Audi Q7 Updated, Infotainment Screen Moves to Dash - Yes, It's a Big Deal [UPDATED]

audi q7 updated infotainment screen moves to dash yes it s a big deal updated

A large portion of the automotive industry tends to follow Audi’s lead on interior design. That has resulted in the proliferation of the worst phenomenon in modern automotive history — the floating tablet-style infotainment screen.

With the refresh of the Audi Q7, the biggest scourge on automotive design since spinner wheels may finally be coming to an end.

The Q7 receives some comprehensive updates in this “minor model change,” both visually and mechanically. The visual updates bring the SUV more in line with the rest of Audi’s design language, which the more rakish Q8 already possesses. The signature trapezoidal grille is flanked by larger air inlets — at least in S line trim — while headlights and taillights have been updated, featuring available HD Matrix LED technology with Audi laser light for forward projection.

New chassis upgrades are available in the updated Q7. Active roll stabilization (active anti-roll bars) can soften to reduce the impact of single-side inputs on straight road but stiffen to provide better roll control and response when cornering. The S line trim will lower the ride height by 15 mm and provide firmer damping tuning to the standard air suspension.

All-wheel steering continues to be available, turning the rear wheels by up to 5 degrees opposite to the front wheels at low speed to improve agility. At highway speeds, the rear wheels steer in the same direction as the fronts to aid stability.

Powertrain updates bring a 48V mild-hybrid system to all gas and diesel variants, though we do not yet have confirmation that either of the two diesel engines are headed for our shores. The Q7 is currently available with 2.0T and 3.0T engines. A new Plug-in Hybrid version is expected further down the line.

[UPDATE: Audi USA confirmed that the Q7 refresh will be a US MY20, arriving in 2020. There will be no TDI engine for the US Market.]

The inside is where the biggest changes are felt. Most significantly is the change from a tablet-style infotainment display that popped up from the top of the dash. Audi’s MMI infotainment system is now housed handsomely in the middle of the dash, where the good Lord intended. It is complimented by an additional display below it for the HVAC controls, as well as the virtual cockpit gauge cluster.

Here’s what the current Q7 looks like, for reference.

I absolutely cannot stand any floating tablet-style infotainment screen and despise that Audi started this trend. Their interiors have always been a benchmark for the auto industry, who have largely followed whatever they did. Apparently, few interior designers looked at each other and asked, “does this look like shit?” Except for FCA. And congratulations to Ralph Gilles and his team for sticking with what’s right.

Hopefully, with Audi having come to their senses and integrating their infotainment screens into the dash, the rest of the industry will follow suit.

[Images: Audi]

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  • Terry Terry on Jun 26, 2019

    I happen to LIKE the "tablet" on the center dash of my '19 Mazda CX-5. Mostly in my line of sight, no need to take my eyes off the road, and in NAV mode the pertinent info in shown directly in front of me above the instrument cluster on the heads-up display. For someone to express such hatred and emotion concerning the infotainment system says nothing to me about the vehicle, but says LOTS about the poster...

    • Anthony Magagnoli Anthony Magagnoli on Jun 27, 2019

      Would you rather that I just copy/paste the press release? You can go find that and read it yourself, if you'd prefer. I appreciate that you took the time to respond, though.

  • Cbrworm Cbrworm on Jul 02, 2019

    The new Audi interiors are incredible, photos don't really do them justice. I test drove a new A6 Premium + V6 mild hybrid a few days ago and was blown away by how well the haptic touch screens worked combined with the clean lines and the distinct lack of a tablet on the dashboard. I generally prefer knobs and buttons to touch screens, but this worked very well and looked great. It completely outclassed (IMO) the newest Mercedes and BMW interiors. I was also amazed how well it drove with the electric assist and it was quieter inside at speed than the other cars. The gauge cluster was busy when it was in full map mode, but when set to a more normal setting, it was no worse than any other LCD gauge set.

  • FreedMike Back in the '70s, the one thing keeping consumers from buying more Datsuns was styling - these guys were bringing over some of the ugliest product imaginable. Remember the F10? As hard as I try to blot that rolling aberration from my memory, it comes back. So the name change to Nissan made sense, and happened right as they started bringing over good-looking product (like the Maxima that will be featured in this series). They made a pretty clean break.
  • Flowerplough Liability - Autonomous vehicles must be programmed to make life-ending decisions, and who wants to risk that? Hit the moose or dive into the steep grassy ditch? Ram the sudden pile up that is occurring mere feet in front of the bumper or scan the oncoming lane and swing left? Ram the rogue machine that suddenly swung into my lane, head on, or hop up onto the sidewalk and maybe bump a pedestrian? With no driver involved, Ford/Volkswagen or GM or whomever will bear full responsibility and, in America, be ambulance-chaser sued into bankruptcy and extinction in well under a decade. Or maybe the yuge corporations will get special, good-faith, immunity laws, nation-wide? Yeah, that's the ticket.
  • FreedMike It's not that consumers wouldn't want this tech in theory - I think they would. Honestly, the idea of a car that can take over the truly tedious driving stuff that drives me bonkers - like sitting in traffic - appeals to me. But there's no way I'd put my property and my life in the hands of tech that's clearly not ready for prime time, and neither would the majority of other drivers. If they want this tech to sell, they need to get it right.
  • TitaniumZ Of course they are starting to "sour" on the idea. That's what happens when cars start to drive better than people. Humanpilots mostly suck and make bad decisions.
  • Inside Looking Out Why not buy Bronco and call it Defender? Who will notice?
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