It’s been over three years since Audi revealed its second generation Q7 at the 2015 Detroit auto show, so a facelift or refresh is definitely in order. A camouflaged Q7 prototype was spotted by our spies with many parts of its body hidden, but it does serve as proof that Audi is testing an updated version of the model.

Camouflage obscures the entire font, rear, and lower end of the prototype, and there’s also a cover on the dashboard too. It may look pretty much the same as the current Q7, but there are subtle detail changes and, in fact, this particular prototype may not have all the changes planned for the Q7 refresh.

Exterior

2020 Audi Q7 Exterior Spyshots
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Up front, the revised Q7 will feature a redesigned grille that looks a lot smaller and less obvious than what it has now.

The headlights are also different, and their lower part wears camouflage possibly to hide some cluster design changes - the prototype caught by our spies doesn’t appear to have the LED matrix headlights, but they will surely be available (and improved) for the facelift.

The camouflage around the sides seems to hide nothing new or special, and the same goes for the rear end which looks identical to the model you can buy right now. The bumper could be different, though, as well as the rear lights, although these really look identical to what the current model has - it looks like the big changes are in store for the front end.

2020 Audi Q7 Exterior Spyshots
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Its rear lights could still be changed as well- this may be an early prototype that doesn’t feature all the new bits.

Audi will at least change the inside design of the rear clusters while retaining the exact same shape as the original.

New wheel designs will complete the look of the restyled Q7, and it may get new mirrors and other minor detail changes as well.

Interior

2017 - 2018 Audi Q7 High Resolution Interior
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Don’t expect Audi to completely redo the Q7’s interior to make it look like the very latest model - it won’t, but what it will do is give it a new steering wheel, minor trim and material changes, as well as an updated infotainment system. Audi has chosen to cover the entire dash, though, so I could be wrong, and it could feature a brand new interior along the lines of the one in the new Q8 - this would extend the current generation’s life by a few years, so it’s not out of the question.

Drivetrain

2020 Audi Q7 Exterior Spyshots
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Aside from improving efficiency and power, we can’t specifically say what changes Audi will make to the Q7’s engine lineup. It’s already moved to using the company’s new engine naming strategy, and it already uses the latest and most advanced powerplants, so it’s unclear what changes will be made to its range of engines.

Audi currently offers the Q7 in Europe with a 3.0-liter TDI diesel in several states of tune, as well as the potent SQ7 with a V-8 diesel engine that is boosted by electric superchargers.

Gasoline-burning versions are also offered - a 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a 3.0-liter V-6 TFSI; the only transmission option for all engines is the eight-speed automatic.

A plug-in hybrid diesel powertrain also used to be offered in Europe, but it is currently not available - it mates a 3.0-liter TDI diesel with an electric motor and has a claimed fuel consumption figure of just 1.9 l/100km or 130.7 U.S. mpg.

Prices

2020 Audi Q7 Exterior Spyshots
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In Europe, a Q7 with the lesser powered V-6 TDI will starts at €64,000, while in the States, the base 2.0-liter turbo kicks off at $49,900. Facelifts don’t necessarily affect a model’s pricing, so we don’t know if this will be the case with the revised Q7. If prices change, they will go up marginally across the line.

Competition

Mercedes GLE

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE Exterior
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Mercedes has a brand new GLE SUV to fight off rival models and, even though nobody has reviewed it in depth yet (it’s too new), it looks like a big improvement over the model it replaces. It is bigger and roomier than before, better to look at, and considerably more pleasant inside,

It’s also touted as being very efficient, especially since several variants are offered with mild-hybrid technology that uses a 48-volt electrical system to boost engine power for shorts bursts of acceleration. It also looks more distinctive than the Q7 which is not bad looking, but it does look a bit uninspiring compared to the newer Mercedes.

Read our full review on the 2020 Mercedes GLE.

BMW X5

2019 BMW X5
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The Q7’s other biggest rival is the BMW X5 which, like the GLE, is a fresh all-new model that was only recently revealed and has not yet been reviewed in-depth. However, it is bigger, more efficient, and more luxurious than before, as well as being more technologically advanced.

BMW says that while it has improved the new X5’s on-road manners, it is off-road where it is considerably better than before. However, unlike the Q7, the X5 doesn’t have a seven-seater option, and for that, you have to opt for the larger and even newer BMW X7 SUV.

Read our full review on the 2019 BMW X5

Porsche Cayenne

2018 Porsche Cayenne High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Widely acknowledged as the most capable vehicle in its class, both on- and off-road, the current Porsche Cayenne blends these qualities with a pleasant exterior appearance - it is the first Cayenne that doesn’t make you want to look away, so it’s really hard to ignore in the segment.

It uses a derivative of the same platform used in the Q7, but it is sharper to drive and definitely more precise and focused on the road. Take it off-road, and it retains its composure, being a hoot to throw around. It, however, can’t be had with seven seats.

Read our full review on the 2019 Porsche Cayenne.

Land Rover Range Rover

2018 Land Rover Range Rover Wallpaper quality Exterior
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Probably the most dramatic way to make an appearance in an SUV is aboard a Range Rover - the latest one looks far more opulent than any rival, even more expensive ones like the Bentley Bentayga, although not quite as opulent as the Rolls Royce Cullinan.

It has a superbly designed interior covered only in plush-feeling materials, and it also offers some of the best comfort levels in the class. It’s not as good as some rivals on-road, where its character as a relaxed cruiser is very obvious, but off-road it is in a league of its own, ensuring not only amazing capability but also effortlessness - it never seems like it’s struggling to make progress, even when you’d think it would stop advancing.

Read our full review on the 2018 Land Rover Range Rover

Conclusion

2020 Audi Q7 Exterior Spyshots
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Audi is only giving the Q7 a facelift in order to face rival vehicles that are all-new. However, it is launching the refreshed Q7 after its main rivals have launched their SUVs, so it will have time to correct and adjust in order to make sure it is competitive.

It won’t be a dramatic change for the Q7 - those not in the know will probably struggle to spot the facelift and tell it apart from the previous version of the model - but Audi usually plays it safe, so it will do just enough to keep the Q7 from feeling old and stale compared to its younger rivals.

The facelift is not due out for another year, and by that time, the manufacturer may make additional changes to the vehicle - those rear lights, for instance, will probably be changed, and the prototype spotted may have been just a very early one not showing the full extent of the changes planned.

  • Leave it
    • Facelift will go unnoticed by most

Further reading

2017 - 2018 Audi Q7 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2017 - 2018 Audi Q7.

2017 Audi SQ7
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Read our full review on the 2017 Audi SQ7.

2011 Audi Q7 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the first generation Audi Q7.

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