£47,885 - £61,105 Price range
44 - 60 MPG
The first thing you’ll notice about the Audi A7 is the way it looks. It could be the best-looking car Audi produces, even if it’s superficially similar to several of the marque’s other models.
Once you’ve got past the swooping silhouette you’ll notice the surprising practicality, strong range of engines and high levels of quality. Combine all those factors and the A7 is a car that scores highly in road tests. It’s not as cheap as the A6 on which it’s based, but should that put you off?
Audi’s been spotted testing an all-new A7 alongside its sporty S7 and RS7 siblings. See photos of these coupe prototypes on the road by reading our dedicated Audi A7, S7 and RS7 price, specs and release date article.
The A7 contains one of Audi’s best cabins to date, and given the stratospheric bar Audi sets itself, that’s quite an accolade. Like the exterior styling, the dashboard has a few more curves than the Audi norm and as usual, it’s trimmed with immaculate precision – “approaching A8 levels of quality”, according to one review and “alluring” from another.
Driver and passengers must mind their head when entering the low-roofed A7, but once ensconced there’s space for five passengers and comfortable seats, especially so in the front. No complaints of offset pedals either, like you get in Audi’s A4, A5 and A6. The boot is also large, at 535 litres accessed via the convenient hatchback.
If you’ve ever read up on any other Audis then the A7′s driving characteristics won’t come as a great surprise. What may come as a surprise is the way the A7 rides, at least on models not cursed with the rock-solid suspension of S Line variants – critics describe it as “genuinely comfortable” and “beautifully judged”. Models with air springs are good too, allowing you various options to adjust the car’s ride and handling.
The handling itself is biased towards stability and grip rather than adjustability, making it “an easy car in which to make unruffled progress” but not one in which to have much fun.
Opinions on the steering are mixed, ranging from “artificial” to “spot-on”.
Really, there’s very little to complain about, though critics cut the car less slack in sporty S7 trim – which really should deliver a little more entertainment. Praise goes to the insanely quick RS7, which “offers serious all-weather ground-covering capabilities”, but it’s still a big, heavy car. Just one with 552 horsepower.
The Audi A7 is offered with a range of 3.0-litre diesels, a 3.0-litre petrol and a 4.0-litre turbocharged petrol options, as well as the 4.0-litre turbocharged V8 in the RS7.
The specs and reviews suggest that if you aren’t hellbent on getting the petrol versions, the diesels make a lot of sense. They both are quite fuel efficient — the 3.0-litre TDI does over 55mpg while the 3.0BiTDI does mid forties. What’s more impressive is that they don’t feel short on power. The base ‘Ultra’ version is offered without quattro (Audi’s four wheel drive system), while you can tick that option on higher variants for increased grip.
All engines are smooth and ensure brisk progress, while refinement is excellent. Some note a distant grumble in the diesels but hardly enough to intrude. The most powerful BiTDI can send some vibrations through the pedals and steering wheel, but this is a small price to pay for its prodigious torque figure, which makes overtakes a breeze.
Powered by a 4.0-litre V8 engine, the S7 is slightly quicker to 60mph from standstill, but a 30mpg is going to create a hole in the pocket. And that’s why the S7 isn’t as popular as the diesels: the 3.0BiTDI can do 0-60mph in a little above 5s and still return about 45mpg. But if you’re looking for the ultimate version, there’s the RS7. Just don’t ask about the fuel economy.
There's just the one review of the non-Quattro 3.0 TDI at the moment, and its average score is more down to the test car's ride-ruining S Line specification than it is the excellent 3.0 TDI engine.
Performance certainly isn't an issue, with 62 mph dealt with in just 7.4 seconds. Economy is excellent too - stay away from the Quattro option and up to 55.4 mpg is there for the taking.
Comments on the engine are overwhelmingly positive - the engine is "a honey", according to the reviewer, with a near-silent idle and not a great deal of noise on the move either. There's barely a hum from the engine under acceleration, a nice surprise given the car's continuously-variable transmission. Well worth buying - just keep to the smoother-riding SE trim!
The A7 3.0 TDI quattro is the highest-rated A7, and it isn't hard to see why. Performance from even the lower-power 3.0 TDI unit is strong, and economy is impressive in all variants - 204 PS models are rated at just shy of 49 mpg.
As you'll find in virtually any Volkswagen-Audi group product with the 3.0 TDI engine, refinement is excellent. Adjectives vary from "silky" to "flexible" and "brisk", aided by an eight-speed automatic transmission that swaps cogs with the best of them.
Throw in quattro all-wheel drive traction for those nasty winter days and you have a great all-rounder.
Large petrol engines may not be the most practical choice in the UK, but the 3.0 TFSI in the A7 attracts plenty of praise regardless.
It's quick for a start - the supercharged V6 is borrowed from the Audi S4, and it's similarly brisk in this application. "Crisp and urgent" throttle response contributes to a 5.6-second 0-62 mph time and a top speed of 155 mph. When not trying to set lap records it's "smooth, quiet and responsive" at lower revs too, according to one reviewer.
This changes a little as you pile on the power and can get "a little harsh" at the top of the rev range - and another critic notes that the revvy nature of the engine is a little at odds with the car's easy-going style. Diesels suit the A7 better.
And that's really the root of the S7's issues, and the reason it doesn't score as highly as you'd expect. Critics are fond of the car - it's "always eager", responsive, and power piles on fast enough to make the auto gearbox's manual mode almost a hindrance rather than a help. But it just isn't as exciting as you'd expect.
It's "far too civilised and subtle", as one reviewer puts it.
The A7 is based on the A6, which happened to snag a five-star rating from Euro NCAP. The A7 hasn’t been crash tested by Euro NCAP yet, but we imagine it’ll be at least as safe as the A6.
Looking at the active safety tech, there’s the usual driver aids like stability control, ABS, and hill-hold assist. While the entry level variant is front wheel drive, investing in a quattro all-wheel drive version will mean added grip, especially when road conditions are more slippery.
There are front, side, and curtain airbags available as standard, and there are several optional extras available that’ll improve safety – namely Night Vision assist, and adaptive cruise control. Automatic rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlamps are standard, and when paired with Audi’s super-bright Matrix LED headlights will turn night into day. Ish.
Like several other high-end Audis, the high price you’ll pay in the dealership is partially offset by the fact you’ll not lose a great deal of that amount when you come to sell.
One review thinks that Audi could have made the car a little more attractive to company buyers by offering the 2.0-litre TDI engine as an option, but the 3.0 TDIs should still return decent economy and the A7′s road tax ratings are respectable for the class – a minimum of band E, at £125 per year. Just be careful with the options – it’s easy to add five-figure sums to Audis…
Audi A7 SE Executive
The entry level Audi A7 in SE Executive trim comes with full leather upholstery, heated front seats with electronic lumbar adjustment and wireless phone charging as standard. The exterior receives a slightly modified bodykit to help differentiate it from the old SE model.
The Audi A7 is an excellent car, even though there’s reviews give the feeling it could have been even better.
While some other makes offer more excitement, the Audi’s swooping looks and wide range of engines still win it many fans. Quality is beyond reproach and the BiTDI engine is mighty – well worth a look if you can afford it. For everyone else, you can’t go too far wrong with even the base 3.0 TDI.
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