Audi Q7 facelift: new cabin and mild-hybrid tech for seven-seat SUV

Published: 26 June 2019

► 48v MHEV tech for new Q7
► Updates include styling tweaks…
► …and new twin-screen cockpit

The Audi Q7’s luxury seven-seater brilliance has been given a little nip and tuck in the form of a mid-life facelift.

All too aware that the far newer Mercedes-Benz GLE and BMW X5 are encroaching on its territory, Audi’s treated its giant SUV to an entirely new cabin, tweaked exterior styling and mild-hybrid technology.

Mild-hybrid joins the party

Let’s face it. Cars like the Q7 are considered by many to be persona-non-grata on Britain’s roads, so adding a hybrid element – if only a mild version ­– will go some way to making giant SUVs a little more palatable. And, luckily for Audi, it had a ready-made system from the SQ7. Using a belt alternator starter (BAS) to power a 48-volt electrical system, the Q7 can coast for up to 40 seconds between speeds of 34 and 99mph.

What’s more the start-stop system activates at speeds of up to 13mph, saving precious fuel during endless urban traffic jams. And, for those whose prerogative it is to immediately switch off the start-stop whenever they get in a car, the BAS system is noticeably quicker than a regular starter, pleasing even the most impatient of motorists.

Audi Q7 rear quarter 2019

All of this is fitted as standard to the Q7’s sole engine offering in the UK – namely a 3.0-litre V6 diesel available in 228bhp 45 TDI or 282bhp 50 TDI spec. The 429bhp 4.0-litre TDI V8 SQ7 version will also be available.

Said mild-hybrid system also allows the Q7 to run electromechanical active roll stabilisation (as seen previously on the SQ7), giving the car a tauter feel in the corners without compromising comfort.

All-new interior from the Q8

There wasn’t really a whole lot wrong with the Q7’s interior, yet to keep things in line with the rest of the range it’s been replaced with a shiny new façade. Out goes the much-loved rotary dial control method, in comes the stacked touchscreens from the Q8, A8 et al.

Audi Q7 facelift interior

As per the Q7’s siblings, the 10.1-inch upper screen allows access to most of the car’s major settings and menus, while more auxiliary functions are shown via the lower display. It’s a slick and high-quality cabin alright, yet we reckon the previous interior still had a few years left in it regardless. 

Subtle exterior styling tweaks

While not quite blink-and-you’ll-miss-it, a certain level of Audi anorakness will be needed to tell this facelift model apart from the old one.

There’s slightly different headlamps with a more distinctive light signature (new A1 and A4, anyone?), more sculpted side sills (designed to emphasise the Q7’s ground clearance) and a revised rear end. The latter featuring a chrome strip connecting the narrow (more Audi A6-like) rear lights.

When can I buy the new Q7?

The Q7 and SQ7 will be available in European dealers from mid-September 2019.

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By James Dennison

Head of automotive video for CAR magazine and our sister website