The Audi A7 Sportback trades some practicality for good looks. It’s a great car for long distances with a choice of powerful engines including a frugal diesel
The Audi A7 Sportback has the looks of a coupe but is still practical enough to be a family car. It’s quick and easy to drive, but won’t entertain you like a true sports car.
Then again, not many sports cars have an interior that’s as nicely put together as the A7’s. You’ll struggle to find any part of its interior that feels cheap and the minimalist design leaves plenty of room for luxurious trim pieces.
The Audi A7 Sportback comes with one of the most high-tech infotainment systems of any car on sale. Its three screens vary from 8.6 inches to a whopping 12.3 inches across and look far more futuristic than anything you’ll find in the Mercedes CLS or BMW 6 Series GT.
The 10.1-inch display on the dashboard sits in a brushed aluminium frame that’s designed to mimic the A7’s front grille, while a second 8.6-inch display below replaces the old car’s physical heating and ventilation controls.
Both screens are crisp and reasonably easy to read, but you’ll need more than just a quick glance to choose between their mostly monochrome icons as you drive along. You don’t get any physical shortcut buttons to help you switch between the system’s main functions either – but then it’s the same story in both the BMW and Mercedes.
Sitting in the Audi A7 Sportback’s driver’s seats feels a bit like settling into the cockpit of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner then, but at least you won’t be distracted by an uncomfortable driving position.
All models have electrically adjustable heated leather front seats, and the A7’s sloping roofline doesn’t come at the expense of rear-seat headroom. In fact, two tall rear passengers should also have plenty of knee and elbowroom.
On top of that, the boot is bigger than the ones offered in other cars of this type and its hatchback-style opening means you’ll find it easier to load bulky items than it is in a traditional saloon.
The Audi A7 Sportback is an Audi A8 dressed in a sharp-fitting tailored suit
The price of that big, heavy, practical body is that the Audi A7 Sportback doesn’t feel like a true sports car to drive on twisty roads. It’s not light on its feet and it leans in corners, although four-wheel drive is standard on all models so you won’t feel like it is ever short on grip.
While it’s not a sports car, there’s no doubt that driving the Audi A7 Sportback is a pleasure. Head for the motorway and you’ll find the Audi is a relaxed (and also very safe) cruiser – particularly if you fit it with the optional air suspension. That said, even with it, the car bounces over potholes in town that would pass by unnoticed in a Mercedes CLS.
On the other hand, the Audi A7 Sportback is still an easy car to drive, thanks to a standard-fit automatic gearbox that gives your clutch foot a rest in stop-start traffic. And, if that’s the kind of driving you’ll be doing, the A7 feels at its best with the 335hp 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine. Otherwise, choose the 282hp 3.0-litre V6 diesel which is cheaper to run and has more effortless performance on tap.
Whichever engine you go for, you’re unlikely to be disappointed by the A7 if you’re looking for a car that blends style with practicality. But if you also want a car that drives like a sports car, you’ll have to bite the bullet and choose the more expensive Porsche Panamera.