If you’re in the market for a luxury three-row SUV, you might be considering either the 2020 Audi Q7 or the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport. The Atlas Cross Sport is a slight departure from VW’s usual style. Audi’s Q7 costs more but provides a refined driving experience to go with a gorgeous cabin and dynamic handling.
Which SUV would be the better choice? Which SUV has had some issues?
The 2020 Audi Q7
The 2020 Audi Q7 is a handsome luxury SUV that has three rows and can handle all your family and road trip adventures. The Q7 offers great athleticism even on windy, country roads.
For 2020, the Audi Q7 gets a new turbocharged V6 engine that takes the place of supercharged V6 it had previously. Paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, it’s smooth sailing. And it retains its dynamic handling. It still gets an overall 20 mpg, but the powertrain is a definite improvement with its quiet power.
While the Q7 is a big heavy SUV, you can navigate corners with confidence because the steering is precise. The ride is controlled and the body lean restrained.
Most bumps in the road the Q7 handles without much of an impact. If you want an even smoother ride, there’s an available air suspension system.
The interior is elegant in top-quality materials like chrome, leather, and wood. It’s loaded with great tech. The cabin is as comfortable as it is attractive and there’s plenty of room. The infotainment system is updated. It even has wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless phone charging.
The 2020 Audi Q7 comes with a lot of standard safety features. The only downside? You have to get the Premium Plus model to get the blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning systems.
The 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport
The consensus among industry experts about the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport? While it’s edgier than the standard Atlas, it lacks the wow factor. It offers a competent ride for five, a serene cabin, and great comfort. So, what’s not to like? It turns out there’s plenty.
The Atlas Cross Sport has the same underpinnings as the standard Atlas but it loses cargo space with its smaller angular shape. But that new style doesn’t cost it too much functionality.
The base engine is a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that gets 235 hp. It provides a decent amount of power when you consider the sheer size of the vehicle. It’s also loud when you push it.
There’s an available 3.6-liter V6 that gets 276 hp but it’s not much of an improvement. The Atlas Cross Sport is comparable to the Q7 on gas mileage with 21 mpg overall.
Like the Q7, the Atlas Cross Sport handles surprising well for a larger SUV. Its height and width can make parking tricky. The suspension offers a firm ride that absorbs the blows pretty well.
The cabin is roomy. It loses some cargo space from the standard version but it still has plenty of room for your stuff. The infotainment system and controls are easy to use.
It offers a solid list of standard safety features, not including blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic warning. Not only is the Q7 more expensive at its base level, but you also have to move to a higher trim to get those features.
Why the 2020 Audi Q7 is a better choice
The base Audi Q7 might be a better choice for a few reasons.
First, the Atlas Cross Sport has had two NHTSA recalls. The first one involves front seat backrests that weren’t properly welded. If the SUV is from behind, the back-rest adjustments could break posing a significant safety hazard.
At the same time, it was also recalled for a headlight that wasn’t properly aimed. The misalignment reduces visibility and increases the risk of collision.
The base Q7 comes with a turbocharged V6 as opposed to the turbo-four offered in the Atlas Cross Sport. The Q7 offers better handling, less body roll, and more power.
There’s also the issue of predicted reliability. While the 2020 Audi Q7 has a fair rating of two out of five at Consumer Reports, the Atlas Cross Sport has a one out of five. When it came to the road test, the Q7 earned a 92 out of 100 from CR where the Atlas Cross Sport received an 81 out of 100.
If you’re looking for a three-row luxury SUV, the 2020 Audi Q7 will cost more. But it makes up for it in dynamic handling, a luxurious interior, more power, and a better predicted reliability rating.