considering that it offers fewer seats and similar equipment levels. Both the SQ7 and SQ8 are equipped with Audi's latest dual-screen infotainment system and the virtual cockpit, although the SQ8 does get a Bang & Olufsen sound system fitted as standard. Style-conscious shoppers without a big family will find more joy in the stylish SQ8, but the SQ7 is a better buy.

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