- The 2020 Audi Q7 gets a nice facelift, and the 2020 Acura MDX is unchanged.
- The Acura is more affordable, but the Audi is more luxurious.
- The MDX has an efficient hybrid V6 engine available, and the Q7 has the option of a high-performance supercharged V6.
You have a lot of options when it comes to 3-row midsize luxury SUVs. Every luxury brand approaches this formula a little differently. Some prioritize performance, others emphasize family-friendly practicality, and most offerings have some balance between the two.
The Q7 gets a nice facelift for the 2020 model year, making it look a little more interesting. It still has the restrained and sophisticated aesthetic that Audi is known for, but it also looks quite modern. The MDX has a bit of an edgier look to it, with more sharp angles and Acura‘s diamond pentagon grille giving it a bold, sharp aesthetic. They’re two pretty different styles, and which is better-looking is very subjective. See the 2020 Acura MDX models for sale near you
Each SUV fits into the midsize crossover sizing, but the Acura is a little smaller than the Audi. The Q7 is 4 inches longer and 2 inches taller than the MDX. The Acura has a bit more of an athletic stance, while the Audi manages to look both premium and rugged. See the 2020 Audi Q7 models for sale near you
Audi has a strong reputation for making some of the most luxurious interiors in the business, and the Q7 is no exception. The interior is simply stunning, with an interior design packed with modern technology in a very tasteful way. You get two screens in the center stack as part of the Audi MMI infotainment system, plus an available digital cockpit that turns the instrument cluster into a 12.3-in screen that can be customized to your liking.
The interior design of the Acura is nice, but it’s not up to par with the Audi. The MDX also uses a 2-screen infotainment setup, but it isn’t as cleanly integrated into the interior design as it is in the Audi. Again, it’s not a bad interior — it just isn’t as opulent as the Audi’s.
As for seating, both of these SUVs have roomy, comfortable seating in the first two rows and a pretty cramped third row that should really only be used by children. If you’re looking for a minivan alternative that’s going to haul a lot of passengers regularly, you might want to look elsewhere.
2020 Acura MDX Engines
- 3.5-liter V6; 290 horsepower, 267 lb-ft of torque; 20 mpg city/27 mpg hwy (FWD), 19 mpg city/26 mpg hwy (AWD)
- 3.0-liter hybrid V6; 321 hp, 289 lb-ft of torque; 26 mpg city/27 mpg hwy
2020 Audi Q7 Engines
- 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four; 248 hp, 273 lb-ft of torque; estimated 19 mpg city/25 mpg highway
- 3.0-liter turbocharged V6; 335 hp, 369 lb-ft of torque; 17 mpg city/21 mpg highway
As of this writing, there is no official fuel economy rating for the base 4-cylinder engine in the Q7, and the estimated rating you see above is what the 2019 model got. The base engine in the MDX makes more power but less torque than the turbo four in the Q7, and fuel economy is almost identical when it’s equipped with AWD.
As for the available upgraded engines, the MDX Sport Hybrid gives you excellent fuel economy with respectable performance, and the turbo V6 available in the Q7 delivers outstanding performance that the MDX can’t match.
The infotainment systems in these SUVs have a slight learning curve if you’ve never used anything like them before. They both come standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which can go a long way in making the systems more familiar.
As for driver assistance technology, the Acura is a little more generous than the Audi on the base level. Every 2019 MDX comes standard with forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, road-departure mitigation and adaptive cruise control. The Q7 comes standard with front and rear parking sensors, forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking.
The Q7 has plenty of available safety tech, but you kind of get nickel-and-dimed for it. Available tech includes blind spot monitoring, a 360-degree camera, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic parking assist, a head-up display, traffic sign recognition and more. The Acura has similar tech available, including parking sensors, a 360-degree camera and blind spot monitoring.
One thing worth noting if you’re shopping for a family vehicle: the MDX is available with a 16.2-in back-seat entertainment system. The Q7 doesn’t offer any screens in the back.
These two SUVs are priced pretty differently. The MDX has a starting MSRP of $44,500, and the Q7 starts at $54,800. In the top Prestige trim with the upgraded engine, the Q7 crosses the $70,000 mark, and with options can even go over $90,000. The MDX Hybrid starts at $53,000, and a fully loaded MDX tops out at just over $60,000.
For most drivers, the MDX is a better value, thanks to its much lower starting price and more standard safety technology. However, the Q7 is the fancier crossover in many ways, with a nicer interior, a fresh 2020 facelift and more premium features available, such as a high-performance turbo V6 engine and that stellar virtual cockpit screen. If you have extra room in your budget, the Q7 is a worthwhile upgrade, but if you’re looking for affordable luxury, the MDX is a great value. Find an Acura MDX for sale or Find an Audi Q7 for sale