Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 4.4
  • The Q7’s strongest attribute
  • Excellent build quality
  • Impressive multimedia tech

Typically Audi in its formation, the dashboard layout and structure is clean, simple and features a flowing surface - dominated by the full-length air vent - that suggests it’s been hewn from a solid element rather than constructed from various components. And while it doesn’t look as exciting, as vibrant or as intricate as some found in rival SUVs, the feeling of quality is clear.

Before its facelift in 2019, the Q7’s dashboard was one of the best out there among its rivals, but Audi’s updated it to compete with impressive offerings from latest versions of the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE. As such, it now features the latest version of Virtual Cockpit, a large 10.1-inch touchscreen and an 8.6-inch lower touchscreen set at an angle.

The touchscreens now provide haptic feedback, meaning they briefly vibrate to confirm the pressing of a control. At first, it can feel really odd as it seems like you're pressing down on the whole screen with force, but it makes sense after a while. It's not the perfect solution to prevent you pressing the wrong icon on the screen - there have been occasions when we don't even notice the feedback while driving, for example - but it's an improvement.

It’s also not quite as easy to operate overall as the rotary dial MMI (for MultiMedia Interface) infotainment setup before the facelift, but the system itself is vastly improved with crisp, clear graphics, while the screens are very bright and responsive. The update has given the Q7 a far more modern, technological feel. It can take a little getting used to – especially as the previous system was so good – but once you learn where everything is, it’s intuitive enough.

The head-up display for the driver is also clear to read, but the sat-nav instructions aren’t as detailed as those found on BMWs or Mazdas - however, the benefit of the Virtual Cockpit screen allowing you to view the map in full means this isn't a drawback.

Top-quality materials

Material quality is impeccable, as we’ve come to expect from Audi, with finely detailed information screens, neatly formed switchgear and plush plastics and seat materials. A range of trims are available, but the models we've tested come well-built and feel worth the money you pay for it. Only on one test car did the surrounding trim for the lower touchscreen buzz continuously due to being loose.

Comfort

  • A comfortable car in general
  • Several suspension options on offer
  • Excellent cabin refinement

If there’s something the Audi Q7 does well, then comfort is definitely it – it’s a resolutely easy car to drive, and with standard adaptive air suspension it’s supple and softly sprung, even with larger wheels. You'd be better off avoiding the 22-inch items, though, as the adaptive suspensions struggles to deal with bumps and sends tremors into the cabin, which can get quite annoying after a while.

Otherwise, the supple ride quality combined with a distinct lack of wind or road noise means the Q7 is perfectly refined at speed and ideal for covering long distances in. Be aware though, the standard air suspension is the one you want - Black Edition and Vorsprung models come with a sportier setup that can feel a little firmer and more fidgety on rougher surfaces, so we’d recommend you stick with the standard one on lower-spec models. It better suits the Q7’s character.

Regardless of which seat option you choose, they're supportive and heated up front, while those suffering from any aches and pains will delight in the massage function fitted to Vorsprung models - with various choices of treatment on the move. All models come with electrically adjustable front seats with lumbar support and it's easy to get comfortable behind the wheel, thanks to masses of adjustment in both the steering wheel and seat.

2019 Audi Q7 front-seat comfort

The engines, while not the most exhilarating units, are quiet with a linear spread of their power and hushed engine note – most likely thanks to the sound deadening employed in the car’s structure. Stick to driving the Q7 in a relaxed manner and you won’t hear the engine as much – it’s not particularly noisy in the first place, but it’s far more opulent for it.

Further increasing the sensation of comfort is a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic gearbox at both docile speeds and more committed velocities. Just don't drive the Q7 in a rush and it remains unflustered. The mild-hybrid system also contributes here, cutting the engine while you’re still moving, but coming back to life very gently and smoothly.

Those sat in the middle row seats have two USB ports, a 12v charging socket and plenty of space to stretch out as well, while those on the outer seats have their own climate control settings on higher-spec models.

The Bose sound system on our test car was clear, but the subwoofer wasn't quite as punchy as we'd hope - at least from the driver's seat anyway. If you'd like to upgrade, there is a Bang & Olufsen system found on the optional Comfort and Sound Pack.